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Old 15th November 2009, 00:11   #121
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Originally Posted by sdp1975 View Post
Agree with kurt. Don't think the diminishing Punto sales has to do primarily with the interiors.
Here is what i believe is hurting the Punto. (in priority, as i see it)
1. FIAT!
2. Poor quality interiors!
3. Indica Vista and Indigo Manza are competitive prices.

The issue here is that, with 1 & 3 FIAT is losing people who would have bought Maruti, Hyundai, TATA anyway! Those who want to buy a FIAT for what it is, only will proceed to stage 2.

FIAT just cant afford to lose those customers! Obviously, people getting stuck inside with door lever coming off, sales person having to open the car with the outside door handle, boot not closing in showroom cars, door lock falling off inside the door, rubber beading falling off in the showroom itself- things that have been turn-off even for team-bhp'ians. If FIAT is turning away its loyal customers, its in for trouble.

(Guys, before you say the above is an exaggeration, it is all from other threads here itself in team-bhp)
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Originally Posted by mkh View Post
Another instance is Santro Vs Wagon R: with the heavy discounts on Wagon R, and almost nothing on the Santro, the latter is clearly earning more for its maker in terms of profits even though sales are lower.
From Jan to Oct, WagonR has sold around 1.28L cars, while Santro has done around 68k cars. Clearly WagonR is selling almost twice as much as the Santro, and its not due to 25k discounts during the Diwali period! WagonR clearly has an edge over Santro.

i10 and i20, however are making BIG cash for Hyundai.
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Originally Posted by mkh View Post
5. City..well..no challenge and will carry on this way till someone comes out with a real winner( imagine folks- Linea in the hands of Maruti/hyundai dealer network...THAT would only be a possible contender!)
SX4 diesel also has the potential to go to the top of the segment straight away!

FIAT- Maruti partnership! Now that would have taken things to another level! Diesel engines for Maruti, and the best service backup in the country for FIAT!
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Originally Posted by coolkurt View Post
I don't expect the Punto to 'get killed' or rather fail. I just feel that the sales will stabilise around the 1200 mark which just isnt as much as this stunner should sell.
I think the downhill slide will continue and it should settle around 700-900 cars a month! Next two months will tell a better story, as the Manza is sure to attract some potential Punto customers.

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Old 15th November 2009, 01:27   #122
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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
I think the downhill slide will continue and it should settle around 700-900 cars a month! Next two months will tell a better story, as the Manza is sure to attract some potential Punto customers.
As more Punto's hit the road and word of mouth publicity starts to work, the Punto will carve out a niche for itself. I believe that the Punto and Linea are going to bring Fiat out of the hole they dug themselves into. The only way is to put more cars in the road and slowly bring the brand back into reckoning.

OT from here till end of the post: There is a reason they went with the Tatas, the Tatas might not be the best car makers, but they set extremely high standards of Corporate Reliability. That is a term I just coined to imply that the house of the Tatas are just about the most reliable business partner one can find.

For the sake of the Indian automobile enthusiast, I hope that the Punto does well. In the era of ugly Japs and Koreans (I like the i20's design but think that it draws a lot of "inspiration") who make cars that might look good for just a decade (at the max.), the Fiats are cars that I can't but look at fondly.

Reminded me of a Top Gear episode where James May test drove an Alfa 159 two years after it was introduced in the market and put a pound in a cardboard box everytime he mentioned words like "soul", "passion" etc. while describing the car. He ended up spending quite a bit of money.

For me the Fiats, for all their faults, rouse the same emotions.
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Old 15th November 2009, 08:06   #123
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The Fiat certainly evokes a lot of emotion. I too am a great admirer of Fiat per se, but then what is required is not customer admiration but customer satisfaction. I love the looks (exterior and interior) of the Linea, and was seriously considering buying it but two days ago booked an SX4 ZXi. One of the major reasons for this was after sales service which is horrible for Fiat and excellent for Maruti. My uncle wishes to upgrade from his Fiat Uno, and in our discussions we narrowed on the Swift Dezire and Indigo Manza, since he categorically said that he does not wish another Fiat due to poor follow up. Putting up more cars on the road is certainly a way to influence/advertize, but with poor service, the increased number would swiftly dwindle.

Tying up with Tata or Maruti or whoever will never work as much as if Fiat stands up on its own feet, since it will always get a step-motherly treatment at the hands of others who would naturally push their own ilk.
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Old 15th November 2009, 15:42   #124
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Originally Posted by vivprasad View Post
Tying up with Tata or Maruti or whoever will never work as much as if Fiat stands up on its own feet, since it will always get a step-motherly treatment at the hands of others who would naturally push their own ilk.

FIAT needs to invest seriously in independent sales and service.

Every customer wants peace of mind with the product he/she buys. If FIAT fails to build up such an image, fine cars like Punto and Linea will be soon an endangered species.
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Old 15th November 2009, 17:47   #125
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Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
As more Punto's hit the road and word of mouth publicity starts to work, the Punto will carve out a niche for itself.
The USP of Punto, i believe is-
1. Good looks.
2. Solid European feel.
3. Ride and handling.

Infact, only the expensive Skoda Fabia seems to be able to match up to this right now! (Not including 'the' diesel engine in the list, because it is not a differentiator anymore. Maruti & TATA sell way more FIAT diesel engined cars). Still sales are on a decline! (My views in post 121 above).

However, soon things will change with the introduction of the VW Polo, and may be subsequent revision of Skoda Fabia prices to reflect VW status above Skoda. If VW does not mess up the pricing, Polo will seriously give a tough time to the Punto. What could be the USP of Punto over Polo? Looks? May be. Solid european car? Check. Ride and handling? Check. Brand image? Check.

I feel the downward slide will continue to around 900 cars a month, and may be a steeper decline if VW gets Polo pricing right!

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 15th November 2009 at 17:53.
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Old 15th November 2009, 17:54   #126
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Originally Posted by romeomidhun View Post
Initially, Wagon-R was also a low seller. Customers became used to its design and now it sells well with its USPs like space, mileage, visibility, *** etc against its shape.

Ritz also has all these USPs. Its sales will pick up after some time, for sure.



Getz is not that bad compared to Swift in terms of performance, but ofcourse not in terms of style and mileage. Outdated designs like Getz will sell in India only if it is from Maruti! Otherwise, it should have some advantages like price or mileage that will cater to mass market.



And in the sedan segment, Verna is definitely losing its grip.
Getz is far superior on ride comfort, interior space and practicality. The design of the prime is not really outdated. Its not a focus for Hyundai now anymore since i-10 and i-20 are newer and selling more. I-10 is around 5.0 lacs, almost same price as the getz prime and reaches out to the wider audience.
Getz prime give around 12km/liter, and with swift max at 14, how much does 2km/liter really matter???

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Originally Posted by coolkurt View Post
I don't expect the Punto to 'get killed' or rather fail. I just feel that the sales will stabilise around the 1200 mark which just isnt as much as this stunner should sell.
Perhaps a year down the line, Fiat's rep will improve and thngs will start looking up.
I will wait to see that, i wish it does not, but i am sure its going to be hit by Figo and Beat also coming along...a number of 1000 a month is not doing justice to the car at all..

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Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
Maruti is selling 5-6K Ritz every month. In what dictionary such figures are considered suffering? Each and every model from Maruti doesn't have to put sales charts on fire.
hey- probably i did get this wrong...but can we cut the sarcasm
Yes its doing decent numbers, what i meant is comparatively its selling lesser than swift, one would ideally expect a newer model to sell equal or more...anyways take it easy pal, its just my personal feeling - nothing against anyone or any brand!!!
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Old 15th November 2009, 21:44   #127
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I think the Polo's base model will be priced around 4.5 lakhs, so the competition is only going to get tougher for the Punto.
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Old 15th November 2009, 22:55   #128
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Originally Posted by vivprasad View Post
..... certainly Tying up with Tata or Maruti or whoever will never work as much as if Fiat stands up on its own feet, since it will always get a step-motherly treatment at the hands of others who would naturally push their own ilk.
I tend to agree with most of your post but I also think that Fiat's move to team up with Tata was the right move at that time. They would probably have not survived with their own dealerships and just carrying too much baggage from the PAL days. At the very least, customers stepping into the Tata showroom will most probably check out the Fiats as well.

What I am not sure of is the bit about step motherly treatment, that shouldn't really happen because the dealership and the Tata Fiat JV earns no matter who sells the car.

CrAzY dRiVeR's points are well laid out too, I liked the points about the USPs of the Punto. True. Also the fact that premium offerings like the Polo and the Fabia might rock the boat. However, I might be wrong but I think that with Skoda's current reputation and with VWs lack of market presence (say number of dealerships etc.) FIAT has the time to slowly change the market perception. The really good thing that can come out of this is that in general Tata and Fiat can together improve by a long way. Tata A.S.S. is no longer as bad as it's made out to be (personal experience of a Maruti and a Fiat product with Tata A.S.S.) and with good products things can only improve.

Last edited by Technocrat : 17th November 2009 at 19:45. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 17th November 2009, 06:56   #129
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I tend to agree with most of your post but I also think that Fiat's move to team up with Tata was the right move at that time. They would probably have not survived with their own dealerships and just carrying too much baggage from the PAL days. At the very least, customers stepping into the Tata showroom will most probably check out the Fiats as well........FIAT has the time to slowly change the market perception. The really good thing that can come out of this is that in general Tata and Fiat can together improve by a long way. Tata A.S.S. is no longer as bad as it's made out to be (personal experience of a Maruti and a Fiat product with Tata A.S.S.) and with good products things can only improve.
I would personally be happy if Fiat gets the place it deserves in the market. Fiats are solid machines and should be more popular. Punto and Linea have made a difference in perception, so has the tie-up with Tata. But, let me be frank that some scepticism still remains in my mind. A lot of response/reaction from dealers is region specific, as I said in my earlier post that I wonder what would be the service like in cities other than Bangalore, delhi, Mumbai etc.
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Old 17th November 2009, 10:37   #130
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I tend to agree with cool kurt, the figures of FIAT are NOT hit by the interior plastics - though they can do better, they are decent. They are hit by the negative brand name that FIAT has in India due to the Premier baggage and it's own first stint.

It takes a different kind of individual to bet on FIAT (risk taking) Non Maruti types. (Not to offend the maruti buyers who may be taking risks of a different type in life) but as far as cars go to not buy the FIAT's latest offering today, is nothing more than just plaing safe.
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Old 17th November 2009, 11:00   #131
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@ACM
That is exactly my point. The trend that i'm seeing is that most people are writing it off based on advice from that friendly neighbour or colleague.
As far as parts are concerned, a lot of people were clamouring about the poor quality and horror stories about parts falling off, but I feel that the incidents mentioned by a member above are very few and can't be taken as a basis to judge the overall condition. I have clocked more than 2.5k kms on my Punto and none of the parts have fallen off. As far as the interiors go, 2 civic owners, 1 Palio owner, a verna owner - all said " this car has nice interiors". This my friends, is enough for me
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Old 17th November 2009, 11:53   #132
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Originally Posted by coolkurt View Post
@ACM
That is exactly my point. T
=========
This my friends, is enough for me
The issue here is Fiat needs to get their quality control right on 98 % of their cars, not 2%. You might just be lucky to be part of that 2%.
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:31   #133
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Originally Posted by vivprasad View Post
I would personally be happy if Fiat gets the place it deserves in the market. Fiats are solid machines and should be more popular. Punto and Linea have made a difference in perception, so has the tie-up with Tata. But, let me be frank that some scepticism still remains in my mind. A lot of response/reaction from dealers is region specific, as I said in my earlier post that I wonder what would be the service like in cities other than Bangalore, delhi, Mumbai etc.
Its not only about the after sales service. The pre-sales is pathetic too
I had a very indifferent experience, i am still waiting for a test drive of the punto, they say why not come to the showroom!!!
For all other vehicles- they came to my place promptly except these guys...imagine the interest they show in selling their cars...even for the linea i had a very bad experience- the car i got was filthy and not a petrol i asked for which is still not come...
I would like to see an interview of the Fiat Country manager or something like that to know what are they really thinking of??
With the hatchback scene hotting up, fiat will surely fall far behind once the initial euphoria of the new car is over...(unless they take serious action)
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:39   #134
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Originally Posted by mkh View Post
Its not only about the after sales service. The pre-sales is pathetic too
I had a very indifferent experience, i am still waiting for a test drive of the punto, they say why not come to the showroom!!!
For all other vehicles- they came to my place promptly except these guys...imagine the interest they show in selling their cars...
Ditto - even i experienced the same kind of treatment . It seems the guys sitting out there are not at all interested in selling cars. The reverse is the case with Maruti Suzuki guys - they follow up with you till the end.
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:59   #135
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I've had bad experiences when I asked for a TD of the swift VDI with a reputed Bangalore dealer. I fixed for an appointment at 3pm with the executive, then I visited the showroom myself, driving for about 15 kms on a weekend.

When I reached the showroom at 3 pm, the executive was not there, neither was the car ! On calling him, he said that he had taken the TD car to another customer, and he did not even bother to cancel the appoinment with me ! On asking him why he did so in spite of having a prior appointment - he started giving flimsy excuses.

So much for Maruti "customer service".

Last edited by sdp1975 : 17th November 2009 at 14:01.
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