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Old 21st July 2010, 13:29   #16
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I am not totally convinced on the Sales Person stuff.

AFAIK, all TATA-Fiat showrooms have 2 different sets of SAs . Unfortunately, the no of guys selling Tata vehicles are more than the no of guys selling Fiat, which is actually based on the number of models.

Fiat has 2 major(GP & Linea) and 2 minor models(Palio & 500) while Tata has quite a few to name. So, when a person walks into a Tata-Fiat showroom, its is highly probable that he'll be first met with a Tata SA than a Fiat SA.
Moreover, these showrooms, during their only Tata era, were not used to handling the yuppie(pardon my lingo) crowd which generally hovers around the Fiats. I am sure, most of the guys hanging around the Fiat stalls are well informed (sometime better informed than the showroom guys) and the SAs have a handful in handling these guys.

We have close to 100+ GP owners in this forum. How many of us have actually complained about broken seat lever or broken dashboards?
However, most of the time, the display car would be in shambles.
Why did that happen?
One probable reason could be that the customers wanted to check whether the delicate Fiats are as sturdy as the Tatas
Obviously, the Tata showroom guys were perplexed seeing the Fiat cars not standing up to the abuse and did precious little to fix them.

Now another interesting fact is the customer to SA ratio(heavy on the Fiat side), which is pretty skewed when compared to the model to SA ratio (which is more tilted to Tata). Which effectively means that fewer Fiat SAs have to handle more queries. Which utilmately results in most people interested in Fiats lose interest, get annoyed and leave without a TD/discussion. If a stupid customer like me can understand that, why cant the big bosses at the tata-fiat?

What Fiat needs is more trained SAs and a separate area for the Fiat cars. i.e. not share the same floor space/same entrance probably.
They could also probably tie up with some after-market producers for Alloys/tires/show-offs etc. Right now all the dealers are so scared of warranty that they dont even want to sell alloys which are otherwise approved by the company!


(p.s : The SA scene at Concorde,Dairy Circle used to be so bad, that I had to show the cars to potential customers a few times. Though I didnt get a commission from Concorde for that.. but the potential customers were happy to have my feedback when I pointed out to my car gleaming outside )
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Old 21st July 2010, 17:25   #17
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Default FIAT - where's the effort to create a brand value ?

For that matter, I don't think FIAT is really making any (giant) efforts in creating a brand image & value. In the country where 'aam janta' is obsessed with only one question in their 'not so informed' mind - 'kitna deti hai', what has FIAT done to address that in their second innings. The only advertisement that one sees, that too rarely, ends with the old punch line - 'Admiration Guaranteed'.

Well, my take on this - the product has been out there for almost 18 months & the masses have already formed their opinion about it. The initial novelty has worn out now. Its time to move on to something more tangible - brag about mileage (multijet-gem of an engine), class leading gadgets, boot space etc. I bet, not many people know that Maruti's best selling diesel engine is a FIAT product.

Maybe, for FIAT, it does not make any economic sense to market their cars aggressively. Perhaps, they make neat profit by selling engines.

Who knows!!!

Last edited by forbhaskarm : 21st July 2010 at 17:35.
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Old 21st July 2010, 17:36   #18
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Well how much FIAT is investing in building dealers ? Do they pay same commission as Tata so that dealer recommend ? Do they provide enough number of TD vehicle or dealers have margin to get enough TD vehicle ?

I think fault lies with Fiat itself , when they can not still ensure that parts supply to service centers is consistent how can they expect that customer will get good service ?
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Old 21st July 2010, 17:37   #19
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I had heard somewhere that Fiat was planning to go the independent way - atleast for sales. I'm not sure how accurate this statement might be - but something I remembered after seeing this thread.
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Old 21st July 2010, 17:51   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
I had heard somewhere that Fiat was planning to go the independent way - atleast for sales. I'm not sure how accurate this statement might be - but something I remembered after seeing this thread.
Good for them. Will give people one less excuse to go Tata bashing.

As pointed out earlier in the thread, and in the opening post, post the Tata-Fiat alliance Fiat sales have grown 208%. I don't think that is a number they can attribute solely to having good products. The alliance has done them good, in so much that more people get to see their cars, regardless of whether they are bought or not. I'm sure brand recognition in the "aam-junta" has gone up.

Also, as again pointed out by others, Fiat doesn't seem too enthusiastic about marketing. Tata makes cost effective advertisements featuring their cars, the cars capabilities and positives. They don't use expensive "personalities". If Fiat did something similar, they might profit even more from the access the Tata showrooms gives to a much larger audience.

Obviously Tata stands to gain from the alliance. But a multi-national multi-billion dollar company like Fiat is not run by innocent simpletons. A lot of thought would have gone into the decision, and it is paying off - and not much of that can be attributed to Fiat's sales efforts.

Tata sells competing models with the same engines at significantly lower price. If I have two pens of similar quality, one of better finish but expensive, yet they both have the same technology ball/ink, the cheaper one will sell better. Simple?

Last edited by VeluM : 21st July 2010 at 17:54. Reason: :P
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Old 21st July 2010, 18:01   #21
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Why! I'm not surprised. The JV was to take control of FIAT sales and not operations anyway. Many won't know this but this ages back to when the Palio was first introduced or was going to be introduced and there was the Indica who had made a fresh debut or rather the indica project was gaining momentum. There was a stay order put on the Ranjangaon/Chakan plant in Pune against FIAT. Later they had a JV for servicing and engine options. This way the ministers gain by giving FIAT license to operate in India and TATA gains by curbing Palio potential. It happens everywhere all the time. Ohh this was not supposed to open up but the thread say it all, so I guess its ok. No mega corp can rise with honesty.
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Old 21st July 2010, 18:15   #22
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I completely agree with aqualeo2040 regarding the number of sales representatives of Fiat vs Tata. In Fortune Cars, Navi Mumbai, where I bought my GP from, I was attended to by the Fiat team. They in no way tried to promote or even mention Vista while explaining the GP to me.

But among 6 or so stalls in the showroom, Fiat guys had only 1 and the remaining were Tata. Maybe in several showrooms when a potential Fiat customer walks in, they would not have enough Fiat guys to attend them and hence a Tata representative may attend to the customer, thereby trying to convert the customer to buy a Tata car.

The alliance with Tata would have helped Fiat to gain a wider reach in a short time but I believe Fiat should take the pain to set up it's own showrooms, service centers atleast from now on, in addition to the existing Tata-Fiat dealerships and service centers. Also bring in a few more models, like a small car which was mentioned by the CEO in the Q&A, Fiat Bravo etc. Most importantly, Fiat should provide excellent ownership experience to the existing customers by ensuring good availability of spares.
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Old 21st July 2010, 18:15   #23
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This FIAT thing is coming up again and again in some thread or the other.
The traditional strong built(please refrain the use of tank-like-built) chassis cannot set lap timings with engines inherently tuned for fuel efficiency, but otherwise, the chassis is brilliant.

The irony is, not many people in India buy a car analyzing engineering aspects, and hence FIAT can never play with the volumes(only if it is, the Tata partnership is of some use). Niche player need not worry about cost, it is all about quality.

Hyundai i20 is now a premium hatch(forget Jazz, thats a different league) but it has grown up utilising its established AS Service(in which FIAT screwed up).

There is a brand, and a bunch of frenetic fans(me included). And only that.

Last edited by ramzsys : 21st July 2010 at 18:32.
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Old 21st July 2010, 23:03   #24
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I don't buy the argument that Fiat is happy selling the MJD engines. They are here to sell cars, not just engines. Why would they invest in a manufacturing unit, new car launches, advertising etc etc. if they are happy selling just engines?

The JV with Tata has certainly benefited both of them. The problem is Tatas have benefited more than they had expected while Fiat has benefited lesser than they had expected.

208% growth can not be credited to a JV with Tata Motors only. I believe it was the launch of 2 excellent products in Punto and Linea that did the trick. I completely agree that more no of people saw Fiat cars because they were on display @ Tata showrooms. But again I am sure Fiat had expected better numbers in terms of sales than just the eyeballs. The other side of this showroom display is, more people did see Fiat cars but most of them saw the cars maintained poorly. I wonder how many people would like to test drive a car (forget about buying it) that has various parts falling off the display car.

Another possibility... Tata SAs, during their sales pitch, got a car to contrast Vista/Manza with. "Sir, Vista comes with same features, better space and 1 lac cheaper. Look at that Fiat with its falling parts even when its standing in the showroom. sir.. Tata spare parts are cheaper and easily available"

In the long run I see Tata motors emerging as a clear winner from this contest (oops the joint venture).

BTW who cares? I love my "FIAT" Grande Punto MJD (with Tata or without Tata)

Last edited by Rock 'n' rollz : 21st July 2010 at 23:22.
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Old 21st July 2010, 23:06   #25
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LMAO there are a lot of reasons why TATA can't sell FIAT cars even if they want to

1. TATA wants to sell their VISTA
2. FIAT image in India
3. Pricing factor. Since the entry of Ford Figo everything looks overpriced. IMHO Punto Active @5.16 lacs ex showroom doesn't makes any sense. It should not cost more than 4.5 lacs
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Old 22nd July 2010, 00:29   #26
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Fiat, meanwhile, is making efforts to improve the experience at dealerships to ensure its cars get proper attention. "Fiat has separate areas for sales and service, and we even have dedicated staff for our brands. Now we are in the process of increasing manpower at these dealerships and are focusing a lot on training them to convert inquiries into sales. We are giving it a firm push."

Above statement is 70% wrong. When I go to service my Palio, there is single queue for Tata and Fiat vehicles, though attandent are different. I never get logic behind it, Sales person are the same for Tata and Fiat. I have to stand in the queue for half an hour for my number. I get an appointment on the phone to come at 09:00 AM and after reaching there they says today booking is over, I will have to keep my car for 2 day at the service station just for normal service, even after confirm appointment. The service area is shared by the Tata cars. Whenever somebody ask me about fiat cars, I used to told them my experience at service center and obiviously nobody want to go with Fiat.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 00:50   #27
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To me, the article is full of crap. Someone can get confused with the word 'Grande'. But, would that deter a prospective buyer? I think no. Such mistakes happen all the time. I have been offered a petrol variant instead of the diesel variant I had asked for. But would that make me blame the company for offering two engines?

Sales executives tell you a million things, but do you believe them and do what they tell you to do. No!

Most of the Fiat buyers know what they are looking at, what they are buying. And they will never mix them with Tata products.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 00:58   #28
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I visited the Tata-Fiat showroom in Secunderabad near Paradise.

There were two different SA for Tata and Fiat. In fact the Fiat guy helped me out in locating the Grande salesman. Both the SA were very helpful and I had a pleasant experience. Including test driving both the GP and the Sumo. I wanted to drive them both and there was no confusion or chaos at the showroom.
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Old 22nd July 2010, 01:04   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawan_pullarwar View Post
When I go to service my Palio, there is single queue for Tata and Fiat vehicles, though attandent are different. I never get logic behind it, Sales person are the same for Tata and Fiat. I have to stand in the queue for half an hour for my number. I get an appointment on the phone to come at 09:00 AM and after reaching there they says today booking is over, I will have to keep my car for 2 day at the service station just for normal service, even after confirm appointment. The service area is shared by the Tata cars. Whenever somebody ask me about fiat cars, I used to told them my experience at service center and obiviously nobody want to go with Fiat.
Ditto for service appointments, leaving car overnight for a regular servicing...
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Old 22nd July 2010, 01:17   #30
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A Customer Coming in looking for a Punto ends up with a vista, obviously sales will drop.
Fiats are generally given "step motherly" treatment by The Tatas.
Service centers : There are Many Tata service centers in Bangalore But only 2-3 of them actually service fiats.(Manipal Motors near Lumbini gardens used to service my fiat but all of a sudden they stopped. Obviously it there are higher powers at play here more than the workshop capability).

The Tata alliance will work only in the short term. If fiat needs to get things right they need to take matters into their own hands and step away from Tata so that they can properly establish themselves.
single reason why fiats aren't selling is because of their shoddy service network.
Take me for example , I live in North Bangalore. The nearest Fiat service center i over 25 kms compared to Maruti (<1km), Toyota(<4km),Honda(<4km),Chevrolet(<4km),Hyundai(< 2km) You get the point.
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