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Old 4th August 2010, 07:46   #91
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Originally Posted by e1t1bet View Post
This has been, as pointed out earlier, discussed before.
IMHO, fundamental reasons for low sales:

Fiat's reputation of poor A.S.S.
Originally Posted by e1t1bet View Post
Linea: Performance, lack of anything special (other than dynamics which most people don't care about, and looks).
Now, to dynamics and looks, add a reliable fuel efficient and nimble (read not underpowered) diesel. Not exactly a piece of junk, eh? The power output is equivalent to the Skoda diesel that made the Octavia so popular, so clearly the power is not exactly the fly in the ointment. Also, splitting dynamics into Ride and Handling makes it a trifle more appealing.

Originally Posted by e1t1bet View Post
+Punto: Where do I even start? Slower than competition. Priced like a premium hatch, but quality of plastic, finish etc leaves much to desire.
I'll tell you where to start. Lets just copy everything from the Linea (dynamics, looks, diesel) and then add that though the engine was the FGT version, it wasn't exactly a slouch. Read .anshuman's Swift to Punto review for the performance comparison first hand.

Originally Posted by e1t1bet View Post
They got things wrong right from the beginning;
(1) I strongly believe that Blue&Me should have been a standard on ALL models.
(2) What was the point of downtuning the engine in Punto?
(3) The Linea, simply put, needed a better engine.
(4) The Punto needed better plastic. It was supposed to be a premium product.
(5) Reduce that darn turning radius. I have had so many people tell me "abe punto/linea try kiya tha. mazaa nahi aaya. steering kharab hai, gaadi u-turn hi nahi leti".
Interesting. Would like to know more about the many people who said that. Yes, the turning radius is large, but steering "mein mazaa nahi aya" just means that they are nincompoops. Might sound harsh, but I am willing to stick my neck out for the Punto and Linea's amazing blend of ride and handling.

So where does that leave us? Well, A.S.S. and plastic quality, again. For the real picture about A.S.S. look at the thread for Fiat A.S.S. on teambhp, you're in for a surprise. Plastic quality leaves a lot to be desired, I agree.

Originally Posted by e1t1bet View Post
Sadly, once a product fails.. you can do little to redeem yourself. Launch a new car Fiat! Go big. Get one in the Palio segment. Get an absolute winner. Go for revenues, not margins.
Correct, they'll hopefully do so in 2012. By that time, the Punto and the Linea would hopefully establish them as serious car makers in India (note serious is not the same as number of units sold). A while back, very few people would have even thought about a Fiat as an option, now though, the Linea is on the radar of many people looking to purchase a car in that segment. Hopefully, the Punto too will soon join it's ranks.
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Old 4th August 2010, 08:05   #92
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@Amartya: I was just trying to list the complains of average non-enthusiast consumers. I had a Palio, and I loved Fiat A.S.S. (Green tracks, bangalore).
The point is that most consumer's aren't like me, or you.
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Old 4th August 2010, 09:04   #93
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Originally Posted by e1t1bet View Post
@Amartya: I was just trying to list the complains of average non-enthusiast consumers. I had a Palio, and I loved Fiat A.S.S. (Green tracks, bangalore).
The point is that most consumer's aren't like me, or you.
But I would say this attitude is fast changing and many more non-enthusiasts ( read average car buyers ) have the perception that Punto / Linea are good cars. Still they dont go for it because of A.S.S worries.
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Old 4th August 2010, 09:28   #94
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just read this news..


Mumbai: Fiat India Automobiles Pvt Ltd (FIAPL), the three-year-old joint venture company formed through the association of Tata Motors and Fiat Auto SpA, is facing rough weather, as it posted record losses last year

The 50:50 JV company posted a loss of Rs 970.7 crore for 2009-10, an increase of 39 per cent over the Rs 698.4-crore loss in the year before.

Tata Motors, India's largest automobile company, has published the financial details of its various subsidiaries and associate companies in the annual report for last year, released on Monday. The company publishes financial records pertaining to its own share in the entity

FIAPL, which owns the Rs 4,000-crore Ranjangaon facility near Pune, is the company responsible for manufacturing cars, engines and transmissions for both Fiat, one of Italy's largest carmakers, and Tata Motors’ brands

While neither company commented on the reason for the losses, analysts said it was primarily due to under-utilised plant and high material costs

Production of Fiat products such as the Grande Punto (a hatchback) and the Linea (a sedan) has been on a much lower level than earlier anticipated by the market. The company had discontinued the Palio model recently due to muted response and increased competition.

At present, Fiat makes less than 2,300 units per month at the plant, whose capacity is 16,500 per month. The Italian company utilised less than 15 per cent of the installed capacity of the plant last year, producing just 26,180 units for both domestic and export markets.

Tata Motors produces the Indica Vista and Indigo Manza at the plant, which has flexible production lines

The models of both Fiat and Tata produced at the plant share engines and transmission. Production of Tata branded products from Ranjangaon was not to be ascertained.

Fiat sales have been sliding for two months, with a drop of 14 per cent seen in domestic sales last month, at 2,301 units

As a result of an agreement between Tata and Fiat in 2006, both companies sell their products through joint outlets, making use of a single distribution channel. This has resulted in increased instances of product cannibalization, according to some sales representatives employed at various showrooms.

Further, according to the report, Tata Motors has cut on finance provided to FIAPL substantially to Rs 197.50 crore during the reporting year, against Rs 291.47 crore given in the previous one. Tata had an investment of Rs 999.54 crore as on March 31, representing 50 per cent of the holding.

Tata Motors has also given a letter of comfort to certain banks and other lenders against credit facilities extended to FIAPL. This is, however, restricted to 50 per cent of the value of credit facilities extended, Rs 1,193.8 crore as of March 31.

Last edited by motor spirit : 4th August 2010 at 09:31. Reason: formatting
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Old 4th August 2010, 14:43   #95
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The above is bound to happen. FIAT will have no future unless and until they price their cars right. They have to do what FORD did with FIGO i.e. priced it right.

P.S. Just checked PUNTO Active is 5.16L ex showroom
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Old 4th August 2010, 15:05   #96
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I think what they should rather do is to hire more aggressive & confident sales guys.
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Old 4th August 2010, 15:40   #97
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Originally Posted by abhibh View Post
The above is bound to happen. FIAT will have no future unless and until they price their cars right. They have to do what FORD did with FIGO i.e. priced it right.

P.S. Just checked PUNTO Active is 5.16L ex showroom
Yeah Punto would have pulled sales volumes if it was priced some 30-40K less or else it should have come from Maruti / Hyundai stable.
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Old 5th August 2010, 10:02   #98
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It had to happen. With whom are you really trying to compete and position your product?

a showroom (BS 4) which sells
  • 10 variants of Indica vista (terra, aqua, aura, aura abs and aura plus in QJD and safire)
  • 8 variants of indigo manza (aqua, aura, aura abs and aura plus in QJD 90 and safire 90)
  • 10 variants of punto (1.2 active, dynamic, emotion, 1.4 emotion and emotion pack, 1.3 diesel active, dynamic, emotion and emotion pack plus 90 hp emotion pack)
  • 8 variants of linea (active, dynamic, emotion and emotion pack in petrol and diesel)
is bound to have utter customer confusion. Many top end variants of tata vehicles are priced on par with base or mid level fiat variants and also offer similar levels of equipment as the top end variants of fiat with fiat mechanicals. So, why would a typical customer choose fiat? the question is what exactly is fiat trying to acheive by launching one variant after another whn not all of them sell? Customer is confused, sales person does not know what to push and margins on fiat cars are wafer thin. seriously, was punto 1.2 really required at first place when you have the vista safire with the same engine to take care of the competition? The 1.4 was hardly selling and this 1.2 is not a seller either. The manza is eating into linea petrol's sales.

My advice to fiat would be to prun the slow selling variants and concentrate on positioning your products in such a way that it does not permit in house competition with tata. A.S.S. being a different ballgame together, with still a ladder to climb.

Ideally, I would like to see fiat with independent sales and service network now, but since this is not technically feasible, the lineup can be rationalised like:

Tata indica vista:
  • 1.2 and 1.3 engines are sufficient
  • terra, aqua, aura and aura plus(one variant with abs plus airbags is sufficient, isnt so?)
Tata Indigo manza:
  • 1.4 and 1.3 disels as it is
  • 4 variants as it is is OK for a car targeted at dzire and logan.
Fiat Linea:
  • the active and dynamic models should be axed. they hardly sell.
  • remove the stereo from emotion and keep it as a base model or name this as dynamic with standard ABS.
  • one emotion pack model will remain as it is.
  • the engines-should be solely T-jet and 1.3 MJD 90.(1.6 if possible)
Fiat punto:
  • axe the 1.2 petrol. whats the point of having dynamic and emotion when you are hell bent on finishing the 1.4 petrol? The 1.2 punto is not selling as expected. The 1.4 petrol in active, emotion and emotion pack models is sufficient enough. the dynamic model is a sales flop. Stereo can be removed from emotion and price be dropped. A CD player with bad speakers is equivalent to not having a stereo at all.
  • most of the sales come from diesel. VGT 90 HP should be made standard on active, emotion and emotion pack models. axe the FGT. Its doing no good with the vista at one side. Product differentiation will also help.
So, my ideal lineup should be:

Fiat Punto:
  • 1.4 petrol and 1.3 90 HP diesel
  • active, emotion ABS without stereo and emotion pack ABS plus airbags variants
Fiat Linea:
  • 1.4 t-jet petrol and 1.3 90 HP diesel
  • emotion ABS without stereo and emotion pack ABS plus airbags variants
Indica vista:
  • 1.2 petrol and 1.3 76 bhp multijet diesel
  • terra, aqua, aura and aura plus variants
Indigo manza:
  • 1.4 fire petrol and 1.3 90 hp diesel
  • aqua, aura, aura ABS and aura plus variants
Different floor space and product differentiation are also required. Fiat exclusive sales staff and Fiat exclusive service bays too should be there. And fiat should take this tata mentality off its brains and learn from VW on how to chose suppliers for quality parts.

I do not intend to start a fiat vs tata vs VW war, nor do I expect any fanboy or defensive posts from owners. Its a business decision suggestion from my side, because you are here to do business, not just sit idle and see your volumes drop month by month.
Fiat needs to wake up before its a case of too little too late, which I am scared it may be.
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Old 5th August 2010, 20:21   #99
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I completely agree with SidIndica. I don't know of any other brand except Fiat that has such a huge differential between buyer interest/enthusiasm and actual sales. It so apparent in T-BHP itself!

I think the Fiat Linea and Punto is one of those models that appeals to every ones heart and not their brains because of the poor sales and after sales image. Therefore my recommendations for Fiat:

1. Take complete and independent ownership of customer relationship management w.r.t to sales and after sales, which means:
  • Separate Showrooms (even small ones like those that Skoda Has)
  • Separate office space within TATA-Fiat service stations
  • Dedicated staff with better soft skills on your individual payroll
  • maintain relationship with Tata only for production and service

2. Lighten the car by 100-150 Kgs to increase performance and mileage of the cars (i dunno if the sheet metal can be thinned a little)

3. Re-equip the linea with 1.4 L Tjet petrol and 1.6 MJD diesel as standard

4. Re-equip Punto with 1.4 L petrol and 1.3 VGT MJD diesel as standard

5. Offer some wild service plan like 5 Years 100,000 KM including spares to redeem A.S.S image

6. Sell new small car with 1.2 L petrol and 1.3 FGT MJD whenever it releases

7. Introduce the Bravo as a CKD
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Old 6th August 2010, 00:05   #100
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Totally agree with Sidindica regarding the variants. Fiat needs to desperately get some catchy advts and promos on the way. So many people even within bombay arent aware of their products. I still meet people who think fiat means premier padmini and nothing more the maximum people can recollect is that fiat sells something called a palio. A proper promotion with some trendy advts will help in getting better numbers.
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Old 6th August 2010, 00:24   #101
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@sid, your idea makes perfect sense. Fiat needs to differentiate from Tata, and for that, they need to at least have better engine options than the comparable Tata model. Anyway, the idea is to position Fiat more as an "aspirational" (comparatively) brand.
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Old 6th August 2010, 09:42   #102
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@sid seeing your post and various others don't you think that fault lies with FIAT product planning itself rather then anything else , If they are not offering better products then their rivals ( including Tata) then they have no right to expect better sales.

Having a separate showroom or not is a moot point what they need is how they can differentiate from competition so I don't see point of this thread to blame the partner.
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Old 6th August 2010, 10:24   #103
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Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
So, my ideal lineup should be:

Fiat Punto:
  • 1.4 petrol and 1.3 90 HP diesel
  • active, emotion ABS without stereo and emotion pack ABS plus airbags variants


But with 15" tyres. I think this should be standard with alloys as optional.
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:07   #104
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The plastic quality is now the most important issue discussed in team-bhp, but it is devoid of logic when enthusiasts and discerning motorists attach so much of importance to the interiors when the vital parameters like ride, handling, steering, chassis strength are discarded.

Good plastics alone cant sell a car, but bad plastics alone cannot be a detriment.

I feel it is the organic character in us Indians to blame something all the time, and earlier FIAT was bashed for no service coverage/parts availability, and when they both are sufficiently taken care the point of focus is now on the 'plastics falling'.

And for FIAT India, you cannot sell a car in the market where your USP has become nationalized, and therefore look out for something fresh unique to FIAT, say the 1.6 litre multijet which can power the Punto/Linea and still return better FE numbers.
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:34   #105
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Saw this on PUG (posted by one of the members - credit to him for the news):

In response to the report, ‘Tata-Fiat JV faces mounting losses’,
published on August 4, Tata Motors has clarified that the loss of Rs
970.7 crore is not for the year 2009-10, but cumulative for the period
from January 2008 to March 31, 2010. Since Tata Motors and the Fiat
Group are equal partners in FIAPL, half of this cumulative loss — Rs
485.3 crore — has been mentioned in Tata Motors’ Annual Report for
2009-10. Similarly, the cumulative loss of Fiat India on March 31,
2009, was Rs 698.3 crore (for Tata Motors, as a 50 per cent partner,
Rs 349.1 crore). Fiat India’s loss for the year 2009-10 was only Rs
272.4 crore, showing that the joint venture’s performance is
progressively improving, contrary to what the report has said. The
error is regretted.
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