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Old 28th December 2010, 08:19   #121
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

There is an article on the JV & Fiat India's declining sales in todays Business Line. The article talks about a new retail setup, the details of which will be revealed in the next few months.

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Originally Posted by SILVERWOOD View Post
Guys, just bumped on to this thread.

All i want to ask you is.

1,Why did Fait partner with Tata motors in spite of being a house hold name in India.? (Many of us have grown up in Fiat cars)
Fiat earned themselves a bad reputation with their 'wonderful' a.s.s during their Uno and Palio days and the Indian customer has a very long memory with things like these. Besides, Fiat would have had to invest huge sums to set up a pan India dealership network.
Tata was looking for modern engines and Fiat was looking at a pan India sales and service network. This is how the JV was formed and it looked too good for both parties on paper... BUT... Tata seems to have had the maximum gain from this JV and Fiat has been pushed to the sidelines.
Now Fiat seems to be finally waking up. Lets see how they up their game now.

Last edited by fiat_tarun : 28th December 2010 at 08:29.
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Old 28th December 2010, 09:10   #122
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

I read tha article in the business line, and clearly nobody has any details yet about what the 'new' retail strategy is going to be.

I still maintain that dealers have very little knowledge and passion for the cars they sell. Even more so nowadays than in the past. Their representatives seem to think that customers will simply be amazed by the product, than by a detailed description of its differentiating features.

Its akin to trying to sell me an electrical appliance (and even they do a better job of explaining the features).

I have been receiving a lot of calls directly from Fiat Pune enquiring about my test drive experience and overall competence of the dealerships. I hope all this feedback is being collated and something good comes out of it.

Bottom line, they have got one thing right. The cars are good. Now's the time to move everything else that supports them to a higher gear!
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Old 28th December 2010, 09:50   #123
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

Here's the article from Business Line today.

Quote:
Fiat hopes for a turnaround with new retail strategy

Murali Gopalan
Mumbai, Dec. 27

Fiat Auto, whose car sales in India have been little to write home about so far, is now readying a new retail strategy with partner Tata Motors.

Top sources told Business Line that the details would be unravelled in the coming months. “There is absolutely no issue with any of Fiat's products. The top priority is to ensure a stronger customer connect with the company,” they added, Reports have been doing the rounds that the core of the problem is the joint retail business model which has only led to brand dilution. According to the grapevine, some dealers are apparently more inclined towards promoting Tata products.

“This is absolutely untrue. This alliance is still in its nascent stage and hiccups are bound to occur. It has been a useful learning curve for both companies and things will only get better from now,” sources said.

Falling numbers
Fiat's falling numbers have been a cause for concern and the target of nearly 50,000 units for this fiscal is unlikely to be achieved. (So far between April and November this year, the company sold 14,956 cars – Palio, Fiat 500, Grande Punto and Linea – against 17,079 cars for the same period last year.) The company is betting big on its sub Rs 4-lakh car which will be launched in end-2012.

By 2014, Fiat is looking at sales of 130,000 cars in India which translates into a 5 per cent market share. The small car will be a key component of this target and is expected to do at least 6,000 units a month. By that time, it is imperative for Fiat to get its act together on the retail front.

“The company cannot afford any goof-ups as this product is critical to the first phase of building its market share in India. If anything were to go wrong, it would be back to the drawing board,” an automobile executive said.

New retail plan
This explains why the new retail plan is so important. Between now and 2012 (when the small car is due to debut),
Fiat would like to convey its India vision to the customer. This is particularly relevant when some of its earlier offerings such as the Uno and Palio, which promised plenty, lost their way after dramatic starts.

The Uno, in fact, was touted as the first challenger to the Maruti Zen way back in 1995-96. It had everything going in its favour, including a diesel engine, but a lockout at the Mumbai plant resulted in production schedules going haywire. This was a big setback for a car that had garnered nearly three-lakh bookings at that time.

Likewise, the Palio began with a bang but Fiat just could not capitalise on the initial momentum. There were issues with dealers too who were grappling with huge stocks. What was particularly painful is that headquarters in Turin were sorting out their own problems which, in a sense, hit the India operations.

Starting afresh
Since that time, Fiat has decided to start on a fresh note with Tata Motors. India is just too important a market to ignore and from the company's point of view, it makes more sense to take one thing at a time.

What is interesting, though, is that Chrysler products do not feature in its five-year vision plan for India.
On the other hand, Russia, China and Brazil will get a larger range of cars and sport-utility vehicles till 2014. Fiat bought a 20 per cent stake in Chrysler as part of a bail out package and is bullish on its turnaround prospects.

Last edited by .anshuman : 28th December 2010 at 16:48. Reason: Quoting the article for better readability
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Old 28th December 2010, 09:52   #124
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

I spoke to the Sales Manager at one of the Tata dealership and asked him why FIAT chose to go with Tata. The answer he gave was that initially in 2006-07 FIAT wanted to start alone but no dealer was willing to trust FIAT and invest in a FIAT dealership. The response across the country was poor. Hence FIAT chose to move ahead via the JV route.
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Old 28th December 2010, 09:55   #125
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

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Originally Posted by Pyrotek View Post
I read tha article in the business line, and clearly nobody has any details yet about what the 'new' retail strategy is going to be.
Fiat-only boutique showrooms. Typically, these are smaller dealerships that sell you on the experience as much as the car. More details over on this thread (Fiat says Tata, all set to launch brand stores).
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Old 28th December 2010, 10:16   #126
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

There is a severe marketing communication issue w.r.t the retail of FIAT branded vehicles in India. This has got nothing to do with the products being retailed from "XYZ" showroom, because even today if FIAT were to piggyback on another OEM retail outlets the effect would have been the same.
Let us analyse a few things:
1) The reason for NOT buying a FIAT was not the products - as the products were indeed pretty good - it was the pathetic level of after sales service and the scarcity of spare parts which sullied the brand.

2) In recent years the product range has improved with the LINEA and the PUNTO which are genuinely good vehicles and appreciated by their owners.
Service point availability, quality of service and availability of spare parts have also improved a lot.

Now the real point is : how many of the potential customer base really know that ?

FIAT is relying too much on positive word of mouth publicity. Yes, positive word of mouth publicity is good but it takes time, a long time to take effect - and FIAT does not have that time now in India.

What FIAT needs to do is to become very bold : the top management has to stick their necks out and run a series of advertisements and bombard the media saying that FIAT seeks forgiveness from its customers for the horror of FIAT servicing of yesteryears which is now over and that customers now should try the new FIAT and feel the difference. The focus of the ad series should be on SERVICE, SERVICE and only SERVICE.

Of course, before this the spare parts pipleline at the dealer end has to be full.
Enough new vehicles have to be there in the dealer pipeline for the expected rise new vehicle orders and setting up of a department at FIAT management end who will only monitor this activity and report to the CEO on a DAILY basis.

This is exactly what VW did when it took a controlling stake in SKODA in the late 90's in Europe.
As you all know SKODA was the butt of all jokes in mainland Europe and they had all the problems in the world which were far, far more serious than what FIAT is facing now. VW called the project "How to turn a brand from hell into one helluva' brand" - and it worked - just see the reputation and credibility of the SKODA brand now - even in Europe, the toughest car market in the world. FIAT can easily do it. All it needs is a bit of guts and gumption.
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Old 28th December 2010, 10:45   #127
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

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Originally Posted by arjab View Post
Service point availability, quality of service and availability of spare parts have also improved a lot.

Now the real point is : how many of the potential customer base really know that ?

FIAT is relying too much on positive word of mouth publicity. Yes, positive word of mouth publicity is good but it takes time, a long time to take effect - and FIAT does not have that time now in India.

What FIAT needs to do is to become very bold : the top management has to stick their necks out and run a series of advertisements and bombard the media saying that FIAT seeks forgiveness from its customers for the horror of FIAT servicing of yesteryears which is now over and that customers now should try the new FIAT and feel the difference. The focus of the ad series should be on SERVICE, SERVICE and only SERVICE.

Of course, before this the spare parts pipleline at the dealer end has to be full.
It is not about service alone. I being an existing Fiat customer know that Fiat service currently is as good as other new entrants. But still I am not able to convince myself to go for another Fiat product. The reason is 'lingering Uncertainity about Tata-Fiat tieup'. What if both decide to part way next year? Or year after next? I was left in lurch when most of Fiat's showroom shut off earlier on my face. What is the guarantee that it won't happen again (especially going by the current sales volume of Fiat vehicles)? In my view if the Fiat vehicle is backed with Tata name (i.e. joint branding) then I an sure of its service guarantee. That is the only way they are going to survive. Tata & Fiat have to jointly show commitment to their JV. Currently Tata is watching silently as it suits them. Another (easy & immediate) way out could be service guarantee for at least next 7 years (a usual loan period) by Tata at their showrooms.
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Old 28th December 2010, 13:26   #128
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

3 things can change the Fiat sell.

1. Good advertising, they should show the technology and multijet mileage and concentrate more on the car instead of showing the bollywood song in their advertisment.
2. Seperate servicing department. They have same person for both Tata and Fiat for tacking the car into service bay. When last time I was in service queue for my Palio, there were around 6-7 Indica cabs and lot of other tata's with their drivers, makes really uncomfirtable, because most of the fiat owner driven by own and not drivers. Obiviously part availability is important.
3. Seperate sells department for Fiat cars with proper knowledge of each feature and technology.
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Old 28th December 2010, 14:23   #129
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

This is a true Incident:

I Finalized on buying a Fiat Punto, went to the showroom with cheque book in hand. The same sales guy who was showing me around Punto, told me that if I change m mind now and book a Manza, He would give me a Parking Aid system free of cost . NO, he was not kidding, I double checked.

What could I say..Any normal Joe (read "kitna Deti hai mentality guy"), would go for Manza.

My Point is, is this the TATA's way of handling a Joint Venture..? I would say it is refined Birbery of Customers and Clear example of cheating FIAT.
Wake up FIAT..!
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Old 28th December 2010, 14:23   #130
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay0612 View Post
.
.
The reason is 'lingering Uncertainity about Tata-Fiat tieup'. What if both decide to part way next year? Or year after next?
.
.
+1 to that. I almost booked Linea early this month, but the same thoughts refrained me.

I wonder why FIAT is not coming up with "zero maintenance cost" package, like GM did? It really hurts to see such an amazing cars getting declined in market.

Now I may get a lot of bashing for this comment, but really what's the big deal about "tank like build quality" which is added by extra sheet metal? Does everybody needs a tank to travel? What about practicality? What about those lighter vehicles of competitors, don't those pass safety tests? Do these vehicle crumble like house of cards sending passengers to graveyard?

IMO for a normal customer safety, performance and economy (not just FE but cost of owning the vehicle) are equally important. Why can't FIAT carry out a little liposuction for their vehicles and improve more on FE and performance?

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by pawan_pullarwar View Post
3 things can change the Fiat sell.

1. Good advertising
2. Seperate servicing department
3. Seperate sells department for Fiat cars with proper knowledge of each feature and technology.
Yup adding these to the list as well, there is no way to restrict FIAT from being successful in India.

Common FIAT play your best game!

Last edited by xPK : 28th December 2010 at 14:28.
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Old 28th December 2010, 15:35   #131
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

A lot has been said in the past about bad service quality of Fiat in general and my only question is - do the owners also feel the same? So far, all the owners of Fiats I have met are not disappointed by service, on the contrary they are glad. Service is prompt, follow-ups are routine even after a month (which I never did in 5 years of Maruti and 5 years of Honda ownership, all you get is a feedback form and a call immediately after the service).

I have only driven my Linea around 2000 kms in 5 months of ownership and haven't faced a single issue. So, only people who haven't even touched a Fiat complain about the bad service and quality of the cars.

And there are a lot of people willing to buy a hatchback or a sedan; scared by Fiat's negative brand halo. Fiat earned its bad image when it was not a partner of Tata and they were somehow able to ressurrect its image after the JV. But Tata-Fiat dealers are to blame for this effect as well. Lack of passion, uninformed executives, lack of training is evident at the dealerships. We must remember that Fiat buyers are very centered on urban locations such as B'lore, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai... where customers are connected, knowledgeable, aware and passionate. It's the job of sales executive to convert a regular visitor into a passionate enthusiast and eventually a customer. Tata-Fiat dealerships fail to do so.

Second issue, which I feel is very important - Brand Communication. Why don't we have Schumacher ad for T-Jet, what we get here is slow motion love affair for a FIAT. Please get over the love affair syndrome FIAT! In today's times people fall in love multiple times and settle for one. It's not the love affair that matters, it's the settlement feel that's important. In none of the Fiat ads they exude product quality, strength, great service network, cheaper spare parts - where is that communication? Fiat thinks that their Blue&Me is a massive differentiator (I am not debating it's effectiveness as I love it) but Cars rarely sell on differentiators.

To me communicating, and communicating aggressively to the potential customers about Fiat and develop that practical connect than emotion is more important and Fiat should focus their energies towards that.
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Old 28th December 2010, 15:39   #132
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

Quote:
Originally Posted by xPK View Post
+1 to that. I almost booked Linea early this month, but the same thoughts refrained me.

I wonder why FIAT is not coming up with "zero maintenance cost" package, like GM did? It really hurts to see such an amazing cars getting declined in market.

Now I may get a lot of bashing for this comment, but really what's the big deal about "tank like build quality" which is added by extra sheet metal? Does everybody needs a tank to travel? What about practicality? What about those lighter vehicles of competitors, don't those pass safety tests? Do these vehicle crumble like house of cards sending passengers to graveyard?

IMO for a normal customer safety, performance and economy (not just FE but cost of owning the vehicle) are equally important. Why can't FIAT carry out a little liposuction for their vehicles and improve more on FE and performance?

EDIT:


Yup adding these to the list as well, there is no way to restrict FIAT from being successful in India.

Common FIAT play your best game!
I would totally disagree with you. Fiat's have always been known for their solid build and that is why so many people love their cars. This solid construction is what gives the driver a safe feeling and the superb stability at high speeds.

Fiat is here to stay. The Indian market is too big to be ignored, besides they are developing a mini car for India which will launch in 2012.
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Old 28th December 2010, 15:56   #133
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Default Re: Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

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Originally Posted by vidyasagar View Post
Went to the showroom with cheque book in hand. The same sales guy who was showing me around Punto, told me that if I change m mind now and book a Manza, He would give me a Parking Aid system free of cost . NO, he was not kidding, I double checked.
Well. I have been to few Tata-Fiat Showrooms recently and I found that there are dedicated staff (Both in sales and service) for Fiat Cars. They do not talk about Tata Cars, they do not force the customers to look for Tata cars, they do not compare Fiat Cars with Tata's etc. I have been dealt in a way like I was in Fiat Showroom and not Tata-Fiat Showroom.

Last edited by anonymous : 28th December 2010 at 16:07.
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Old 28th December 2010, 16:20   #134
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Originally Posted by vivekshukla View Post
ASo, only people who haven't even touched a Fiat complain about the bad service and quality of the cars.
Frankly these are the people that matter the most to Fiat. People like you and me have bought a FIAT since we love their cars. People who buy a Maruti do not share the same feelings for their car like we do. But then possionate car lover (or FIAT lovers) are rare in this country. Also I would say that even when the product has been improved to suit the needs of a true enthusiast, the sales are still poor.

Hence I say, the people who d onot own a FIAT, have never driven a FIAT are the most important people as far as FIAT is concerned.
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Old 28th December 2010, 16:35   #135
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Originally Posted by xPK View Post
Now I may get a lot of bashing for this comment, but really what's the big deal about "tank like build quality" which is added by extra sheet metal? Does everybody needs a tank to travel? What about practicality? What about those lighter vehicles of competitors, don't those pass safety tests? Do these vehicle crumble like house of cards sending passengers to graveyard?
build like tank actually adds extra safety to the car compare to the lighter vehicle. If the vehicle is light, you will scare of doing high speed, you wouldn’t get handling at high speed. I do most of the highway driving at 120+ KMPH in my Palio easily, and never felt like doing high speed. I always floor the accelerator full in my Palio 1.2 and many times touch 140 KMPH, without being worried about high speed stability (no rash driving). This is because Palio is 1040 KG heavier and including passenger and luggage it must be above 1200 KG which helps the car stick with the road.
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