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Old 21st July 2010, 11:32   #1
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Default Tata power fails to push Fiat sales

Mod Note : Please continue the discussion in the new thread (Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network). Thanks


Someone got a Sumo Grande to TD while she requested for Grande Punto lol

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NEW DELHI: It was quite an experience for Naina Shankar, a young corporate executive, who decided to buy Grande Punto, the stylish compact car of Fiat. Surprisingly, Shankar received Tata's Sumo Grande at her doorstep for a test drive. The dealer, who manages both Tata and Fiat brands, apparently got confused and sent Tata's multi-utility vehicle to Shankar instead.

The confusion, say people associated with the industry, is not a one-off case and points to a wider on-ground problems in the joint venture between Tata Motors and Fiat. The two companies have a 50:50 joint venture — Fiat India Automobiles Ltd — for manufacturing cars and engines for both brands at a factory in Maharashtra. Fiat has also entrusted Tata Motors to distribute and sell its cars through the latter's dealerships, which also provide after-sales support. It is here that the Italian carmaker seems to be facing issues, something that can be seen from its moderate run with sales.

While not commenting adversely on the experience with Tata Motors, Rajeev Kapoor, MD of Fiat's India operations, concedes that the company's sales could have been better, considering it has two competitive products — Linea sedan and Punto compact, both of which come with petrol and diesel engine options. "Yes, the numbers could have been better," Kapoor told TOI.

Against 60 joint-branded dealerships last year, the Tata-Fiat sales and service network has grown nearly three-fold to 175 now. However, the network expansion has not helped much with numbers for Fiat, which has an abysmal 1.6% share of the market. While the company's sales rose 208% in 2009-10, the actual numbers are very less compared to the size of the Indian car market as it sold only 24,806 units in 2009-10 against an overall market size of 1.52 million units.

While dealers refused to speak on the matter on record, some of them say in private that there have been issues after Fiat was incorporated within the Tata's sales network. But things are improving and the Fiat brand is picking up, one of them said. However, a potential Fiat customer had an almost similar experience like Shankar when he visited a showroom and enquired about Grande Punto. "I wanted to go for the Punto, but I was discouraged. I was told that Tata brand Indica is a better bet."

A look at Fiat's sales numbers over the last six months shows its monthly volumes averaged just a little over 2100 units, less than even what an age-old car like Maruti800 does — at over 2500 units. When contacted, a spokesperson for Tata Motors said, "We are happy with the manner in which the joint venture is progressing as per plan. We are pleased with the performance of the brand in the market. Together, Tata Motors and Fiat are a force in the market".

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."
I think Fiat is losing more from this partnership than gaining. They have got a widespread network but in return they have also got the not so good Tata service centers. I don't care attitude of service centers towards customers. Service people are not trained well for Fiats. I don't want to say anything about parts availability which has been discussed to death here.

from here Tata power fails to push Fiat sales - India Business - Business - The Times of India

Last edited by GTO : 2nd May 2012 at 21:13. Reason: Adding link to new thread
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Old 21st July 2010, 11:39   #2
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I remember when I was planning for a sedan in the late 2009 and wanted to enquire about the Linea. Had visited a TATA Showroom in Thane, Wagle Estate. There was least effort by the salesman to show me the Linea, rather they were interested in promoting the newly launched Manza. Inspite of my waiting for 1/2 hr for Linea TD, I was not given one. Later again after few day when I visited the showroom for Manza TD, I was immeiately attended by Salesmen.

This goes to show that TATA's are least bothered with FIAT sales and may have entered into the partnership just to get the technological knowhow. I think once Nano production ramps up I would not be surprised if the alliance is called off.
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Old 21st July 2010, 11:46   #3
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What is interesting to see here, why showrooms attend potential Tata Car buyers immediately and show careless attitude towards Fiat customers. Is it that they get more profit by selling Tata Cars and not Fiat cars. I think they get the same level of profit by selling either brands. So why are they so reluctant for Fiat Car Sales?
As far as TASS is concerned, there was a Poll on Team BHP to find out the ratio of satisfied vs non satisfied customers and as per the poll results, the majority of the fiat owners were pretty satisfied with the services they were getting from TASS.
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Old 21st July 2010, 11:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
This goes to show that TATA's are least bothered with FIAT sales and may have entered into the partnership just to get the technological knowhow.
Why can't FIAT have a dedicated sales person in each showroom to attend to FIAT vehicle inquiries? On their rolls.

Same may apply to service stations too.
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:00   #5
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The TATA's are gaining at the cost of Fiat, there is no doubt in this. Because they reduce costs due to combined manufacturing of parts and engine and also gain by displaying some Fiat cars in their showrooms which brings in more customers.

It's a pity, Fiat Italy doesn't care about the Indian market though Fiat India wants to sell more cars and gain market share. Maybe the margins are not attractive for them what with US GM under their belt now.
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:00   #6
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+1 to that. In fact, Fiat has had more losses than advantages by going with Tata. Mainly due to the fact, that Tata Motors has never been an aggressive sales co to begin with. This coupled with poor brand orientation has worsened things further.
Also to be considered is the fact that the attitude, professionalism, knowledge levels and orientation at Tata showrooms is below par compared to say Maruti or Hyundai.

I believe it is high time Fiat took things in its own hands. It has really good automobiles in its arsenal.
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:04   #7
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From the sales charts, Fiat sales have improved after Tata push. Yes, they do not sell as many cars they should, but before Tata, fiat was doing worse. So blaming Tata for Fiat fiasco is just a way of shifting the blame to "other entity".
Fiat is a big company, and they can very well afford to have dedicated sales persons and dedicated floor space.
Infact, in Automobile Sterling, there is a set of sales agents catering to Fiat cars, and Fiat cars also get equal showroom space.
So its upto Fiat to get what it can from Tata tie up. Tata is not going to go out of the way to push Fiat.
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:06   #8
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I was thinking of starting new thread similar to this topic only

I think Fiat should sell cars under brand name of TATA. TATA - Grande Punto & TATA Linea. It may sound little weird, but i guess it will work. Vista & Manza are quite successful in the market though they have there own issues. But they are doing well with Fiat engines. Manza is manufactured in Fiat facility only. It is very successful. Tata has one of the biggest brand name in India. It will definitely help to sell Fiat cars. Fiat should launch there future cars under brand name of tata & they will surely get success IMO.

Its really bad to see that Punto & Linea are not doing well just because they are from Fiat. I am sure if they would have launched those cars under Tata badge, they would have done much better. Your opinions guys???
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:06   #9
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I had visited a TATA showroom in ambathur (next to HCL - AMB-4) to checkout the punto. The SA was more interested in selling the Manza. I told him I was more interested in a hatch, he went to an extent of telling that Manza is a premium/luxury hatch which offers more features than Punto. I insisted and did a TD of Punto, even after the TD I was offered a TD of Manza. I was happy with Manza but never ended buying it. I am sure TATA sales is partially driven by having FIAT cars in their showroom.
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:28   #10
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This has been discussed on other threads as well.

It is also the Fiat Brand Image in India built from the time they went solo and manged things themselved prior to tie-up with TATA that is affecting it.

Yep the marketing and service association could have done better, but am sure there is more to it than meets the eye.

Product / Spares sourcing and availability as well as Training of the Dealer network would be a Fiat responsibility. How do you blame a dealer who sees better margins or better sales possibility on a TATA compared to a FIAT from picking favourites. Yes this bit of bias can be reduced but not completely eleminated.

I believe that inspite of every thing this partnership is good for FIAT and that a FIAT buyer would feel more assured getting service under the tie-up that from FIAT solo.

Yes goof ups like the one reported in Times would happen but overall this works for FIAT.
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:30   #11
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fiat italy may not be that interested in pushing car sales here. even if a manza sells, they get money from the engine. so when a guy walks in for linea and ends up with manza, they say: "not bad, atleast he bought my engine".

and then, most people are scared of fiat. and the poor finish on their premium hatch ( and sub-optimal on mid-C linea) don't help either. I am seriously staring at linea D E+ and the only thing stopping me is the A-S-S and the horror stories of spares never coming in..

Last edited by BuRnT RuBbEr : 21st July 2010 at 12:32.
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Old 21st July 2010, 12:52   #12
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FYI, this might be OT, Fiat sells FGT Multijet engine including gearbox for Rs.1.25 lakhs to TATA which goes into Vista QJD. This engine is manufactured in Tata Fiat JV Ranjangaon Plant still Tata needs to pay this much.
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Old 21st July 2010, 13:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuRnT RuBbEr View Post
fiat italy may not be that interested in pushing car sales here. even if a manza sells, they get money from the engine. so when a guy walks in for linea and ends up with manza, they say: "not bad, atleast he bought my engine".
If Fiat was interested in selling just the engines they could have done a tie up for the same, why build a manufacturing plant, spend so much and still depend on TATAs to promote their cars.
They have good machine in their back yard but I guess are too lazy to promote on their own. This had happened earlier too when they had tied up with Premier Autombiles thinking they can use the Premier network to boosts sales. Nothing happened then and nothing is hapenning now with Tata tie up. Still depending on Tata to promote their brands.
There is not point in introducing new models until and unless the sales show a rise in the graph.
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Old 21st July 2010, 13:14   #14
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They should exit and re-enter the market with a different name!!

They don't have the resources or they are in one of the stages of denial (or their fans are)
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Old 21st July 2010, 13:24   #15
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I guess that maybe the reason that they are happy enough to sell the engine. but again why give bad name to the brand by such a service center experience. Also one of the incident i like to tell, one of colleague wanted to buy a hatchback 3-4 months back. he test drove everything from a-star to jazz. but Fiat GP never showed up, he called 2 times. Its been 3 month and no TD car. its a different thing that he has already bought spark.
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