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Old 4th August 2011, 10:21   #46
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Default Re: Fiat - What's the way forward?

My take:
A car is still a major investment for most of us. One wants to put his money where he is assured of making a good return. In case of a car, one would like to buy one whose future appears certain on the horizon (in the form of continuation of model, after sales service, parts supply, resale value, etc).
And also, 'once bitten, twice shy' maxim holds true for such major investments.
In case of Fiat, they had already left teir customers in lurch once when all their showrooms shut their shops 7-8 years back. Owners of Fiat Uno, Palio etc were left wondering where to go for replacement of even the routine parts (belts, rubber parts, etc.). So they won't dare to buy another Fiat product, especially when the future of their investment is again uncertain due to falling sales and uneasy arrangement with Tata.

The only way out for Fiat is, to launch a product which is value for money and for which there is little competition, rather for which there is demand but offerings are less. And that is:

Value for money SUV, Mini SUV, MUV segment. They have some products like Doblo, Cubo, etc. which can do the job. That is the only way for them to survive. Launch a product (with wafer thin margin) which has enough demand and less competition and start building up afresh from there. At the same time they must sell this product from their own exclusive dealerships.

A well designed such product will tower over existing domestic offerings and its ruggedness will not unduly perturb the buyer due to far and few dealerships at the start. As we can see people are ready to lap up Renault Duster (Renault also has thin dealership network).
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Old 4th August 2011, 10:41   #47
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Default Re: Fiat - What's the way forward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay0612 View Post
My take:
A car is still a major investment for most of us. One wants to put his money where he is assured of making a good return. In case of a car, one would like to buy one whose future appears certain on the horizon (in the form of continuation of model, after sales service, parts supply, resale value, etc).
And also, 'once bitten, twice shy' maxim holds true for such major investments.
In case of Fiat, they had already left teir customers in lurch once when all their showrooms shut their shops 7-8 years back. Owners of Fiat Uno, Palio etc were left wondering where to go for replacement of even the routine parts (belts, rubber parts, etc.). So they won't dare to buy another Fiat product, especially when the future of their investment is again uncertain due to falling sales and uneasy arrangement with Tata.
I dont think there is any risk at all of FIAT leaving the Indian market at all. There may be concerns expressed by Tata in the Tata-FIAT JV, but thats mainly because they feel FIAT can do much better than it is. Remember the Tata-FIAT partnership is much deeper than say the Mahindra-Renault partnership was. Tata Daewoo trucks are available with FIAT engines and in the future in India too. Fiat may even set up a truck engine plant in India in the coming years. Tata cars are made at the FIAT factory. Mr. Tata sits on the international board of the FIAT group.
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Old 4th August 2011, 10:41   #48
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Default Re: Fiat - What's the way forward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay0612 View Post
My take:
1) A car is still a major investment for most of us. One wants to put his money where he is assured of making a good return. In case of a car, one would like to buy one whose future appears certain on the horizon...

2) The only way out for Fiat is, to launch a product which is value for money and for which there is little competition, rather for which there is demand but offerings are less. And that is:

Value for money SUV, Mini SUV, MUV segment. They have some products like Doblo, Cubo, etc. which can do the job. That is the only way for them to survive. Launch a product (with wafer thin margin) which has enough demand and less competition and start building up afresh from there. At the same time they must sell this product from their own exclusive dealerships.

A well designed such product will tower over existing domestic offerings and its ruggedness will not unduly perturb the buyer due to far and few dealerships at the start. As we can see people are ready to lap up Renault Duster (Renault also has thin dealership network).
1) Thats why I brought in the topic of trust. People have lost trust in the brand.

2) Here is where I feel a small car below Punto can help. Fighting in the Wagon R/i10 level can help Fiat IMO.

MUV : Tavera has a good presence. Close to that we have Innova. Its an MPV, but under the skin its the same platform as Hilux ( the current one ). In smaller MPV category we already have RIII lined up by Suzuki. GM is going to launch a MPV ( name is supposed to start from N that is what I have heard ) spyshots of which are on a separate thread on TBHP.
Xylo has made its own carving in the market.

Not the best way to enter a new market. Also the value for money propostion of Linea will go to waste. Already Linea is suffering due to pricing. Vento and Verna are offering more features with better motors.

Small SUV : Margins are too less thats why this void is present. Else Jimmy would be on our streets by now with the diesel heart.
Very critical segment with a lot of focus on pricing. Dont think that Fiat can break into this.

VFM SUV : Going by current pricing, the VFM segment can be called Rs. 9-12 lakh one. We already have Scorpio, Safari lined up here. Plus again the diesel sedans including the higher variants of Linea.
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Old 4th August 2011, 10:44   #49
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Default Re: Fiat - What's the way forward?

I have been hell bent on getting a Punto for almost a year. Whenever the question of getting a small car for city use has been raised I have always said that It is either Punto or anyother car even with a boot is just a compromise for me. My dad is a petrolhead and has driven a lot of cars and owned a lot of cars. But even he thinks that Fiat will close again not because it has shut shop twice already but he tracks the car sales each month himself. He has also test driven punto and says it is even better than the swift petrol that we once owned which had a hydraulic unit.

It is coming from a person who took a huge risk by purchasing Tata Aria. So there is something really wrong with Fiat. Something just doesn't tick right with people.

All this has made me really consider cars like figo and beat-d. Atleast I could have purchased the ZXi model last year and saved almost 50k with all the features that have been omitted.
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Old 4th August 2011, 11:19   #50
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Default Re: Fiat - What's the way forward?

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Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
Fiat has recently tried to its level best (T-Jet) but the results were not satisfactory. It is not because their cars are bad. It is because their cars lack the primary requirements of Indian customers. In India if you need to be successful, there are 3 things you need to look for.
  • Space
  • Interiors
  • FE
And these are where Fiat has failed miserably. Even the best offering from Fiat (T-Jet) comes with interiors that look a few generations old. It does not have the quality of materials or plastics that needs to be there in the segment. The fit and finish is way below par.

The next drawback is simply being overweight. Being lighter not only helps in achieving better FE but also improves performance. Most of the fiat cars are the slowest of the lot. Be it Punto 1.2P or 1.3D. Be it Linea 1.4P or 1.3D.

What Fiat needs to do.
  • Better interiors (way better)
  • 1.6L Mjd
  • AMC (similar to what GM provides)
Even thought I agree with the list of things Fiat needs to do, the reasons listed for the brand to fail is not true.
  • Space - Manza looks like it can accommodate a Dzire inside but still sells less
  • Interiors - Fortuner, whose interiors are shared by a vehicle less than half its cost still sells like hot pancakes
  • FE - Tata now makes vehicles with best F.E but still would not even come close to MS when it comes to sales.

The brand Fiat carries a major knapsack of all its past failures and that includes some bad management (Fiat Uno), horrible F.E cars (Palio) etc.

The F.E of their present vehicles including the TJet is not bad and the interiors of the Linea is not generations old but designed to look retro!

But like you said the need of the hour for Fiat is definitely better quality interiors and service along with better quality check.
AMC would boost owner confidence.
1.6 MJD for the Linea, long due.
Better tuning of their vehicles like gearing of Punto 90
and a better marketing campaign to improve product and brand visibility.
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Old 4th August 2011, 11:50   #51
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

Discussing what Fiat should do what they should not has become a monthly routine after the sales figures get published. I'm sure its quite clear to them where the problem areas are.
  • Expand Product range - The Fiat India spec small car is almost ready and my guess is it will be launched at the Auto Expo 2012 in Jan
  • Fiat Image - They have made the first steps, with two brand centres being set up at Pune & Delhi. I'm not whether this will help as the sale will eventually be through a Tata- Fiat dealer
  • Introduce an AMC program and market it VERY aggressively, similar to what Hyundai did in the US with their 10 year warranty !. Something tells me this will come with the small car launch.

Fiat is right now focusing all its attention on the Chrysler deal and the lunch of the 500 in the US. At their recent meeting, the Fiat & Chrysler managements have been put under a single umbrella, so we can look forward to some Chrysler products in India (although there are no plans for India as of now)

Not to forget, there have been management changes at Fiat India, with a new VP who's come in from Italy. I'm sure there will be some change, but more for the long term than to just increase sales of the Punto & Linea.
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Old 4th August 2011, 13:14   #52
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiat_tarun View Post

Fiat is right now focusing all its attention on the Chrysler deal and the lunch of the 500 in the US. At their recent meeting, the Fiat & Chrysler managements have been put under a single umbrella, so we can look forward to some Chrysler products in India (although there are no plans for India as of now).
Little OT:

The Chrysler deal is pretty much complete. Fiat have bought out the US Govts stake in the company, making them owners of more than 50% of Chrysler.

Just in that spirit, people doubting that the FIAT-Tata partnership may not be for long, here is a link of the board of directors of the FIAT group.
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Old 4th August 2011, 17:12   #53
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

Fiat's task is simple, if they have the will.
Just copy what GM has done in India, after they lost all trust
because of the OPEL debacle.

Came back with Chevy. Did everything possible to bring back trust.
1. Sent their Global CEO to India and drove home the 'Faith'
2. Kept launching new models un-mindful of flops
3. Launched the 3 year Promise
4. Launched the cashless AMC
Today they have a segment leader Cruze, another small car that has clocked more than 5k units this month and another 2 decently selling vehicles, Spark and Tavera.
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Old 6th August 2011, 18:25   #54
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

Looks like the guys at Fiat are listening to the convo in this thread and are taking some pretty serious steps to increase sales and make the Indian public aware of the Fiat brand. IndianCarsBikes reports that Fiat has followed in BMW, Ford and Mercedes-Benz's footsteps and is planning to open special cafes all across India in collaboration with Lavazza, the coffee giant. The first ever Fiat India cafe will be opened in New Delhi and Pune next month.

Ravi Bhatia, VP, Fiat India:

Quote:
"The idea is to bring out the Italian-ness of Fiat while introducing the style and technology to consumers. The attempt to increase sales is definitely one of the reasons for opening cafes in India. It will be the face of Fiat in India."
More info here - http://www.indiancarsbikes.in/auto-n...00/#more-46600

Last edited by RavenAvi : 6th August 2011 at 18:34.
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Old 6th August 2011, 20:09   #55
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

Fiat need to address the quality issues first. The problem with them is they come with some sloppy engines / pathetic quality first and then spoil their name. Once the dust settles, they bring better engines / upgrade quality. They dont realise that the damage is done the first time itself and people will be skeptical about going for this model even after the upgrade.

Fiat needs to bring in some astonishing cars with good quality parts, performance engines which have decent FE. Improve the A$$ and implement some cashless AMC. That's the only way you can go forward. If possible, have your own showrooms. The TATA sales guys are a bigger threat to your sales, who will convert a prospective Fiat customer to a TATA customer. Their attitude is seriously dejecting.

I guess the "Cafe" stuff has been discussed for almost a year or more. Still no sign of it. One more thing Fiat, your response need to be faster.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 6th August 2011 at 20:12.
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Old 6th August 2011, 23:47   #56
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

Looking at the comments above it seems most people feel Fiat products are expensive , pathetic interiors and full of problems .My neighbor just bought a TJet and actually i would say at that price point it is a awesome product and interiors are put much better than what that price gets me . I donot know what Fiat needs to do what i know those who know there cars will go and buy one no matter what MAKE.
Also people have made statements saying Fiat parts take long time to come to them .
We have a Maruti Zen 2003 and living in Delhi 30kms from Maruti Factory there are so many parts which Maruti does not provide anymore(I mean it is not available anymore) that i have lost count of these parts .And every M.A.S.S i ever went to is only happy if customer is not specific about issues and customer returns thinking it is like this only .

Last edited by Trust_In_Thrust : 6th August 2011 at 23:56.
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Old 7th August 2011, 00:07   #57
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

Fiat!

Where else in India would you get suggestions, tips and advise? Yes, some might not be as good as the others, or one might not find it profitable enough from a businessman's POV, but all suggestions made are very sincere and all of us want you to rise and shine

But, please do act fast. Your reluctance to act is being shown up in monthly sales and your desperate advertisements.

Most of the Fiat's customers are people who value feel of a Car and they too are reluctant to, because of the service center's incompetency and lackluster attitude of the sales persons (though I had very pleasant experience, personally, of sales)

I am sure more than 50% Fiat's are owned by Team-Bhpians and Turbo-Jet Linea? Who buys a petrol Car priced above its diesel counter-part? Us. The enthusiast.

It still ain't late. Wish you the best

Last edited by Sheel : 7th August 2011 at 00:09.
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Old 7th August 2011, 16:31   #58
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

It pains to see dwindling Fiat numbers. Fiat and Tata both need to wake up. Linea and Punto are the kind of cars that really dont deserve sub 1000 levels.

Linea/Punto are packed with features which,sadly, don't even find mention in advertisements.

Renault Fluence (diesel) costing upwards of 13 lakhs doesnt even have a climate control feature, leave aside rear AC vents. I thinks its a crime. In a sedan upwards of 10 lakhs I would expect such features are a standard. Thank god at least it has power windows.

Tata needs to stop giving step brotherly treatment to Fiat, and Fiat needs to WAKE UP.
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Old 7th August 2011, 17:35   #59
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

I doubt if things are going to work out between Tata and Fiat. I for one would be more happy if Tata Motors stops servicing(?) Fiat cars.

1. As Maverick pointed out the step brotherly treatment that Fiat customer's get @ TASS. At the beginning to the JV things were pretty good I would say but these days, TASS guys handle my car's issues as if I have taken a Maruti to TASS for servicing. I just hate the way I am treated at the service center. The guys would make me feel guilty for buying a Fiat car by saying 'You shouldn't have bought Fiat. Tata spares are easily available.' Hello, isn't it a joint venture?

2. Recently me and one of my friend who owns Punto visited a TASS for replacement of some parts. The spare parts guy said it could take four weeks. Then I asked him to place the order and let me know the order no. His reply was Siebel system has developed some issue, and that he will place the order once the system is up. I didn't buy the argument. I asked him if the orders for Tata spares were going through. He answered in positive. So if the resistance to Fiat cars has developed at such a lower level, I don't see any reason why Tata and Fiat should stay together for the heck of it. As a Fiat customer I would be the happiest person on the earth if I could be freed from the mental harassment that I am subjected to at TASS.

3. Tata motors might be thinking that Fiat is losing customers or its Fiat who is at loss. But they are wrong. Most of the Fiat car owners I have spoken to blame Tata motors for their hardships. So its Tata's name thats at stake. I am not going to buy a Tata in my lifetime. Period. And I will make sure the horror stories at your service centers are passed on to the generations to come.

The only silver lining in this is the car itself. I just love the way it drives. but Thumbs down to Tata Motors for ruining future of Fiat beauties in India.

And Fiat you need to get your act together as well. I am yet to receive a call regd the complaint registered with you. its more than 2 weeks. What happened to 72 hours SLA? You can't just sell the 7/8 lac car and dump the customer like that.

Go solo.

Anyone planning to buy Fiat cars, here is my advice. The cars are too good but do consider the service center aspect very seriously. It can ruin your entire car ownership experience.
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Old 7th August 2011, 23:16   #60
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Default Re: Will Tata Motors and Fiat ride out the jinx?

its real bad fate of fiat in india. also due to TASS and past reputation of fiat many indian customer overlook the beauty and package in low cost , that we get out of punto and linea.

here in germany every 3rd 4th car is a punto. i see as many puntos as polos.

had it been maruti launching linea or punto all indians would be standing in a queue for booking outside the showrooms.

Last edited by amit_mechengg : 7th August 2011 at 23:17.
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