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Old 12th September 2008, 09:32   #1216
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Camry's figures may have picked up at your dealer, but at a national levels, sales were 501 in Jan-Aug 08, compared with 720 in Jan-Aug 2007. Yes, they have picked up in last 2-3 mths as the excel sheet shows.
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Old 12th September 2008, 10:32   #1217
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Originally Posted by vasudeva
Fiat has not been able to sustain its early increase and is going down every month. At this rate, within a month or two, Palio petrol+diesel in say 11/08 will equal Palio Petrol in say 1/08.
Valid observation. Though the 08 decrease is partly courtesy the Vista effect.

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Originally Posted by GTO
MJD or not MJD, the Palio's case is finished. Indian's have a long memory...I suggest they discontinue the Palio and focus, instead, on their more contemporary cars. Surprisingly, GM's Spark has held up well relative to its competition.
GTO, completely incorrect logic. The reason the palio's case is finished is NOT Indian's long memory but three simple reasons:
a. Spares are still expensive (even the "localized ones"). The Brazilian stuff is obscene - a bumper for 12000!!
b. Tata reps are hopeless at selling the Palio. Their basic homework is zilch. Not met one guy who can sell the Palio saying anything except European styling/build - there is zilch marketing/pushing and no one has a clue as to how to sell it. And with the vista now, the average Fiat rep is more lethargic than ever. They can't even take part in mileage tests and shout that now their cars(MJD) are as efficient as others. Ofc, the old grouse of low(er) mileage still remains for the P.
Has anyone here even seen a hoarding for the Palio? The 500ad doesn't do nuts to tell people that the palio MJD is launched even!!

c. The service centers are there, but even now, there is no TMP/Fiat promise saying we'll get parts shipped wherever within X days. There's no faith one can have for a long term owners' perspective. And I'm not even getting started on the Tata service centers either

The Spark is just a slight mod/facelift of the Matiz. Yet it is selling well, despite all the past. Simply because Chevrolet has succeeded where Fiat is fumbling - providing wellbuilt cars at bargain prices and giving peace of mind through a total maintenance plan (8k for three years/45k is pittance!!). And dedicated aggressive marketing to boot.

Sorry, but I can't reconcile how the memory argument holds any water. Sounds nice maybe but that's about it. With the above setup, even the Linea may face a uphill task.

Last edited by phamilyman : 12th September 2008 at 10:33.
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Old 12th September 2008, 10:39   #1218
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I am sure that in terms of most things such as cost, quality, running costs; Palio can hold its own against Tata, GM, Maruti. But then inspite of the Tata tieup, have things changed on the ground. Why should Tata aggressively promote what is a competitive offering. Look at row 97 on the excel sheet and you may find that Tata itself is facing the heat. Then why should Fiat expect Tata dealers to promote Palio over the Vista. Typical of the Italians.
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Old 12th September 2008, 11:06   #1219
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
b. Tata reps are hopeless at selling the Palio.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vasudeva
Why should Tata aggressively promote what is a competitive offering. Look at row 97 on the excel sheet and you may find that Tata itself is facing the heat. Then why should Fiat expect Tata dealers to promote Palio over the Vista. Typical of the Italians
Absolutely. I was recently in the market(a couple of months back) to buy a car in this range and distinctly noticed a lukewarm response from Tata reps when it came to Fiat cars. There were no negative comments, but the tone of voice and the body language made it pretty clear 'that it is better to buy a Tata Car'.
Since I also owned a Tata Car, I had some contacts in the Tata service stations and informally checked with the service folks. The unequivocal message I got from them was that it is better to wait for the Vesta and buy ' a Tata car with a Fiat engine. Better service assured.'
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Old 12th September 2008, 11:12   #1220
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Civic sliding even more and now straight into Accord territory. The latter, despite bearing a 7+ lakh heavier price tag, is only a 100 units behind the smaller brother.
very interesting observation. I guess one reason could be Civic is becoming pretty common and hence is losing out the "status" appeal to many.

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Skoda is down in the pits with the Octavia & Laura. That's a new low of only a combined 520 cars.
Hmm... bad service and costly spares finally catching up with them? They will be in for more trouble once Linea diesel is out too. Interestingly magnum sales are up - so a few customers might be going that way.

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The market amazes me. Despite a diesel enigne option and an overall competent product, the Hyundai Sonata sells only 37 cars a month. Compared to 400 Accords!!
a wonder really! Embera diesel is the most reasonable choice considering most users would be idling in the backseats. The case of the bigger "H"?
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Old 12th September 2008, 11:32   #1221
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Sorry, but I can't reconcile how the memory argument holds any water.
Allow me to explain, phamilyman. Fiat's brand now has zero or negative equity in the market. Why? Because of past experiences. Aren't past experiences retained in an individuals memory? Indians aren't ready to "forget" the shoddy service, horrible FE, disastrous resale, backtracking on refunds and all the nonsense that Fiat has dished out to India in the past decade. The consumer is NOT ready to move on with Fiat and has lost faith in the brand. If Fiat really wants to start afresh, the exercise would be more effective with a fresh product too. If you think Fiat sales are low because of what they are doing TODAY, you couldn't be more off the mark. This is because of what they have done YESTERDAY.

Taking your points a, b & c : I am sorry to say but even if they price their spares reasonably, have better sales executives and release blow-all-away marketing / advertising, no one is going to line up to buy the Palio. That's a fact. Fiat knows this and is, intentionally, saving itself the effort. The only smart decision that Fiat India has made in a long time, if you ask me.

Quote:
The case of the bigger "H"?
Absolutely. If the diesel Embera was badged with the Japanese H, it would run into long wait periods.

Last edited by GTO : 12th September 2008 at 11:41.
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Old 12th September 2008, 12:04   #1222
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Fiat knows this and is, intentionally, saving itself the effort.
I have been mulling over why at all did Fiat launch the Palio MJD if the vesta quadrajet was going to be launched within the next six months? Since they were lending their engine to Tata, what were their thoughts behind launching the Palio MJD? Inspite of whatever marketing speel that the top management of both companies come up with, both are in the same segment. If anything, Palio MJD sales will still go down further and become another flop story for Fiat. They can't withdraw the MJD since it is just six months old and if they do it, it will be another big blow to their image. Couldn't they have been better off by not launching the Palio MJD at all?
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Old 12th September 2008, 13:04   #1223
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Couldn't they have been better off by not launching the Palio MJD at all?
Well, they already had the engine & the car. How much could it possibly cost them to mate the two? Peanuts. I see it only as a stop-gap before the contemporary products come in.
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Old 12th September 2008, 20:09   #1224
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Well, they already had the engine & the car. How much could it possibly cost them to mate the two? Peanuts. I see it only as a stop-gap before the contemporary products come in.
Quite scary, isn't it, such stop gap arrangements with short term commercial interests? Well, hopefully, all buyers of Palio do so with their eyes wide open, so that should be ok.( Else they can always here to see an unbiased dissection of our industry!)
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Old 13th September 2008, 00:49   #1225
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You know, frankly, what you've reiterated repeatedly in as many as ten lines is that Indians won't forgive/forget Fiat. I see it as your extensive well considered opinion, but that's about it.

I'm not a Fiat fan, got no mania for it, and was willing to make compromises for what is a good product and put my money where my mouth was - till I ran into the service/brazilian spares bit. I'm sure there must've been others.

The memory argument makes even lesser sense because GM has revived despite the Opel brand issues, and relaunched Daewoo models. And made a success out of it.

Opinions are good, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And GM's had its cake and eaten it too.

@Sridhar: In my mind, the best thing for Fiat would've been to cut its losses and exit. Make a JV for engines, charge Tata the moon and sit pretty with royalties. This farce of a palio launch/500 launch is just bleeding cash uselessly.
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Old 13th September 2008, 10:05   #1226
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
You know, frankly, what you've reiterated repeatedly in as many as ten lines is that Indians won't forgive/forget Fiat.
Phamilyman, Indian's may be willing to move on but not with the same ol' product. If Fiat wants to make a fresh start, they have to do it with fresh products. I like their cars and do hope that Fiat gets the management, sales, service and ownership right with their new cars. The Palio is a lost cause for Fiat. Evidence are the stats from this thread.

Quote:
The memory argument makes even lesser sense because GM has revived despite the Opel brand issues, and relaunched Daewoo models. And made a success out of it.
It actually does make sense when you consider that the Opel brand has been entirely discontinued from the Indian market. Opel became associated with expensive upkeep, low FE and sub-standard reliability. GM was the wiser in knowing that it will only be flogging a dead horse. Daewoo, as you know, has also exited our market. GM sells their cars, yes, but as rebranded GM products. I can assure you that a Daewoo Matiz would NOT sell in our market if it looked the same and was sold by Daewoo India. The Spark is a refreshed Matiz but has acceptable quality, good FE and comes with a guaranteed low maintenance package. The Chevy brand also has more expensive cars which do help the image to a certain extent. Either of these examples are totally different from Fiat & its Palio.
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Old 13th September 2008, 10:42   #1227
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@Sridhar: In my mind, the best thing for Fiat would've been to cut its losses and exit. Make a JV for engines, charge Tata the moon and sit pretty with royalties. This farce of a palio launch/500 launch is just bleeding cash uselessly.
I think the 500 launch was useful for Fiat since it has helped in some type of positive image building(nowhere near enough though). They put up a date, stuck to it, did a good launch and are now running good ads. The 500 is positioned as a premium brand and not expected to rake up big volumes. The premium brand building can only help the future launches.
It is the Palio MJD which rankles me a bit. Given the fact that the Vesta was coming in six months and the fact that they never put any serious efforts in promoting the product, this seems to have been a venture with only one objective in mind - to make some quick bucks at minimal cost. As GTO mentions, it must have cost them peanuts. Otherwise, I am unable to make sense of this launch. I could have accepted the argument that the customer was being given a option of a 'true bred Fiat alternative' vis-a-vis a 'Tata Car with a Fiat engine'. But the attitude of the Tata Sales reps,their lack of training,and the lack of promotions from Fiat don't support that argument.
I don't know how much money they must have made in the 1500 or 2000 MJDs they must have sold in the past six months or how much more they will make, but it won't help in building a great amount of goodwill if it becomes a flop story, as it likely will. Customers who buy a product know & expect that every product has a natural lifecycle, but this one seems to have been deliberately pre-destined to have a much shorter one.

Last edited by sridharps : 13th September 2008 at 10:48.
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Old 13th September 2008, 10:56   #1228
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Is there any way of knowing exactly how many SX4's Maruti has been selling after the Dzire was launched? I believe, Feb was the last month showing 'SX4 only sales' at 1958 units.
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Old 13th September 2008, 21:23   #1229
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One important point here is Maruti losing marketshare at
-10.8 % as compared Hyundai is + 34% and Tata's loss of - 6.6% this inspite of Dzire having a wait list of 6-8 months. Looks like Maruti is finally losing its bearing in its core market .
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Old 13th September 2008, 22:47   #1230
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No doubt Embera sale is at 47 compared to thousands of Accords. Try to walk into Hyundai showroom and ask for Embera Display. The ask for test drive. Most of the time they will not be able to offer you any test drive due to lack of test drive car. How can you sell 14lk worth car without test drives or advertisement budjet.
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