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Old 1st February 2019, 18:21   #16
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

Sad day for us car enthusiasts & the marquee Italian car maker which, in its heydays was one of the automotive behemoths & even in later part of its innings, continued to churn out fantastic driver's machines. Our first car was the Fiat Safari & I still have fond memories of sitting alongside my father & him letting me slot the steering mounted gear stick from neutral to first. The car was fairly spacious with a cavernous boot (perfect for our family of four) & smooth engine. One regret I will have till the end of my life is that I never got to drive it (it was stolen).

I can add one more regret to this, that I'll never be able to experience some of Fiat's best machines. Reading about the rave reviews of its driving dynamics, I was seriously considering a pre owned Punto as my second car, however now with the brand shutting shop in India, I don't want to be saddled with a car having DOA support.

Sad end to a once glorious chapter.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 3rd February 2019 at 20:05. Reason: Spacing
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Old 1st February 2019, 19:48   #17
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Looking at Fiat's past history in India, I expect it to be back in another avatar a few years down the line.
Problem is, I don't see them having any credible new models in their international line-up to do a comeback. I won't be surprised if the brand Fiat will go extinct in a few years.
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Old 1st February 2019, 19:56   #18
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

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Problem is, I don't see them having any credible new models in their international line-up to do a comeback. I won't be surprised if the brand Fiat will go extinct in a few years.
And yet - Sergio Marchionne is considered a legend in the industry.

He may have revived the brand from bankruptcy once, but towards the end of his career - it was not in any better shape either.
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Old 1st February 2019, 20:29   #19
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

And so, the exit has finally happened.. third time. First time they made a brief exit after ending production of the NE 118's and Padmini's of India, made a comeback with the Uno, unable to handle the bookings, production and sales (first time in automotive history ) they ran yet again.. only coming back after a few years with a fantastic product that was leagues ahead of its time - the Palio, and with it spawned other models like Petra and Adventure, somehow they messed that up as well because of poor demand as people became aware of Fiat's eccentric sales aspirations. They re-styled themselves in 3-4 years time and came out with the Punto and Linea, again products which were far ahead of their time, miles.. yet people feared the company for its inconsistencies and Fiat did nothing to alleviate that fear. They ambled on for 12 odd years, with essentially the same product and with continually dicey service experiences (or perception thereof).. that is unimaginable in the modern market situation, Maruti only got away with selling basically the same models of 800 & Omni for over 20 years only because of lack of competition and the void which Fiat willingly surrendered to them.

As far as products go, Fiat Palio, Petra, Punto & Linea were all extremely well engineered and had the best ride and balance of any car even today. People keep praising the Germans for their suspension, I'd say the Punto 1.2 that I'd driven had way better throttle response than any of the 1.2 litre engined competition like i20 or Polo and in terms of suspension comfort and road isolation it blew cars 4-5 times the price out of the water, ridiculous comfort and yet extremely confident road manners. To me it is THE drivers car, Polo TSi isn't even half of that, zero road comfort.

I also have some amount of sentimentality with all the brands (non automotive and automotive) that we've owned since I was a toddler, and Fiat is one of them, I used to sit in the middle seat of the Padmini up front, flanked by parents either side, when I was about a foot and a half tall (heck it was cool, it was not the generation of fear-mongering and having a billion other vehicles on the road, I'm so glad seatbelts and child seats weren't around 3 decades ago), helping with the horn at occasions. It was a couch on wheels experience and it was simplistic engineering with focus on comfort. The 2nd hand Padmini was with us 2-3 years and was sold and 2 years later another used Padmini came in, problems of being middle class I guess.

Plenty of people were sentimental about Fiat, and still are. The problem is that automotive business is of least sentiment to the Agnelli family, they have their money-maker in Ferrari and that's about it. They are more a finance and banking family today and expect more dilutions to come in the future, if the 1 crore+ Maserati Quattroporte has poor-spec interiors as per reviews, then that speaks volumes.
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Old 1st February 2019, 20:48   #20
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

Sad news as an automotive enthusiast but frankly speaking, no one will miss them.

What else their high paid top management expected with decade old Punto & Linea? Seriously? For more than a decade they failed to introduce anything else from their vast global portfolio?

Even automotive enthusiast may also treat the news with frustration. Hard to explain as how they treated Indian market. TATA or Maruti specially climb new heights with their MJD. So much so that we ended up calling MJD our national Engine. Even now also, others are eyeing to get MJD2 for their newest offering. Yet here they are packing up their bags.

Even with JEEP brand, I doubt how long they can stay afloat. Numbers aren't there much and not to forget, competition is heating up, even with their own set of engines.

Now as I have vented out my anger & frustration, on a more constructive note, no global manufacturer can ignore this market with 1000/22 people:car ratio. FIAT brand doesn't stand much further than what Ford was before launching their Figo/EcoSport platform. If Ford can turn them self around, why not FIAT. Brand is already established. May be towards more expensive outlook but certainty not in a negative way. Ford is an example towards that.

How long they plan to last in saturated western market by closing shop in potential growth areas?
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Old 1st February 2019, 20:54   #21
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

Fiat's problem (among many others) has been its wafer thin portfolio internationally from which it can draw products. Even the larger FCA family hardly has any members suited for Indian market, at least not ones which can sustain a manufacturing presence. Either pick-ups, or high performance cars, or quirky hatches. A pity. Like many others on this forum I learnt driving on the Premier Padmini, and enjoyed innumerable conversations with Mumbai cabbies in the early 2000s. So much nostaligia attached with the brand. I don't see the Fiat brand making a come back ever.

Last edited by Malyaj : 1st February 2019 at 21:00.
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Old 1st February 2019, 22:20   #22
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Any idea what important parts exclusive to Fiat for a Fiat Palio 1.2, should we order and store. I was thinking of changing the rings and seals in the next 20k kms on my car. Will it be good to order them now or are there aftermarket options available for the rings. I think, I should probably go ahead and order those seals.
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Old 1st February 2019, 22:42   #23
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

This news comes at a time when I have two FIATs in my garage. The first one is my 10 year old Punto 1.3MJD which has been provinding stellar service to our family. It is a vehicle which is very close to my heart and has taken our family on multiple trips safely. I dont intend to sell it atleast for the next 5 years and use it as a beater car for local drive within city.

My preworshipped FIAT Linea Tjet 2011 model was just bought last year and I have driven close to 5000 kms with it so far. The engine is a gem and the car is built for the highways. I intend to use it for the next 3 to 4 years before I go for an SUV.

Hopefully both these cars will continue to drive the same way with minimum service effort as I have always seen them. Not too much worried about FIAT's exit. I switched service to FNG couple of years back and have never repented the decision. I am hoping that 99rpm.com will continue spare support for the next 5 years.

Last edited by gopikb : 1st February 2019 at 23:06.
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Old 1st February 2019, 22:57   #24
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

Ok here is a question I wanted to ask in this forum, specifically this thread.

Me and some friends were discussing the FIAT pullout. I said that it was the next American car manufacturer exit after Chevy. My friend was offended - saying that FIAT is an Italian brand. That just because they are owned by an American company, doesn't mean they are American. Local origin etc.

So he asked me - does that mean Jaguar is an Indian company now? I said you cannot say that reasoning is wrong. And I asked back - why do people say "Benelli" in such a disparaging tone - since they are owned by a Chinese company. Benelli is also Italian!?

I know it is a bit of a heart vs mind matter but what have you guys thought about this?
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Old 1st February 2019, 23:25   #25
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

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Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Me and some friends were discussing the FIAT pullout. I said that it was the next American car manufacturer exit after Chevy. My friend was offended - saying that FIAT is an Italian brand. That just because they are owned by an American company, doesn't mean they are American.
Fiat is owned by an American company? Last I remember it is a part of FCA which is both Italian and American. Actually, it is more to the Italian side as it is Fiat which acquired Chrysler. But even it is 50-50, how is Fiat owned by an American company? It is Italian in every sense.

Last edited by AYP : 1st February 2019 at 23:26.
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Old 1st February 2019, 23:31   #26
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

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Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Ok here is a question I wanted to ask in this forum, specifically this thread.

Me and some friends were discussing the FIAT pullout. I said that it was the next American car manufacturer exit after Chevy. My friend was offended - saying that FIAT is an Italian brand.
You have just committed blasphemy by mentioning FIAT as American!

On a more serious note, your friend is right. The brand will always be identified with its country of origin regardless of the owner. Unless there is a dilution in the product portfolio. MG is a case in point. No matter how much they harp on the brand's British connection, we all know it's a Chinese product with zero connection to the yesteryear MG genes.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 3rd February 2019 at 20:05. Reason: Spacing
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Old 1st February 2019, 23:49   #27
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

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Fiat is owned by an American company? Last I remember it is a part of FCA which is both Italian and American. Actually, it is more to the Italian side as it is Fiat which acquired Chrysler. But even it is 50-50, how is Fiat owned by an American company? It is Italian in every sense.
50-50 makes it more Italian than American? Ok.

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You have just committed blasphemy by mentioning FIAT as American!

On a more serious note, your friend is right. The brand will always be identified with its country of origin regardless of the owner. Unless there is a dilution in the product portfolio. MG is a case in point. No matter how much they harp on the brand's British connection, we all know it's a Chinese product with zero connection to the yesteryear MG genes.
Haha, let's just say I like to leave the cat among the pigeons sometimes.

By that logic, good to know that JLR is still a British company and that Benelli is still an Italian motorcycle manufacturer

Last edited by suhaas307 : 3rd February 2019 at 20:05. Reason: Spacing of quoted post
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Old 2nd February 2019, 00:08   #28
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

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I said that it was the next American car manufacturer exit after Chevy. My friend was offended - saying that FIAT is an Italian brand. That just because they are owned by an American company, doesn't mean they are American.
Well, both are wrong! FIAT is not an American company and neither are they owned by an American company.

In 2009, Chrysler filed for Bankruptcy when FIAT stepped in to acquire 20% stake and bailout the company along with the support of the US government. Marchionne was appointed CEO of Chrysler as well. FIAT later bought the majority shares becoming the owner of the group, making Chrysler a wholly owned subsidiary of FIAT Spa, before renaming the company to FCA. Agnelli family remains the major shareholder of FCA.

So FIAT is either Italian by origin, Italian by FCA ownership or may be even Dutch by current company headquarters - but not American.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 2nd February 2019 at 00:25.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 00:15   #29
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

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50-50 makes it more Italian than American? Ok.
Looks like you missed the rest of my post. Fiat can in no way be called an American company. American Chrysler was acquired by Italian Fiat and the merged group was later christened FCA. I said 50-50 in the sense that FCA has two separate entities FCA USA and FCA Italy.

Last edited by AYP : 2nd February 2019 at 00:19.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 00:20   #30
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Default re: Rumour: FCA will be discontinuing the Fiat brand in India

Fiat sure knew how to design cars that pulled at the heart strings like no other - I remember when I was a young kid, we went on holiday to Nelliampathi hill station. One of the guests at our hotel had a brand new white Palio. I must have admired that car for at least an hour in the early morning sunrise at the hotel parking lot

Also remember dreaming over the Fiat Adventure 1.6 - what a handsome car that was!

When Punto arrived too, I remember poring through its pictures here on the team bhp review! The red Punto was a stunner!! Always remember a red Punto owner here used to call it Ferrari In Affordable Trim

Last year, when I booked a Uber, the car which arrived was a Punto base model. When travelling in it I was shocked at how well it tackled bad roads (Kerala roads during monsoon - worst kind). The suspension barely made any sound and it felt like riding in a large european sedan car.

What amazes me is how apathetic the FIAT management in India is to the changing market conditions. They own magnetti marelli and they still have not introduced any type of automatic transmission in their cars! Even Jeep has yet to bring an A/T compass diesel.

Here's hoping this withdrawal is not a permanent one - but the FIAT management so far does not give much hope.
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