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Abarth 500 - Launching soon

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by Ravi, Mar 6, 2014.

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  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

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    2,441
    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol

    Well, i just dissuaded a friend, a woman in her late thirties, from commiting to a purchase of the Fiat Abarth 500. Reason? She planned to mainly, in fact pretty much always, be chauffeured around in it!!:p

    I think FCA really must, as both a marketing measure (get the good word out, get TD offers taken up at the doorstep) and as a 'pilot project' (for a potentially bigger rollout across models and across cities) offer the Abarth 500 via one or more popular, prestigious e-commerce websites (say Snapdeal and Amazon). It's ideal for such a sales and marketing channel!

    They'd be daft not to try this....which means they likely won't?;)
  2. Sujit508

    Sujit508 Amatore

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    233
    Bangalore , Karnataka
    Bangalore
    Retro / Classic FIAT
    Fiat Abarth 500, chauffer driven ? I could be the driver for a saturday/sunday may be :D free of cost :)
    varunrtr, Ichimaru and Raj_pol like this.
  3. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Regolare

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    495
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    You beat me to it :)
    Ichimaru likes this.
  4. Whencut86

    Whencut86 Amatore

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    87
    Chennai
    Fiat Enthusiast
    @prabhjot You should have let her buy it and posted a job opening for a full time Fiat 500 Abarth driver in this forum. I'm sure lot of people would be interested :p
  5. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

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    2,316
    Thane
    I am 100% sure, they would not do it or else Abarth will be branded as cheap. If Fiat would have been so thoughtful, they would have done it for the Punto/Linea/Avventura. They definitely want to act pricey and would do it for Abarth too, in process lose the race.

    Few days back I heard that suzuki is bringing out the 1.4L turbo charged petrol engine, so there goes the dominance of T-jet. Now only if Fiat brings the Punto T-jet earlier than anticipated, they can take the first mover advantage.
  6. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,441
    delhi ncr
    She has a Linea already, among other family cars, and really wants the 500 styling, couldn't care less about the Abarth engine+suspension etc. I do hate admitting this as a very diehard Fiat (500) fan but I've steered her towards a Mini Countryman Diesel, instead.

    What this shows i suspect is that the Abarth 500 will be seen as too small and 'girly' for a pukka manly sportscar even with 135 hp and the livery etc, while it will of course be too amped-up for those who want just the style/retrochic etc.

    That's why this car and this Abarth brand needs plenty of marketing, even if only to the very rich in 4-8 cities else our market won't 'get it'. Mini sold nearly 500 cars last year in India: very few of which were the Mini 2door, let alone the jcw S version. Mostly Countryman diesels, it seems!

    At extortionate prices of course. So yeah as aggressive a pricing as possible will really give it a chance of showing the Mini-s up, which it in any case will performance-wise.
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  7. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    Mini Countryman has stunning road presence. In fact, whenever I see it at a traffic light in Pune, it seems makes the oh-so-common Audis , Mercs and Beemers look like cattle. About the Maruti and its ilk, the less said the better. The same goes for the Beetle. They just look gorgeous, solid and almost alien.

    Lets see if the Abarth Mini falls in that category.
  8. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Regolare

    Messages:
    495
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    @prabhjot I have always been suspicious of the Abarth. It is a 2 door and I find it looks odd. Before you bash me, I hate the Beetle too. I will never ever buy it even if I had the money. I feel :) (I might be wrong) that I have a fair understanding of the noveau rich in India who would want to splurge and show off. For them big is better and of course figures in paper matter. So a 200 HP is better than a 150 HP. I do not see the use of a cute looking car with only 2 seats. That is why I still feel that among the new cars that Fiat is planning to bring in only the grand Cherokee has a fair chance.

    You get a fair idea by reading the horse forum - folks are not going to buy a bigger Thar or a cute little monster. They would have bought the 500X in droves. Unfortunately Fiat never bothered to understand the Indian mindset and they will keep losing as long as they do not.
    vista7155, Sujit508 and dadasaheb like this.
  9. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

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    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol

    The Indian market 'gets' (in both senses of the word) few/NONE of the best European mass market small cars, not in normal form let alone in special-version form.

    I think the 500/Abarth is splendid, characterful and authentic, a rare thing, while the Mini, a showily grotesque pony, is anything but! There are these 2 rich guys (in their thirties?) I see sometimes in a matt Black Abarth?/500 racing through my colony and out on nh8 in Gurgaon, have seen the car driven by their 'driver' too, once.....suffice to say this car is a pukka bomb in terms of 'presence'. But it is, like the Mini-s, just a toy for the very rich.

    My friend's probably going to get the new Beetle, instead of the Mini Countryman, only because it's bigger and less overthetop. But she'd have bought the Abarth 500 if I hadn't steered her away.

    I don't think the 500X has much of a chance here sales-wise, either: "too small-too expensive" and too ...er...tasteful/chic for the Indian automotive palate, which last is on average at best vulgar and at worst trite or deluded in its value-calculus.

    BUT: that's what marketing and branding is for! At least enough of the really-rich can be persuaded/seduced by good marketing, are openminded enough.

    Have you spent time in Delhi?: the number of Ferrari FFs, BMW Z4 roadsters, Mini-s, Maserati-s, Porsche Boxsters, Triumph Thruxton-s, big Harley-s etc ....and a few Fiat 500s too, even a Chrysler 300, will surprise. Have a surfeit of (black!) money.....can (potentially) be whimsical or 'shoukeen' !

    I think the Grand Cherokee and the Cherokee will do well here, as will the Wrangler Rubicon 4-door, which is just the biggest baddest-assed thing you could imagine on Indian, esp Punjabi-Delhi, roads. The Renegade and the 500X have good prospects only if very aggressively priced, which makes their arrival before 2018, if at all, impossible IMO. The Jeep C-Suv to be made locally in Ranjangaon's the crucial one: if it's large enough even if smaller than the Fortuner and 'luxe' enough, it'll sell. In any case these will be CKD-s and in the case of the Jeep C-Suv export-centric, so even halfdecent sales are straight to the bottomline.

    Likewise the Abarth Punto Evo's the real one, saleswise, no?

    There's no doubt though that skimping on marketing will not do, though, therefore, not for Jeep nor for the Abarths, FCA!

    PS: i wish i had the '25 lakhs for a showy and saucy automotive toy is totally trivial' means+mentality !!;) Not.:angelic:
  10. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Regolare

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    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    @prabhjot Have spent time in Gurgaon so I know :) My friend, that's where you get it wrong - 2 pieces do not matter. In terms of number, the Mini sells more and it is a more powerful toy. Also, when I google comparison between abart and the mini, the mini wins in most online reviews. However, there is one monster that trumps both of these guys and that is the Ford Focus ST.

    See I am never a fan of any particular brand, never was. I just keep hoping that some of the really good, really monstrous car's end up in India.

    As I mentioned in a separate post, for those who have the money, the bike market is so much more exciting now.
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