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Abarth Punto/Avventura T-Jet -Launched

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by ramjn, Dec 11, 2014.

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  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr
    This is OT a bit but @Turbothinghy is spot on correct about cannibalization. @Vidhyashankar Kannan

    The Avventura WAS advertized, both before launch AND at launch. Youtube (with tens of thousands of views), tvc-s, full-page newspaper ads, half-page ones too....It was well-reviewed and given high praise, initially even and especially by Autocar. It did enter a segment with minimal competition from the dominant oligopoly (MS, HY, H). It did create 'buzz', it did provoke defensive, copycat advertizing from Ford as well as Toyota, and an outright concept-copycat car model altogether from Hyundai no less, the Active.

    It was hurt by the huge (1 to 2 lakh rs.) year end discounts on old stock Punto-s and Linea-s, and the awful launch timing-management (after the Evo, after the 'festive season', in the depreciation affected month of december etc). Which, presumably, is what got Nagesh B. sacked, a very reputed professional automotive r&d engineer though he is.

    I am, nevertheless, happy to report increased-frequency sightings of the Avventura in Delhi NCR (saw 2 today), as also of the Evo.

    It's June, hence my sense that last year-end's, dealer-supporting, epic-discounting on older Punto-s and Linea-s REALLY prevented both the Evo and the Avventura from being seen in meaningful numbers on roads soon after launch. Even adjusting for the inertia of buyers vis-a-vis the 'Fiat' brand and its reputed ASS etc mediocrity.

    In a herding-biased, risk-averse, confidence-lacking, often neurotic, ill/mis-informed consumer-behaviour-based car market like ours, a new launch that doesn't excite and be seen to be 'success hai' IMMEDIATELY.....is doomed. As usual, we either have big 'hits' or utter 'flops', hardly anything in the middle.

    I am dead sure, then, that the Evo+Avventura could've outsold the old Punto sales, grown it net by say 300-600 cars, IF the dealer-support-year-end-discounting hadn't been forced on Fiat, and if Nagesh (? or whoever) hadn't messed up the sequencing and timing of these cars' launches.

    Instead, Fiat sales are exactly, on average, where they were last year in June, the year before that and the previous one too (more or less)! The cars, the facelifts, the added quality and equipment, the pricing and EVEN the advertizing were not at fault, not much at all, IF at all. Imo.

    Sigh. Shrug........ONLY till the AbarthFiats launched, don't sell that much, and so inevitably back to bewildered sighs and fatalistic shrugs! ;):p
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  2. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Superiore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    Interesting read - all of these pages, I see most of the members beating up a competitor's car's for bad riding, handling etc etc - I am not sure if all the members have actually tested the Creta or the S-cross.
    Here is my 2 cents - as the ultimate mango man in the forum :)

    1. I think it is a very Indian habit that we enjoy demeaning people, efforts in general;more so if they do not satisfy our viewpoint of the world in general. Now coming back to the little matter of the Creta - as a mango man I say it looks good actually damn good has the SUV looks to it but then to me (and to maybe 30 K +) Indians a month Hyundai always made good looking vehicles. My parents own an eon and they drive like crazy to unimaginable villages in Assam where there is for lack of a better word, very bad roads. Many many thousands of km's later it is still running. Of course, so is my "Odin" with which I have covered 800 K's this weekend but my point is very few are race drivers or extreme riders. Most of us go to the office regularly with a general weekend ride thrown in. That is the market - if Fiat does not understand that then Fiat and that great Marchionne is an idiot for India is going to be one of the largest market's in the world and it is imperative to do well here. We also keep complaining about the fact that designs are stolen - well good for it Hyundai is giving me good looking interiors- the Italians are racist if they think that being an Indian I have to accept the interiors of the last generation Punto as an example which is in my view and many other's an insult for a premium hatch.

    2. Advertising - one should read the articles in the horse forum. Everyone does not have a grudge against the Fiat. See how the MS and Hyundai showroom staff respond compared with Fiat. I bought a Punto (I am proud of it) with zero discount and the sales staff still had the gall to be chatting with each other instead of coming to me (who was I presume the only customer for the weekend going by EVO sales). You tube advertising - are you kidding me? You Tube is for school girls - big boys do not consider that as advertising, and specifically not in India. I am paying my hard earned 8L, then I as a customer demand the finest interiors that I can get. I respect Hyundai that they are bringing the same to Indians. They are a young company, they will soon get there with the ride and handling and then the Europeans can just go vanish.

    3. Respect - Finally it comes to the question of respect. How many Europeans have global launches in India? This is what irritates me the most. MS, and HY and to some extent H are quick to bring their latest to India. The Europeans think that we little brown people deserve hundred year old cars from their stables. I am sorry if that is your wish, then I say please leave my country, you have no right to be here.

    @prabhjot Prof, you have already demeaned the Ford Aspire. Last I heard they were offering 6 airbags in the top version which would be a segment first. To the mango man, that is the Americans respecting the Indian and giving him what he wants. I am not racing in the Le Mans - I need a good looking safe and mid-sized car (our cities and roads are too small for huge SUV's) to go to office and back. I think the Aspire fits the bill.

    And to all those who drive a Punto or even a T-jet and call themselves enthusiasts, we must be kidding ourselves. Here is what a true enthusiast would have done in my world - sell of your car's, add some money and at the very least buy a nice little green machine called simply the Z800. About as much as my Punto - now that is what I called being an enthusiast (and no excuses about your wife not agreeing or mom not agreeing - a true enthusiast gives shit about the world.)

    p.s. I am not there yet, if I do reach that level some day I will post pictures of the moment. Some of my friends have done that - no cars only the beautiful machines. (they have families including kids).

    @Mods, please feel free to remove since OT.
  3. Vidhyashankar Kannan

    Vidhyashankar Kannan Regolare

    Avventura 1.3 90 HP
    I like a good debate @Raj_pol . And I am a mango man too. I could finally afford my first ever new car after going to the wrong side of middle age. And as I may not get another chance to buy another new car before I die, the Avventura will remain special for my family as it may be the only new car we would have ever owned. Having said that, I don't think anyone is beating up the competitor's car. During our exhaustive TD sessions before buying, we rode nearly every damn car in the segment, including the i20. Yes, Hyundai is definitely improving leaps and bounds on handling and the fun factor and it is only a matter of time before they reach the European standards. But as of now, all reviews of the Creta clearly point out that even the Hyundai fans are disappointed by its dead steering and not so good handling. The S-Cross on the other hand has a review that seems straight out of a Fiat review. I think we all agree that the S-Cross is going to be a very good car. But the major point being as @Turbothinghy said, the public finds excuses to eliminate Fiat from the shortlist while they find points to select Maruti and Hyundai. They crib about the turbo lag in Fiats. And the S-Cross review clearly states that there is a large turbo lag with the 1.6 DDIS. Yet, no one's even talking much about it. Instead, everyone's looking at all the great points of the car which are all exactly Fiat-like other than the interiors. On the other hand, everyone beats Fiat to death with that point of the turbo lag.

    Looks are subjective. But the general feeling all around is the Hyundai's do not make good looking cars. That is the reason they outsourced the design of the i20 Elite to a German company who made some sense of it. The Creta's fluidic design has a polarizing tendency. Some love it, others hate it. Me, I hate all Hyundai vehicles for their looks. My parents have a Santro which is 11 years old, still running very fine and I have done 1000s of kms in it very satisfactorily. But it looks rodential. Not at all appealing. But it is a very nice car and the AC still works in it. And regarding the looks being stolen, my crib is that of late business has moved so fast and so forward that its a dog-eat-dog world out there. It is easy to copy a design. It is also unfair to do it because the original thinker has spent time and passion on bringing it out in the first place. Just because its being used on a commodity doesn't make it fair. There is a thing called business ethic which old blokes like me believe in. Apparently the Koreans don't. I respect that community because they work 16 hours a day and that tiny country has some of the world's biggest conglomerates. We Indians can never work that hard or be that successful. They have their pride which I respect. But the way they do it is unfair. To copy a great design, royalty needs to be paid. Which they do not do. And I agree that the Italians have a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to Indians. That is why they released their world car, the Punto in India. Yet, Indians had already blocked this out of their minds. Fiat is quite indifferent in India. I accept it. But they do try hard to bring out what they consider is the best. That is their downfall too as they refuse to listen to the local feedback. Frankly, the interiors of the Punto Evo 90 HP are really good. The Avventura's, not so much. It doesn't matter, neither sold anyway for the mistimed and screwed up launches.

    This is what we all always crib about. Fiat dealerships are pathetic and Fiat themselves have a way of killing the ones that are very good. I have no idea when they will realise that the first impression is the best one. And the corollary to this is, of late even Honda and Hyundai showroom staff have started becoming indifferent. But since the momentum is there, the people don't complain. Instead, they still highlight only the Fiat showroom staff as being bad. So why not stop buying Hyundai cars too? doesn't happen.

    Totally agree. Ford learnt this the hard way when no one bought their older dumped models and they had to release the Ikon which went on to succeed, followed by the Ecosport. But Fiat did bring the Palio and Punto almost simultaneously. So even though the history in India is peppered with global launches, Fiat's get lost in the dust.

    Yeah, this is salivating territory. I love the Z800 too but like I said, I get one chance in this lifetime to buy a new vehicle. So I'll still call myself an enthusiast for understanding what a car should be like. And plonk the 9.5 lakhs in a car that has some characteristics of good engagement. And my enthusiast feel is reserved for my MTB :rolleyes:
    --- Double Post Merged, Jul 26, 2015 ---
    Were there really full page ads for the Avvy? I don't remember seeing even one. I do know that the it created copycat advertising though.

    I'm not even sure if Nagesh was really to blame. Kevin Flynn comes with such a good pedigree of sales. Nothing has changed on the ground in India. I guess the parent company themselves are to blame.

    I hardly see any Evos or Avventuras in Hyderabad especially where I live. So I'm again guessing the sales performance is skewed to certain regions in India.

    And the Abarths are not going to sell much either without an increase in the levels of interior trims and heightened trust in the FASS. And the launch is mistimed too. Very late.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
    Raj_pol and Turbothinghy like this.
  4. vista7155

    vista7155 Regolare

    @Raj_pol Your are very correct about the discrimination we are facing compared to other market.
    But if we see now the global products are coming but in snail pace,for example S-Cross,GTI 1.8,ix25 aka creta,ecosport etc.
    Coming to T-jet what Fiat is going to do about safety now? because everybody criticised the Suzuki for compromise on the safety but if you see the S-Cross it is built like European car much stronger,started with Abs and airbags standard with all the models(entry level has 1airbag) and providing with better engine as it makes 320nm torque and rear,front disc brakes so slowly Suzuki is coming out of their "kithna Detha hai" attitude,leader in cross cutting,flimsy built quality,lack of safety features and they have answered the critics with 1 car but my gut feeling is they will continue with very car in the segment to make more money.
    Now please don't start that airbags are waste because it is not tested with structural integrity,ncap is corrupt and allthose because when we talk about 5star safety rating of Punto we will intelligently sweep above comment under the carpet.
    T-jet should follow the S-cross in safety,the base model should be with min 2 airbags and Top end with 6-7 airbags and loaded with features just as touch screen because one of your target customers are young blood where they love the gadgets and also when we see the target audience for this car,they'll never think of little bit spending more for safety and features.
    By the way the single airbag are trading between 200-500$ in U.S. OEM can get it for less price,so the cost of 6 airbags maybe around 1200-3000$ and in India it will be around 72k-1.8L that's not big amount to include in big price hike.
    T-jet should undercut the S-cross,Creta in pricing to succeed in our market because these 2 cars are already producing good power,feature rich,loaded with safety and better number of Ass coverage and better Ass in terms of service.
    Many members might not agree with my price point but Fiat has no other way to comeback here like Honda and Mahindra did.
    They can price it low initially and once it starts moving good from the showroom they can slowly increase the price, instead of launching the car with high price and successfully make it super dud(we know how Fiat marketing is) and then start lacs of discount to move it from the showroom.
    avi_loveindia, Raj_pol and dadasaheb like this.
  5. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr
    MODS: please delete/shift if deemed OT, thanks.

    The Europeans don't launch their 'global' products here, and if they do they do they dilute standards (e.g., Ford with the Ecosport and VW with the Polo and Vento) for a reason, a very good one: the engineering (NOT gizmo, not plastic) and component standards make their costing prohibitive for this market, one that does not care to assign the slightest monetary value to engineering (chassis, crash safety, build, suspension, steering and braking+tyres) as opposed to looks, gadgets, purported reliability and ostensible guaranteed resale and ASS).

    The Japanese and the Korean ONLY offer either 'third world specials' i.e., 'pirated editions', that are by definition awfully scornful of 'India's great car buying middle-class' in their engineering and safety+build OR very very diluted versions of their global products (e.g., Hyundai and Suzuki in particular). AND: they charge premium prices for these diluted 'all new, global models'.

    The costing and pricing and therefore profitability blues of the European firms in India over the last 10+ years in India has everything to do, then, with their ethical (?) refusal to dilute standards to the low points the Japanese and the Koreans do.

    This is not a new thing: first the Japanese, then the Korean consumer electronics, and motorbike and car firms have for decades specialised in flexible product-cost-quality trade-offs, which is how they decimated Western firms in their home markets even, let alone in the 'third world' markets they have been dominating for decades, and from where their real early successes and profits first came. The Chinese will inflict the same on the Jap+Korean, in turn, as they already are in some consumer electronic areas.

    Which is why firms and brands like Fiat and Ford and Renault and VW/Skoda should arguably quit trying to compete at the 'mass' end, and emulate the German luxury marques by moving upmarket a fair bit more.

    It is notable that Fiat in India never really diluted either standards (of build, engineering, components or technology) NOR charged anything but very 'third world friendly' prices in India: not for the Uno, not for the Palio and certainly not for the Punto (Evo) nor the Linea. Or the Avventura, now.

    Fiat's problems were entirely due to ASS and spares- and dealer-support issues in the past NOT the cars, their aesthetics, engineering or pricing. And by now, that encrusted perception means that it is the brand 'Fiat' that is bedevilled by mistrust, IRRESPECTIVE of the still-excellent, and still-world-rather-than-third-world-class cars, their aesthetics, engineering, technology standard and pricing. And irrespective of the much-improved dealer and ASS+spares support scene.


    The Creta is surely a minimally plausible value proposition. But what sort of company to what sort of public can call it 'the Perfect Suv' in nation-wide, full- front-page ads, when it is nothing but, not bad, not awful, but imperfect, and moreover is NO Suv at all!

    And then proceed to charge 13-16 lakhs for it, and all-too successfully at that? The fault is in the 'Mango' of the 'Aam car buying aadmi', not in Hyundai. This is not a morality play, there are no moral prizes to assign to say Fiat and to deny say Hyundai....both are business 'houses' and the car baazar is but a never ending game, forever in flux.

    The 'moral fault', if one has to be assigned, is at the 'public' 's end, not at Hyundai's or Fiat's or Ford's, insofar as one is speaking of surplus rents it happily pays some, even as it denies basic credit to others.

    It's like fifth-rate Test players and Captains like Mahendra Singh Dhoni being worshipped as near-divine, and tawdry mediocrities like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina are lionised even as the Srinath-s, Laxman-s, Rahane-s, Ashwin-s, even Dravid-s and Kumble-s are/were ignored or discounted.

    The 'Mango Man' does not necessarily or always allocate affections reasonably or rationally, EVEN by his own criteria!

    'Brand'-pull/affection/trust......and their obverse, are necessarily un-reasonable, to-excess, and even at times irrational. That is in the VERY nature of branding in India as elsewhere (though in different ways).

    One cannot always and only account for and therefore praise or vilify accordingly based on objective causes/reasons like: they're better designed, or better engine-d, or better equipped or better priced or have better advertizing and so on, none of which is true of any Hyundai.

    A Fiat, say the Avventura marketed as 'The Perfect CROSSover' will not result in a single extra sale, and yet a Hyundai ridiculously advertized as a 'Perfect Suv' when it is not an Suv in the first place let alone particularly good let alone perfect, sells instantaneously-on-launch in droves......that is a function of brand-power BEFORE and IRRESPECTIVE of the 'objective facts of the matter'.

    Now Hyundai is the one, together with Suzuki, to have been the dominant seller and therefore (mis-)educator of this very, now-so-'aspirational' public over the last 10-12 years. And so they're proceeding to milk the very neo-car-buying public they tutored, for better (good sales processes, good after sales ones too) and for worse (engineering, build, safety and driving+riding pleasure and comfort, technological and design originality be damned....)

    They've 'earned' their right to, I suppose, just as Fiat has frittered away its rights-to-the-public's attention and affection. They've built a self-reinforcing cycle over 10+ years: brand<--->car<--->sales+ASS.

    And so now they can milk the 'rents' of a mal-functioning market that has 2-3 firms/brands (MS, HY and lately a bit Honda) controlling 75-80% of marketshare in hatches and sedans and soon "Suv"-s too. These are 'rents': i.e., un-deserved and un-earned malai and makhan, since the market is oligopolistic. That is what happens when your brands acquire a GIVEN potency and trust (as a legacy from the past), Skoda and Nissan but especially Fiat being the polar opposites. Brands, when too strong, distort the market.

    MOMENTUM of brands, their inertia, in other words, is VERY VERY hard to change for better, and is very very easy to sustain if you already have it. In any market, let alone high-value, and high-sentiment ones like for cars and houses. Maruti was gaining marketshare through the sales slowdown of 2012-2014, even though they didn't cut prices nor did they so much as facelift their bestsellers, let alone launch their NEXA-generation all-new, 'premium' models. For eg.

    It is NOT much of a function of the actual product, the car: its looks, engines, engineering, gizmo-count, even price (to a large extent) etc. Demand is inelastic for a beaten-down brand, irrespective, and conversely, highly elastic for a beefy one. Irrespective of the gap, if any and in whatever direction, in product attributes and virtues between two such opposite, polarized brands.

    FIAT needs at least another FULL life-cycle of all-new models before the negative inertia can be fully overcome, i.e., another 5 years at least. If at all. Which is probably why emphasis is shifting to first Abarth, then majorly to Jeep, as the Fiat brand takes the inevitable time it needs to 'turn-around'.

    Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai will almost inevitably race-along, taking 70+% marketshare just between the 2 of them.

    Happily, FCA will, unlike every other non-MS+HY car firm, still make sizeable money via Maruti (and Tata), aside from exports+Jeeps etc?!
  6. Turbothinghy

    Turbothinghy Esperto

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    --- Double Post Merged, Jul 27, 2015, Original Post Date: Jul 27, 2015 ---
    Very well said @prabhjot. I opine the same. Was looking forward to your detailed reply.

    Honda did a global launch with the so called new gen City, but it's build quality is even worse than the outgoing city and the diesel motor sounds like a tractor. In that case I am better off going for a Linea T-JET which might be older, or sold only in 3rd world countries, but provides more value for your buck and is an epitome of safety.

    Our 'kitna deti hai' Indian crowd has bolstered the Asian manufacturer's current loot.

    Look at Toyota Liva, weighs under 900 kgs and has one of the worst interior quality but then also it sells in good numbers, and it's not even cheap.

    Hyundai i20, agreed it is way better to drive than the outgoing i20 but still it's not close to what drivers want. The Asta variant is priced at 9.5 lacs ONR, just for the interiors and gimmicky features??

    SWIFT ZDI retails at 8.5-9 lacs ONR. For what?? It doesn't even have the gimmicky features or an above average interiors.

    If people think that these companies charge a premium because of their good brand recall and perceived after sales, then be aware it's not like the old times. Go for a test ride, you will get to know when you will see their buy it or leave it attitude. If ASS is of importance to you, go to team bhp and read the threads pertaining to engine seizures in Honda 1.2 ivtecs (ran around 10k kms) and Honda charging them a whooping amount even if it was a manufacturing defect OR the horror hyundai spare parts thread.

    As @Vidhyashankar Kannan had pointed out before, these manufacturers are like another Korean company, Samsung that always copied it's design from the iPhone and looted it's customers in the name of gimmicky features. Apple and Nokia( now erstwhile) were a lot better in this respect, though it's a shame that Nokia joined hands with Microsoft, and not Google,otherwise Samsung would have been at the bottom of the list,like they were some 10 years ago.
  7. avi_loveindia

    avi_loveindia Amatore

    Grande Punto 1.2
    i20 Active doing 2500 per month in sales ,, I think its not right to blame for all "Mango Man Buying" attitude ,,, its something to blame for BRANDS for their performance in Market too . I really feel closing of very popular Fiat Pandit in city like Pune may or may not hinder operational efficiency but I am Damm sure it will dent the Image for company trying it full stretch to mark its presence here
    prabhjot and dadasaheb like this.
  8. Turbothinghy

    Turbothinghy Esperto

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    Bro a Swift does even more numbers. It's not about the numbers here, it's about the value they are providing for their price in the name of after sales and better coverage of networks. I20/active does come with all bells and whistles but still is expensive, so isn't value for money IMO, keep originality aside. ASS and spare parts are already quite expensive and it's not even German!!! Nonetheless I do agree that it has the best build quality amongst maruti, Honda and Toyota in the segment.
  9. vinit

    vinit Amatore

    Linea 1.3
    The problem with Fiat is, they are neither serving the masses nor the classes. They dont have an "Alto" in their stable nor they have a "S class". I think, the Indian customer, in general, is confused about Fiat brand. (The history doesn't help either). Fiat strongly needs to bring cars segment wise in India and advertise them accordingly. Take one automative parameter (like mileage or performance or features etc) and build the brand around it (like maruti has done for mileage). If today, you ask anyone in India, what do fiat cars stand for, is there a one word answer which immediately connects with the customers? People need to study a lot about Fiat cars first, before even considering buying them. And when they do, it automatically becomes an "informed decision" :)
    prabhjot likes this.
  10. Amit Rox

    Amit Rox Amatore

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    off topic
    don't worry nokia will be back.
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