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Buying and ownership - Punto 1.3 MJD

Discussion in 'Punto 1.3 MJD' started by Imteeyaz, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Imteeyaz

    Imteeyaz Amatore

    Messages:
    83
    Mumbai
    Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Hi everyone,

    I am Imteeyaz from Mumbai, a proud owner of a Fiat Punto 1.3 MJD, Pearl White!! I have just completed my first 1000kms today since I got this Italian beauty home on 16[SUP]th[/SUP] Nov’13.
    Flash back – Year 2009 my wife confessed that she had thought of gifting me my first car on my birthday. I reconfirmed what she said a couple of times. And yes she was serious but my birthday had already passed on. But how could I let go such a birthday gift!! So after lot of search and me getting impatient to buy my first car we finally got a used ten year old Maruti Zen Vxi. That was my car for which I persuaded my home minister to stretch our budget and I continued the ‘parampara’ for every car we bought hence forth.
    So count down as follows
    2009 – Pre-owned Maruti Zen Vxi (mpfi engine)
    First car, learnt driving, not less than a sports car, long romantic drives, unforgettable drive to Malshej ghat.
    2010 – New Maruti WagonR Lxi (K10)
    Second car – first brand new though, amazing space, overloaded long drive to Bhandardhara (6 adults), sold to my father in law!!, so still own it!!
    2013, January – Dream comes true – Pre-owned Mahindra Scorpio SLX (2007 manufactured)
    Rocky beige, eight seater, top model of its time, Mumbai-Agra trip, Fulfilled my promise to my wife to drive her down to Agra to visit Taj Mahal, my longest non-stop drive till date - from Agra to Ahemdabad (17 hrs), had to spent almost every month, sold it to same dealer from whom I bought, sold with tears in my eyes L
    2013, October – Needed a reason to smile again
    After every month expenses incurred to maintain the scorp which resulted in monthly wars between Mars and Venus. I couldn’t dare to continue the ‘parampara’ I had set with my first car. So the budget by default was the amount we got from selling my dream car. So five zeros followed after digit 4, which was the budget. The car had to be economical in all fronts. “It better be”, do I need to mention who said it. So brand - Maruti, fuel - CNG, best available option – Alto 800. With discount fitted exactly like a jigsaw puzzle. Ya, I had the same reaction after a scrop a alto 800. But thought that was the ‘paschataap’ for various ‘paapi’ expenses I did on my scorp without my better half’s knowledge. Test drove the car and I was happy, come on now I know what your raised eye brow means. I comforted myself by saying atleast I am getting four wheels. I also test drove the car which was sent to my house with my wife, for her it was better than she expected.
    Later, I dared to check out the Hyundai Eon, like everyone I too liked it for its styling, took a test drive, amazing front seats and asked the sales executive to send the car home for test drive. So my wife too can have a look. She liked the front seat comfort too. But the CNG version after discount was 66,000 over budget. Tried negotiating with Hyundai but couldn’t extract much.

    Next day was the one which changed the whole perspective. ‘Buy something stronger’, this phrase from my father in law changed my wife’s mind. So new options – strongest contender was Wagon R CNG, followed by Hyundai Santro Zing, i10 and i10 grande. Infact, choice was only between Wagon R and Santro. I was not in for any of them. i10 grande was my real interest but couldn’t consider the petrol option due to petrol prices and diesel was still far too expensive. Also, grande had a waiting period of one month and we were already facing issues regarding travelling so waiting for another month was not possible. Discussed with friends and got few more weak options (here by weak options I mean as per my choice). As always, I was becoming impatient to buy a car. New options which I knew were really not a match in regards to my choice or my budget.

    New Options
    Pre-owned Swift diesel
    Toyota Liva
    Honda Amaze

    From this emerged a faint name which seemed weak but yes had big appeal to me - Fiat Punto (pocket rocket). My wife too had always liked Fiat cars for its built quality and long association with our country. She had also shortlisted a Palio while we were searching for our first car. But that time she had considered it as an option more for its price it was available in used cars market. Coming back, her school friend who is amongst her best friends also drives a Punto. So I could see the dots getting connected. But unlike other cars it was difficult to get accurate information about this rear Italian beauty which was pulling my heart and already had found its way in my ownership dreams. Fiat are you reading?? Please update the website. In products section I actually got options like Uno, Palio, Siena and Petra. Cars which are discontinued long back. I knew Fiat had split up with Tata and had set up its own showrooms but wasn’t sure about the locations. I got few showroom details from the web site but they were old ones from the times when Fiat was with Tata. I called on few numbers in the western suburbs and they just said we don’t keep Fiat cars and hung up. Finally I called Balaji Motors Thane, which was among the showrooms mentioned on the website. A lady answered but dint sound like a receptionist of a car showroom. Rather sounded like one we often encounter in a government offices. She asked me leave my name and number and told me that someone from the sales team will be giving me a call. Now, after experiencing Maruti service centres I expected a call in half an hour, no one called that day. Next day again I called and the lady said yes you had called yesterday, I said yes but I haven’t received any call from your side. She again asked me for my number and assured me that I will get a call from them in sometime. No call again the whole day, I was irritated and thinking of re-considering my wish to buy a Fiat. Third day I called again same lady answered and hearing the frustration in my voice told me to hold the line so she can transfer it to a sales executive. Another female who sounded little professional answered, I asked her for details of each variant with prices and if there are any offers going on. She told me that she will mail all the details in an hours’ time. She just messaged me her name with showroom address, but no mail till 7 pm. I was like forget it, but then I though let me give it a last try. I replied on her sms telling her that I haven’t received any mail from her. Received a sms from her that she is on her way home and will mail me in a hour’s time. Finally, I got the details I wanted but my dreams shattered looking at the on road prices, they were out of our budget of five and a half lakhs. No way could I exceed the budget to seven lakhs for which I was getting the base variant, that too after discounts. Apart from discounts they were offering some free goodies like road side assistance and absolute pack. At this point it really dint matter as I was sure I couldn’t fit the car in my budget. I called up my friend who has been a partner in all the car buying processes. He suggested we go to Thane showroom next day that was Saturday (weekly off for both of us) and see if we can negotiate.

    But there was an issue – this friend of mine had got operated for kidney stone a week before and he had to get his stern removed on that day. He had to go for this by 12 noon that day. After that procedure which I can imagine would be painful he was advised not to drive so I had to drive his car. So that gave me some hope but I was restless. Saturday mornings are always happy but my plan to visit Fiat showroom that day added to the excitement. While having breakfast I was browsing through Bombay Times and saw a Fiat ad on its last page. WOW!! It said Torrid Fiat now at Andheri East!! I jumped with joy that I don’t have to wait till 12 and neither do I have to travel to Thane. So now I don’t have to invest my time to get a Thane visa!! LOL!! I gave a call on the Torrid Fiat Andheri showroom number mentioned in the ad. The lady said they are located at the same place where earlier there was Kingfishers office, beside Sai Service on highway. Bingo! I was well aware about the location. A week before I was at Sai Service to inquire about Alto 800 and a week later here I am to check out an altogether different breed, just beside it. When I reached the showroom there were few workers fixing up the glass door of the showroom. I managed to enter and I was welcomed by the receptionist, she remembered me that I had called in the morning. She told me that I was there first walk in customer. I was also welcomed by a smart guy dressed casually wearing Fiat t-shirt, he introduced himself as Zen, the showroom manager, offered me a seat and inquired if I would like to have tea or coffee, I just asked for water. He said an executive will attend me shortly but I was so excited I told him I wanted to check out the Punto and can I go around the display car. There were three cars on display, two Puntos and a Linea. Punto I was attracted towards was a 90hp sports version pearl white with blackened roof and red side mirrors, looked hot!! A Tuscan wine Linea, worth a look! And another Punto 75hp Emotion version in pearl white but had amazing graphics all over the car. The graphics had god Ganesh in a very artistic manner, some mantre in Hindi and colors all over including the bonnet. Yeh, also had lord Ganesh’s ride a mouse as part of the graphics. Liked the graphics a lot.

    Time to get inside, I tried opening the door of the sports version but it was locked, the manager asked me to wait, ran across the other end and got the keys. Driver side door opened and the first feel getting inside this car got a big big smile on my face. Am I on the driver’s seat of a sports car!! The executive was here too, Zen politely told me that he would explain me the details and he excused himself as he had some work. The exec took me around the car and explained me some features which I had already read here on the forum. I experienced the back seat comfort but was not very happy with the ingress and egress. I know that’s obvious after using Scorpio and a Wagon R very few cars can impress you on that front. But the looks and the external build quality wow!! I asked the exec to explain me the offers and variant-wise prices and we headed towards the discussion table. I told him that I am more interested in Active and Dynamic versions as that’s what my already over stretched budget would permit me.

    Prices & Offers:
    [TABLE="width: 1043"]
    <tbody>
    MODEL
    POWER
    FUEL
    EX- SHOWROOM
    REGN I/C SER CH INDIVIDUAL
    REGN I/C SER CH COMPANY
    INSURANCE I/C SER CH
    LOGISTICS CHARGES
    EXTENDED WARRANTY
    TOTAL INDIVIDUAL
    TOTAL COMPANY

    PUNTO ACTIVE
    1.3
    DIESEL
    596070
    72568
    126214
    23018
    3500
    6629
    701785
    755431

    PUNTO DYNAMIC
    1.3
    DIESEL
    663111
    79942
    139622
    25367
    3500
    6629
    778549
    838229

    PUNTO EMOTION
    1.3
    DIESEL
    726978
    86968
    152396
    27605
    3500
    6629
    851680
    917108
    </tbody>[/TABLE]

    Punto (Diesel - Active)
    RSA + Exchange/ Loyalty Bonus of Rs.35, 000 + Gift Cheque Rs.25, 000 + Accessory Pack
    OR
    RSA + Gift Cheque Rs.25, 000 + Accessory Pack
    Punto (Diesel – Dynamic & Emotion)
    RSA + Exchange/ Loyalty Bonus of Rs.30, 000 + Gift Cheque Rs.15, 000 + Accessory Pack
    OR
    RSA + Gift Cheque Rs.25, 000 + Accessory Pack
    The executive asked me if I am going to exchange my old car to which I said I have already sold my Scorpio so he replied saying then you are eligible only for the second option for either of the variant I select.
    Prices after discount
    Active: Rs. 6, 76,785/-
    Dynamic: Rs. 7, 53,549/-

    I asked if it’s possible to get the loyalty bonus anyhow, he said ‘Not possible sir’. You will have to sell us a car only than we can offer you that. I played my ace card ‘All payment in cash’! The executive excused himself and walked to me with the manager Zen. Why is Fiat’s manager using competitor’s nomenclature? Is it due to proximity effect to Sai Service! LOL!! He sat and recalculated the price and we reached a figure. I asked for a test drive but he said they haven’t got the test vehicle yet and it’s expected only by Monday. I inquired if it can be arranged on that day itself so I can make a booking. Now it was quite apparent that I was a sure customer rather than a potential one and they just to conclude the sale with a ritual of test drive. So I was told that if the test car is arranged I will get a call in an hour’s time. I left the showroom little saddened as I was not very positive of getting the test drive on that day itself. But a good-bye look at the displayed Punto sports which stood there at the doors of the showroom gave me hopes in a mystical way. I got home had lunch and surprisingly got a call from the executive saying that he will get the car at my place in an hour’s time and asked me to sms the address. I was overwhelmed!! And guess what I got a call from an executive from Balaji motors that I will be reaching your place in 10 mins for a test drive and he wanted my address. I told him that I am interacting with Torrid Fiat Andheri and they too are sending the car to my place for test drive in sometime. The executive disappointedly said ‘sir we have come so far, please take a test drive of our car as well.’ I was like did I ask for a test drive, I also mentioned that I was fed up following up with their showroom for getting details of the car from past three days and had got very cold response. And now without informing me they have come with the test vehicle. The executive apologised and pleaded me to take a test drive. I finally agreed to take the test drive and gave him my address. After 15-20 mins got a call from this executive stating that they are at my building gate. I decided to test drive this vehicle alone and the later one with my wife. It was a pearl white emotion variant, for some reason the colour looked very dull and had a yellowish tint which I dint like . There were two guys, one an executive and another was the driver. The executive was in plain formals and the driver was in fiat t-shirt and black jeans. It seemed the driver represented the company more prominently. Anyways I got in the driver’s seat pulled the seat little ahead so my feet could reach the ABC of the car. As it was an emotion variant it also had height adjustment, so adjusted it to maximum level. Adjusted the three mirrors and on I went. As I was on a busy Vile Parle streets couldn’t actually drive the over 30-40 kms/hr. I found the brake pedal was too lose/soft and whenever I braked the car halted with a jerk. I guess that was because it was a test vehicle and it had been abused. Other than that the car felt solid, amazing pick-up, great external built quality and chilling ac. The auto climate control did a good job. However, the internal built quality and music system were not very impressive. But these were things I thought I can live with. I asked the executive for some details about the car which I already knew. Later I got the point – price, availability of colours and delivery time. He gave me the standard price quote mentioned on the price list, he wasn’t sure about which colours were in stock so he couldn’t comment on the delivery time either. He asked me at what price torrid is offering me the car to which I said its lower at which you are offering me. During our conversation I just asked out of inquisitiveness that why the active petrol version does have 195 mm of ground clearance compared to other version where it is 185mm. The executive looked puzzled and stared the driver who was on the back seat. As he too dint knew the answer he said we don’t know. I just reached a red signal I got a call from the Torrid motors executive that they have arrived at the address. I knew this will be an odd situation for both the executives to come face to face. So I informed the Balaji motors exec that the torrid car has reached by building.
    To Be Continued…..
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
    2 people like this.
  2. Tony

    Tony Esperto

    Messages:
    2,048
    Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai
    Kuwait
    Grande Punto 1.2
    Interesting
  3. rishike007

    rishike007 Esperto

    Messages:
    1,416
    Mumbai-Pune
    Pune- Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.2
    Sales manager Zen has real good personality. He helped me for the booking as well as payment process by sending Finance executive and Asst. Sales Manager to our Panvel home :)
  4. Imteeyaz

    Imteeyaz Amatore

    Messages:
    83
    Mumbai
    Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.3
    I completely agree with you Rishikesh, he is very helpful. Fiat India needs such people!! His name is Zainul Khalique
  5. Imteeyaz

    Imteeyaz Amatore

    Messages:
    83
    Mumbai
    Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Finally I got time to update my thread. While my Punto has already crossed 2000 kms. I told the Balaji executive that you may drop me away from my building so he doesn't have to face the Torrid guys. To which he said its fine and suggested that they will drop me home. He further mentioned that if I wish they can come again the next day to give me a longer test drive. I said I will let him know and asked him to arrange for details i needed from them about price, ready availability of colors in active and dynamic version. We reached my building gate and it was a shock for Torrid fiat's sales guy, his jaw actually touched the ground...:grin: The two cars where parked on opposite side of the roads facing each other. The TF guy came running to me and had a big question mark on his face. I said that I had inquired with them last week and they had come to give me a test drive without informing me. The two sales guys greeted each other and we headed towards Torrids Punto, which looked amazing with graphics all around the car. I informed my wife to come downstairs for TD, told the sales exec that we need to wait as my wife will be joining in. So I drove the car inside the building compound. The graphics on the car attracted everyone who looked at it. It was a emotion variant, fully loaded with features like automatic climate control, drivers seat height adjustment, electrically adjustable ORVMs, rear wiper and washer which i miss in my active variant. Also not to forget it had ABS for which I wanted to go for Dynamic variant but I was quite sure I will have to settle for Active due to lack of green power. My wife arrived we took a look at the car from outside and she loved the graphics. The sales guy vacated the passenger's seat for my better half and shifted to back seat with their official driver and tech person. And off we went, this car felt much better than the Balaji test car, i guess it was abused badly. Both the front passengers had a big smile on the face. I asked the sales guy to explain my home minister the feature difference in Active and Dynamic version so i could take advantage of the happy moment and steer her decision towards Dynamic version. But I got very cold response from her. This time i took a shorter TD as there was lot of traffic, but took another round on same route with prince and princess on back seat...:razz: The sales guy insructed the driver to drive fast on bad roads so we could feel how good the car handles bad roads. And yes we were impressed. Once again we were in our building compound, we checked our the boot space, external looks and also the engine compartment. We were very happy, but i was still keen to go in for Dynamic variant rather than Active.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. Imteeyaz

    Imteeyaz Amatore

    Messages:
    83
    Mumbai
    Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.3
    But due to budget my wife was very clear that it will be the base variant i.e. Active icon_e_sad.gif . The executive insisted that we either give them the booking amount than and there or they drive us to showroom and we can have a word with Zen (their sales manager) regarding the price and freeze a car by giving a booking amount. We declined both the offers as we wanted to compare the prices we were expecting from Balaji. Instead we told them that we will come to the showroom the other day which was a Sunday and finalize the deal. Next day morning I got a mail from Balaji with their quotes and they were as expected higher. I was any which ways not happy with the way they handled my inquiry and their approach towards providing uninformed test drive. So we planned to go to Torrid to strike a deal, I asked my friend to join us and he happily agreed. We were greeted by Zen and our discussion started with the choice of car color and its availability in stock as we had no intention to wait for any specific color. The discussion finally came to the main topic and my home minister made it very clear that we wont buy the car if its a rupee more than our budget. In the bargain we knocked off the extended warranty and absolute pack. But the amount still was 15k more than our budget. All these was for active version so I was already a bit disappointed that now i cant even mention the word 'Dynamic' icon_e_sad.gif . My wife suggested we drop the plan to buy a GP and go to the showroom next door - India's favorite Maruti Suzuki. That was a shock for me and the last blow of the day which threw me in the zone of high frustration. We checked random cars in Maruti showroom rather it wasn't we who were checking out the cars it was only my better half and my friend. I was not in a mood to even look at any car other than a GP. None of the diesel variant were in our budget. The only choice we had was the 'smart choice' wagon R CNG. CNG because I was going to commute by it daily from home to office and back. The execute their was a bit rude who was not interested in showing us the cars (which fit our budget) or in giving us a TD, which is uncommon in a Maruti showroom. So we came out with more frustration and expected that Torrid might come back to us with a revised price. This is the old tried and tested Indian trick to get a best deal for any product. I knew it will work out but I had become impatient, yes thats me. So one more week wait, as during the week I have no time left after office hours and travel time. During that week I researched options by which I can get the car at a price which would bring a smile to our budget dev icon_e_smile.gif . I thought of getting a car from Pune in ex-showroom price and register it in Mumbai later. I spoke to few dealers in Pune and an agent at Andheri RTO about getting the car registered but the price worked out to be the same.

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    3 people like this.
  7. Imteeyaz

    Imteeyaz Amatore

    Messages:
    83
    Mumbai
    Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Finally, got a call from Zain with a quote which was closer but dint match our budget but I dint have the patience to wait and I agreed to give up and convinced my better half for the same. I arranged the booking amount and it got back my smile. I conveyed to Zain that we would make the remaining payment on following Saturday after we do the PDI on that morning. Also, I wanted the VIN number so I could decode it and know the manufacturing month of my car. I got the number by Thursday but the last three characters which are crucial were missing. I got a bit suspicious so I asked the dealer to give me their stock yard manager's number. By the time I got his number (Mr. Naveen) it was almost 7 pm and when i called him up he had left from the stock yard but he promised me that he will provide me the last three characters the moment he reaches the stock yard next day morning. The next day morning as promised I got a sms from him with the last three characters which decoded as Aug '13 manufactured. I thanked him and informed him we will be coming on Saturday for a PDI. On Friday I got the balance amount ready in cash and waited impatiently for Saturday for my cars 'Mua Dekhayi' icon_e_biggrin.gif Woo - Saturday, I met my friend Shashank and we started off to Fiat-Nissan stock yard at Malji pada, Vasai on his bike. On reaching we horned at the big metal gates and the security guard opened it and a big ground with Lineas and Puntos on left side and Terrano, Terrano and Terrano on the right side. That clearly demonsrated that Terrano was the next big thing for Nissan. Naveen had got my GP washed and parked right in the front towards the gate in the trail of Puntos and Micras. Oh yes, we were carrying the TFI PDI check list, a big thanks to TFI for it. I was mesmerized by the looks of my White Italian beauty...mama miya...My friend suggested he will check the exteriors and I check the interiors. I checked everything as per the check list and all was well until I checked the left ORM knob, it was hanging out. So just pushed it in and it fitted well, but it couldn't adjust the mirror well - so that earned the first cross. Checked the boot and was surprised to see the parcel tray in a base model - Active, unlike other manufacturers base models. There a strange red string on right side wall of the boot, inquired about it, Naveen said its the emergency fuel lid opener - SMART! Apart from left ORVM knob everything else passed the check. Time to fire up the engine and I passed on that privilege to my friend who was equally excited. I was watching from outside in front of the car, heard the sweet grant of the MJD engine and it was WOW!! It moved ahead with grace and I loved it, felt like driving the car home right than. He parked it ahead so I could inspect the left side in detail which I couldn't earlier due to the Micra parked next to it. I hopped in to check the AC cooling but as the car was parked in bright sun light dint feel the cooling to be good enough but within minutes my doubt was blown off. I asked my friend to switch on the lights so i can check out the mesmerizing head lights and sporty tail lights. They were all working fine! But my friend noticed a warning light on instrument cluster, which was like a blub sign. We showed it to Naveen but he wasn't aware what it indicated. I asked my friend to check the manual, while I check if its the same in another Punto parked near by. The other Punto dint show any such sign. I got worried, by that time my friend discovered from the manual that the sign indicated a bulb malfunction. So we started checking each bulb on the exterior and found that one of the blubs over the rear number plate was not working. We asked the manager to make a note of it and report it to the dealer. Also, we noticed a very minute dent on the front right wheel arch, however we weren't sure if it was actually a dent or just a shine effect. But we made a note of it. Mr. Naveen treated us with tea icon_e_smile.gif and we left happily.
  8. Imteeyaz

    Imteeyaz Amatore

    Messages:
    83
    Mumbai
    Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.3
    My White Fiat Punto

    image.jpg

    MyPuntosFirstRain.JPG

    Relaxing GP :p
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2014
    3 people like this.
  9. Imteeyaz

    Imteeyaz Amatore

    Messages:
    83
    Mumbai
    Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.3
    The last picture is after my GP's first unseasonal rains in Mumbai! See the smile on my Punto!!;)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  10. Imteeyaz

    Imteeyaz Amatore

    Messages:
    83
    Mumbai
    Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.3
    I reached home and gave a call to Zain about my concerns after the PDI. He mentioned that Naveen has already informed him about it and he will get them corrected. So I told Zain that I will come and make the balance payment by 2pm. I reached the showroom and he invited me with a pleasant smile and informed me that we need to go to the workshop to make the payment and same time I can see the service center. He gave me the invitation card for the official opening of the showroom which was scheduled for the next day (Monday). We drove to the workshop in a sparkling Linea, which was my first ride in a Linea. I was very impressed with the car, its build quality and ride. We reached workshop which is shared with Nissan. Behind it is a big VW service center. Fiat needs people like Zainul Khalique at their dealership to get the company its deserved success. After going around the workshop I made the balance payment and ordered for two extra fitments for my GP Active. Those were fog lights and remote locking. I was ready to make a payment for it than and there but as a gentleman Zain asked me to pay later at the time of delivery as he first wanted to make sure the accessories are available and can be fitted. I emphasized on getting remote locking, to which he said he will try his best. He said that he will get the car to workshop that day itself and submit the registration application to RTO the next day. However, he said that I can come to the showroom opening the next day and do the car key accepting ceremony in presence of the top Fiat officials and feel special. But as it was Monday and I was just a month old in my new job I knew I wouldn't be able to make it so informed him that my wife would be attending the same.
    1 person likes this.

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