Ever wondered why the Fiat dealer you called and booked a test drive with never sent the demo car to you? Ever wondered why the Fiat dealer you visited, took a test drive with & discussed finances with, never called back asking you when you would be booking the car? Ever wondered why your Fiat dealer has no answer when you ask him when you are likely to get delivery of your car? Ever wondered why no one from the sales team at your Fiat dealer bothered to talk to you while you loitered around the showroom checking out the new Fiat car you were seriously interested in buying? How many times have all of us here heard a member post “I am seriously interested in buying the Punto but the dealer seems dis interested in selling the car. If this is the response before sales I can imagine what I will have to go through after the sale is made and I take the car for service!” The answer to all the above frustrating questions is there in the 2011 & 2012 J.D.Power Dealership survey. The chart below is self explanatory on how 9 of the mainstream car manufacturer’s in India performed in keeping their dealer’s satisfied through 2011 & 2012. Few points from the survey results: - Toyota dealer’s are the most satisfied 2 years running. And look at the scores! What’s even more amazing is that Toyota actually improved the scores in 2012, clearly, a company that isn’t taking anything for granted. - 8 out of 9 manufacturer’s improved satisfaction of their dealers in 2012 compared to 2011. - Fiat is the only company that has the dubious distinction of increasing DIS-Satisfaction among it’s dealers in 2012 compared to 2011. - Even Indian manufacturer’s (M&M and Tata) managed to improve satisfaction. What are the factor’s that increase or contribute to satisfaction among dealers? What do dealers look for from their principal’s? Take a look at the chart below: It’s no surprise why Fiat finished last and increased dealer dis-satisfaction. The single biggest contributor to dealer satisfaction is support (21%). Quoting from the J.D.Power report: Fiat’s score in 2012 is 680, indicting that sales team from Fiat barely visited their dealers! We all know Fiat had handed over sales, distribution & marketing to Tata. which means the sales team from Tata clearly ignored Fiat in their visits to their dealers. BUT, that doesn’t mean Fiat is off the hook. Falling sales should have woken them up to this problem after all it’s a 50:50 JV! Was Fiat plain lazy or ignorant to the reasons why it’s sales were slipping so fast? The second biggest contributing factor at 14% is ease of vehicle ordering and delivery. Now you know why your dealer can’t tell you when your car will arrive and be ready for delivery. Distribution of Fiat car’s was, you guessed it, with Tata. The third biggest factor contributing to satisfaction at 12% is the product. Apart from poorly made interior’s there is very little that should lead to dis-satisfaction from a brand new Linea & Punto. Suggestions welcome how this would have contributed to dis-satisfaction, if any, in dealers. The fourth biggest factor at 11% is parts. Again, Tata was responsible for this aspect. Off the top four factor’s that contribute to dealer satisfaction, Fiat was not directly involved in 3 of them! Is it a surprise then to see Fiat in doldrums today? To add insult to injury, look at Tata’s scores. They increased dealer satisfaction in 2012 v/s 2011 for the Tata brand by an impressive 14.85% (from 653 to 750 points). Clearly, Tata knew what needed to be done to improve scores. So, why didn’t they do it for their 50% partner? Was it deliberate or were there more serious concern’s that ultimately lead to Fiat deciding to take over & handle sales, distribution & marketing by themselves. So should we put the onus totally on Tata and let Fiat off the hook? Hoping to see more maturity from this forum, I am sticking my head out and saying, NO. What do you guys feel? Meanwhile, check out the 2011 & 2012 results chart’s below. There is however, one point that worries me. Training at 7% contributes the least to dealer satisfaction! Now we know why the sales staff come with the gems while explaining features! The above results should be a good guide to Mr Enrico Atanasio as he speeds up the process of setting Fiat exclusive dealerships. Mr.Atanasio, the story doesn’t end with Fiat setting up their own exclusive dealers. It actually starts from there.