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Fiat Chrysler India's new MD - Nagesh A. Basavanhalli - Now Quit

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by santhukp, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    He's on TV talking to Hormadz: he's hardly likely to 'confess all sins' as to a catholic priest! Especially since most things about Fiat get blown out of all proportion by folks like.....us! ;-)

    Fiat have done what they said they would do 2 years ago. The credibility of their word, their commitment level is IMO greater than i had frankly attributed to them then.

    From a stylish yet stodgybatsman refusing even to take quick singles, i believe they're beginning to rotate strike well now, and are set fair for a bigger and longer innings than we'd have thought a year or two ago, no? ;-)

    Of course: except for botching up some of the dealer rollout issues in some places, and failing to bring the 1.6 mjd on the new Linea as promised.
    zenwalker likes this.
  2. zenwalker

    zenwalker Esperto

    Messages:
    2,150
    Bangalore
    That promised was not fulfilled due to the sudden volatility of the Indian automobile market, dont ya think. Suddenly the whole market went into crunch mode. People did not wanted high end cars (i am talking off huge populace) than they wanted small cars or affordable ones. Then slowly the market trend changed again due to the fact that the recovery of indian economy too.
    May be now and the near future is good enough to bring in higher end power trains via Jeep and Abarth brands i spose which not only help FIAT models alone but to sustain Jeep as well with lowering cost. Isnt it?
    prabhjot likes this.
  3. amogh

    amogh Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,377
    Pune
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Really? I am sorry but this is just blind defence of FIAT. In the same time frame that you talk about:

    1. Hyundai launched 1.6 in the Verna and it became a hit
    2. Vento had the 1.6 and it sold in decent numbers (They are now bringing the 1.5)
    3. Honda launched the 1.5 Diesel in the City
    4. VW brought the 1.6 in the Polo and it is selling in good numbers (at a premium pricing in fact)
    5. Skoda brought the 1.6 Diesel in the Rapid
    6. XUV (different segment but this is against your argument of people wanting small cars) became a blockbuster hit
    So let's not blame something else because FIAT did not take bold steps. 1.5 / 1.6 is the need of the hour. If you have it - bring it. Nobody had thought people would plonk 9-10 lacs in the GT series of Volkswagen hatchbacks. Fact is those cars selling in decent numbers (2k+ per month) and in some cities have a waiting period.
    mayank and J Ravi like this.
  4. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    Not sure that is true @amogh about VW GT sales. Most sales are of the 1.2 petrol and the non-GT cars, and the waiting periods are because the Tsi engines and until very recently even the 1.6 diesels were being imported. VW has a 'premium' image for a small minority of people: they've been selling 2000+ Polos for the last 3-4 years with those utter crap 1.2 three-cylinder engines. The new diesel's great, but sales are not up by much at all.

    And the comparisons with Hyundai and Honda don't make sense either: just because their brands are in totally different position in the hearts and minds of the average car buyer. The 1.3 mjd 90 hp is actually a better engine than the 1.6 noisy Honda diesel which has no more power or torque.

    The introduction of a 1.6 diesel on hatches is senseless in this market, even for Hyundai, let alone Fiat. VW does not sell that many GT or Tsi Polo-s (or tsi+DSG Vento-s).

    Fiat should've brought the 1.6 mjd on the new Linea at launch imo NOT because it would've supercharged sales but only because that's what they'd promised two years ago. I very much doubt engines have much to do with the Linea's poor sales numbers, it's the lingering poor-ish dealers/ASS reputation, and the marketing at fault, i feel.

    If the Avventura sells well initially, a t-jet and/or 1.5 mjd version of it next year (?) would make great market sense. I do fear the Linea does not have too much more life (in terms of sales) left in it, given both the stepped-up East Asian competition and the recent cultural shift in the C2 segment (severe herding, reliability and ASS paranoia, rise of the small CUV and the well-equipped C1 sedan etc).

    They sure did botch the facelift of the Linea (front styling) and its launch advertising, though. Maybe they should facelift this facelift (i speak as a delighted owner and lover of the new Linea T-jet) next year and relaunch the car again this time with the bigger mjd too? They should BUT will it be worth their while financially?

    But am delighted to see that they've learnt their lesson: the restyling of the Punto is much bolder, sportier, and along with the Awesome Avventura ;-) they're spot-on in making style into a USP, a mark of distinction, in a market that does care for build, handling, steering and braking as major criteria. Also, the marketing campaign overall (not just the ad) is much better in 'quality' and quantity.

    Overall like i said in the earlier post: they've kept most the promises made two years ago, and that to me is creditable enough. The real action starts now with the Evo and Avventura through to end-2016.

    Am hopeful, and even expectant!.:)
    zenwalker and Murphy_Fiat like this.
  5. amogh

    amogh Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,377
    Pune
    Grande Punto 1.3
    @prabhjot : you have completely missed my context.

    My argument was against the reason behind fiat not bringing 1.6 to India. Market conditions and people moving to small cars are not the reasons.

    I am not at all getting into subjectivity of which engine is better. The Honda is a 1.5 btw and not 1.6

    And about the GT sales : I am merely giving the feedback I have gotten from dealers. Unless we have variant wise sales figures we cannot debate. Fact remains that the Vento and Polo outsell Linea & Punto (FIAT has a much larger fan base than the small minority who consider VW premium)

    If 1.6 in a hatch does not make sense then 1.3 90 hp engine with a lousy 5 speed gearbox in a 12 lac sedan does not make any sense either. The market has already given in its verdict.

    And I completely disagree with the statement that the 1.6 cannot help Linea sales. One reason why Linea is losing out is because the existing Punto customer does not have an upgrade option. Will a 90 hp Punto customer buy the Linea today ? A few probably will. The majority won't. And majority of FIAT sales come from metros, big cities : educated, generally well informed customer base. These people do check things like engine capacity, power etc apart from reading online reviews which pretty much give Linea's diesel powertrain a poor rating.

    If your existing customers are not returning to your showrooms how do you expect first timers to even consider you?
    mayank, J Ravi, rudresh and 3 others like this.
  6. Viny

    Viny Esperto

    Messages:
    1,742
    :)
    +1 @amogh
    Also see how many Linea owners have migrated to XUV or other cars with better engines.
    This is clear indication that FIAT has to look ahead and not mere try to learn from competitors and then try to follow there foot steps.
    In todays world, one who steps first has more chances of success, unless you have massive brand following.

    The sales number itself shows that people are finding hard to belive that current gen Linea has edge.
    More or less the consumer now is more informed than 2009, so if Linea would have improved vis - a -vis competitors, then the sales numbers would have reflected it, and would have expected sales more than what Linea had in 2009-10. The rise in Hyundai, Honda, VW etc is not just herd mentality, people in this class and in current generation are well aware, so informed decision is also playing a good role in deciding what car.
    J Ravi and prabhjot like this.
  7. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    @amogh @Viny

    Agreed, except for the following: even in the best case a 1.6 mjd linea would sell a couple of hundred, maybe three, no? Only because of the much bigger issue with the lingering perception about ASS and reliability and the feeling that Fiat's not a big committed firm etc. We cannot get away from the fact that opinions about cars and firms is, for the vast majority, based on herding, i.e., word-of-mouth repetitions based NOT on research or direct experience or direct testimonials. I do not believe the internet has changed that, not much at all. Even if there is no herding at the level of information, there most definitely is on the basis of resale value, the disapproval of peers etc. I know so many folks who admire Fiats, with some knowledge, but who would still never buy one. Similar case is Skoda (at a higher price bracket).

    So: localizing the 1.6 mjd would be too expensive (including costs of inventories, parts at dealers' etc), absent greater volumes or greater pricing power. IF Fiat had the pricing power they could've gotten away with imported 1.6 mjd-s (for now, till 2016, arrival of India-made jeeps etc), just like VW and Skoda have (though to very limited degree) BUT i feel that would've been self-defeating since i doubt the market's willing to pay say a lakh extra over the current 1.3 mjd Linea price.

    Ya sure, you could argue that at least it would've buttressed the brand, but i do feel the brand's issues have almost everything with the dealer-ASS reputation rather than engines? I conclude that from the fact that the brilliant new Linea T-jet that I bought at launch sells only about a 100 a month (?), and that is despite diesel price increases.
    zenwalker likes this.
  8. zenwalker

    zenwalker Esperto

    Messages:
    2,150
    Bangalore
    Yep even many of the friends who wanted to buy sedan in the last 6 months or so went to other than fiat just because of all the horror stories and perception. They were learlst irked by the underpowered engine.
  9. Viny

    Viny Esperto

    Messages:
    1,742
    :)
    Was ASS any better in 2009 when the car was launched.
    Infact when it was launched FIAT had the worst image of run away company. And everyone knew how good TATA service centers were.
    And not many would even believe that FIAT makes cars other than padmini

    I am not sure if you made a visit to Fiat Rajnangoan plant.
    Its capable of manufacturing all the FIAT engines.
    Only thing that stops FIAT to build 1.6 or any higher engine is that, they have to build it in large quantity to make production feasible.
    Unfortunately they dont have sales to consume the production of engine. So it doesnt make logical sense to build some other engine on a engine development drive train where national engine is built.
    Secondly what ever they built gets shared with TATA as its joint venture, and tata consumes there majority of engines.

    Well if total sales are less than 200pcs, i would be surprised if more than 30-40 Tjets would be sold, majorly people buy MJD
    And as of now the majority of FIAT dealers are less than 2yrs old, so Dealer and its ASS Reputation could not be that bad in public. Although I agree majority of them need a lot of improvement.
    J Ravi and prabhjot like this.
  10. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    Well, that did not stop Fiat from launching the TJet in 2010 and then again in 2013, did it ? So whats the deal with MJD 1.6 ? In my opinion MJD 1.6 should have been launched from 2013 onwards, when they relaunched the TJet. In fact, they should have brought in the facelift last year itself. Its not a question of number justification. Its a question of investment of resources to build a brand.
    Which brings me to my oft-raised question. Is Fiat really committed to India ? Or are they content on being a powerplant OEM with an added flair ? Like the typical local bakery which 'contract manufactures' cookies but also sells some of it directly by the cornerside window?
    asimpleson and jumu like this.

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