Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by Sumit, Feb 4, 2013.
From fiat buddy
Frankly, if they launch Avventura with just some fancy exterior slats and tyre/roof mounts and some silly dials like G meter etc, then the "Adventure" is as dull as ditchwater . If they dont put anything new by way of the TJet or MJD 1.6, then Fiat might as well as stop the Avventura production right now..:sadblue
I dont know how they are going to even sustain dealerships at sub 1000 per month level sales at this rate.
I sometimes think, and i have said this before here, that Fiat's biggest enemies are its 'fans', whether they are owners or not: they are all too often looking to run Fiat India's efforts down, leading to self-fulfilling negative herding of opinions, at least on the net.
e.g., your over-emphatic denunciation of the Avventura overlooks the fact that neither the Ecosport nor the Duster nor the Etios Cross (which btw is selling well, contrary to many Fiat 'fans' claims that the market has no use for a car like the Avventura) comes with anymore powerful diesel engines at these price points. It also fails to acknowledge the fact for most buyers in India styling+features, along with ASS, is everything. Did the Linea sales shoot up withe introduction of the t-jet? What percentage of ecosport buyers go for the Ecoboost turbopetrol? What are the sales numbers of the Polo GT tsi? Methinks all that will happen if and when the Linea and the Avventura get the 1.6 mjd/t-jet is that sales won't rise much at all, because we will all be saying they are 'overpriced'/'what the hell was Fiat thinking?'
Fiat can only do what they are doing, only do it better, do more of it: marketing + improve the dealers/ASS. There is NO magic bullet for Fiat in this oligopolistic (Suzuki+Hyundai+Honda) market, which is simply not tuned to the automotive values Fiat (and other Euro manufacturers) offer. Engines and transmissions are totally beside the point.
Fiat's profits in India, whatever they are, at least till the launch and local manufacture of Jeep, will be almost entirely due to the tata Zest/bolt made in the Ranjangaon JV plant, and engine + AMT supplies to Maruti.
Though: I am hoping Marchionne is able, as rumours suggest, to buy VW's under-arbitration 19% share in Suzuki globally, by the end of the year! That is likely to be the best (the only?) way for Fiat to make any money here, in the sorry Indian car Baazaar. ;-)
Prabhjot and I are currently having some interesting conversations on Fiat. My point is: Where's Fiats storyline ? Fiat has a long and chequered history in India through its various associations.They supposedly turned a new leaf beginning with Palio and further on with Linea /Punto. But they are still stuck at 2009. They expect customers to be still vowed and "struck by the sight of you" (recalling that popular Linea Advt).
Other car companies built stories around their products along with all important catch lines that built the brand reputation. Toyota/Honda even get by with relatively inferior car designs just on the strengths of their global reputation. VW branded the all too pleasing "German premium quality", which isnt truly the case. About Maruti and Hyundai , I need not say much.
Even Tata managed to garner more attention with their Vista/Manza products, irrespective of the segments they cater to.
Ford pulled out their magic wand, and in a commendably bold move, positioned Ecosport so effectively that there exists a waiting period for the past 1 year now.
Renault came out of nowhere and built up an SUV fan following in the form of Duster.
And where is Fiat in the midst of all this? All they say is "if you still interested in driving pleasure, we are still there"..sounding like the good old neighbourhood grocery store that sells good products but is neglected because of the nearby mall.
They take over 6 months to just test a beefed up hatchback, do not give any promises of new features/powerplant options, other than some teasers that no one would care about, and there is virtually NO build up of a story that will excite prospective customers.
In fact, most car buyers are absolutely clueless about Fiat cars and their features. And whatever they know, is based on Fiat's misadventures pre-2009.
2) Prabhjot talks about Ecosport.Ford took a major gamble amidst diving sales of Figo and especially Fiesta. And it paid off because Ford gave the consumers something completely new. And even there, I believe the Ecoboost/1.5 petrol engines with AT are still not available. Only the regular 1.5 lt diesel is available.
In fact I think whatever sales of Linea are mostly because of the 1.4TJet. Most people I know virtually write off the Linea MjD, knowing that there are more powerful options in the market (at least on paper). One forum member wants to buy a Skoda Rapid only because of that 1.6TDI engine, never mind Skoda's supposedly shoddy after-sales reputation.
So Fiat really needs to up the ante on two levels,narrating the strength of their brand and their products in detail in a manner that will appeal to consumers, and exciting them with new and improved products.They have a long way to go in this matter.
Acechip and Prabhjot both are right in their own way. What Prabhjot says regarding diesel economy being the driving factor is true and acechip is correct about lack of awareness regarding Fiat products. Thing is that Fiat is rightfully too busy in setting up dealerships but now they seem to be ignoring other aspects of the business completely. Most of the dealers are unhappy with the business as per news to me.
I would put the blame on Fiat India only:
01. Fiat India has given lots of features in Punto/Linea that are nowhere documented since 2009 when they started selling these cars (e.g. speed sensitive intermittent front wipers, foot level rear AC vents and so many other). Most of the customers are not aware about all the features loaded in Fiat cars. Ask anyone around you and you will hear that i20 car is loaded with features.
02. Fiat doesn't even know how to utilize free stuff for marketing. I am talking about their facebook page. To give a hint, I once sent them an image of MID showing various detailed features available in it and requested them to create similar photos and put them up on facebook for marketing. I never see them do anything special on a free mode of marketing what do you expect on TV etc? Most of the times they just upload videos on facebook.
03. Fiat reacts fast to some reported issues but there are real issues that it is unable to solve:
3a. To improve performance, they reduced weight. 2009 Punto are really actual tanks.
3b. To counter poor roads built by government, they raised GC to 185mm for diesel and 195mm for petrol. That ride and handling balance is gone because of this and many TFI members have bought and installed old GC kits.
3c. The above two were not really issues but just a remedy that should have been an option for those who want it rather than forcing it on everybody.
There are still lots of real issues that Fiat is unable to sort: my friend has a 2011 manufactured linea that has done 19,000km in 3 years and still it has suffered from some issues that should not have surfaced so early.
I have seen at least 3 cars in my circle (1 linea and 2 punto) that suffer from power issues. Sometimes while driving, the car stops picking up speed and pressing the accelerator just increases the RPM without any increase in speed. The issue disappears and reappears spontaneously. I bought my Punto a full 15 months after Punto started selling. Still the issue of steering leak has surfaced in my Punto since 58k km reading. I am ok with inconsistent or shorter life of brake pads as the life of brake pads depend upon too many external factors and also Fiat has excellent braking capabilities. But I am not ok with a mechanical part giving up early.
its highly disappointing to see Fiat in such a shamble. the biggest irony to see that maruti is selling coz of its Fiat's engine. but Fiat is struggling. fiat india's attitute has been being so indifferent to the needs of indian market. all the pleas for the 1.6 MJD has been turned down. if polo can have a downsized engine why not Fiat? Fiat has all the arsenal in its pocket but still doesnt want to use them. they have the best cars and best engines but are still struggling here. fiat india is a joke.
please get a new CEO for Fiat India.
Fiat has a far better product, exterior and interior wise now. Punto and Linea both are competent products now. They have come up with nice looking interiors and features for which they were getting so much of abuse. Yes engine performance was also one of the issues, but I believe they are still decent. They will surely come up with better engines. Marketing push/ effort is the biggest gripe. They have to go all out on it. Hope they do so with Avventura at least. They have to create huge buzz around it, simply updating website or on Facebook will not help. Hope they really go big on Avventura.
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I think what is seen as Acechips' criticism should also be seen as constructive criticism at some level. I would suggest, there better be solutions bundled with perceived problems that one sees. Negative herding or not, the Indian buyer youngster or old aged, has a brand perception of his and if he or she forms opinion on some half-story it's their loss (to keep away from a great product) and also the loss of the brand for not providing a compelling enough reason for a customer to look the other way on negative opinions or publicity.
On this hypothesis, if relative segment cars are priced at a particular price point; of-course comparisons will be made, so for customers premium is understandable but on what brand, it counts. So yes maybe we are cheapsters looking for that one compelling deal with maximum benefits in our favour. There are lots of perception factors here.
We also tend to forget that there is a limited space in every region for total prospective customers and also the factors such as first time buyers or second car buyers (their needs and risk appetite and compromising attitude, Japanese vehicle TCO vs European safety and higher average TCO ); overall market slack or slowdown in car sales. Some have very low appetite for surprises for after-sales-service, which are by and large smaller in Japanese and Korean brands.
Totally agree on the oligopoly enjoyed by competitors (as is evident from sales), so essentially segment to segment they are competing with VW or Skoda cars right as far as material, manufacturing and design are concerned ? If that is agreeable, Fiat and VW are in the same boat to an extent, with slight exception of Skoda still being a more preferable brand based on their early presence and acceptance in the market. I might say even VW has a tough time against the Skoda brand which doesn't matter as far as overall sales for the parent co. are high. So Fiat has no magic bullet correct and therefore needs to work even harder with product selection, marketing and after sales; unless they are only planning for the long term game (which I would like to believe more looking at their international operations), in which case all our collective opinions don't matter too much anyways because both Avventura or even Jeep (CKD) are good only for short term debates.
Isn't VW offering German Quality.. you don't think it does.. Sincerely, which areas lack I am eager to know. Simply look at those door tolerances. :smile: Compromises on interior dash and fittings are only in choice of material going from grade A to B and not in manufacturing. If in any way by German premium quality you mean to imply german cars cost vs reliability then that is a topic of debate for sure. Primarily Japs and now Koreans too win hands down for the overall proposition on money spent and tradeoffs of technology vs reliability (read niggle free and comparatively low recurrent costs).
Fiat is also unfortunate with Indian customers, where one is happy to get a good Eurofeel car and very sad after comparing it to his Maruti-Suzuki for sales service and spares peace of mind; it happens automatically.."It's only human nature to want more (even better for free)" :
I agree with you here, Fiat could have done better, by already introducing anything that is a CUV, MPV or SUV at the right time along with competitors just to mark presence if that makes sense.. :smile:
Agreed..! They are clueless or they don't care even. I guess what's a simple and tested and safe alternative, says the average buyer. Yes, the misadventures are not only bad they are criminal in nature (those who suffered know better). Many have said goodbye forever and many will in future, if they don't listen and react to the markets and get their act right. And some influential will dissuade others till they die. For a person with higher challenges and responsibilites, nothing comes higher than peace of mind. This is the customer who influences many in society, who's word is counted and pondered upon seriously by friends and relatives, this is the man Fiat needs to win over again. In good probability we all know one or more of such people in our circles of friends and relatives. (a senior or experienced person who's approval or disapproval over such decision matters.)
What about fuel price deregulation, what about that factor..? There is and will be sales of MJD in future also. It's a proven national engine and the educated lot atleast knows this well. :smile: (Don't call them educated otherwise :wink:.)
Good that you mentioned this forum member, I guess it proves the point that when choices are there, one may rule mind over heart irrespective of love of a brand. He was open enough, but many will not be, they will simply see their needs and weigh options & expectations and choose between available choices.
Very True, what has not been done already like introducing Avventura or two more models in portfolio by now (irrespective of good or bad decisions), will or has given signals that Fiat isn't an aggressive player in the market. Reason enough for many to stay away from the brand.
Not sure if this was shared before -
Is it a scooped ad of Avventura this time?
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