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Fiat India - Future Plans

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by Ravi, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    Today's Business Standard, arguably the country's best, only honest?, business and serious public-affairs newspaper reports, excitingly:

    That Tata and Fiat are/have begun now to work at Ranjangaon on the localized manufacture of the 2.0 litre multijet diesel engine, which Fiat will use on the Jeep-branded C-SUV, and Tata will too on their premium, co-developed with Land Rover inputs, SUVs, all three planned for 2016?/2017.

    i.e., they plan to repeat the 1.3 mjd formula: shared engines (and transmissions?) for better economies of scale, better technology for Tata, better costing and risk-sharing for Fiat, as it uses India as an export base for that Jeep C-SUV to go offering it competitively enough priced in the domestic market, as also reported a month or two ago by Autocar India, and also the Economic Times.

    The sourced report also claims that Tata Motors has already, a month ago, sent RFQs to suppliers about these 2 2017 SUV-s, one a 5-seater, the other a 7-seat version. Safari improved-replacements, i guess? Apparently, the target sales, including exports, for these 2 SUV-s together is 50000 a year. i.e., 50,000 2l mjd engines?

    It also quotes an analyst who feels that, in the process, Fiat could find still other buyers (e.g., Maruti with the 1.3 mjd) for this 2 litre mjd.

    Strangely: no word on the 1.5/1.6 mjd, at all, perhaps because Tata has no use for it, as yet? Does not bode well, then, for the chances of that engine's arrival at the very least in the new all-new 2016 launch(es).
  2. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Regolare

    Messages:
    495
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    @prabhjot Can you post link? Any news on cars from Fiat?

    O.T I am back home with my parent's and driving a Hyundai Eon. Now I understand what a dead steering is :p
  3. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
  4. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    I was wondering why Tata is agreeable to the use of the Fiat 2 litre mjd when its own Varicor 2.2 litre, their own development of the same Austrian? engine both Mahindra and Tata bought years ago, is well-regarded.

    But here's the thing: even without multijet 2's advanced injection: the Fiat 2 litre offers MORE torque at a lower rpm (as low as 1500), is more refined, has better fuel efficiency and a wider power band, and what's more is already Euro6 compliant: emissions quality makes the really big difference.

    The 2 litre mjd is paired on the Renegade and the European Cherokee to the same 9-speed ZF gearbox (made in-house by FCA, though) that Land/Range Rover use on all their models. Could LR be interested in this India-made engine too, I wonder speculatively then, and not just Tata Motors?

    Marchionne has just been, at the Detroit Auto Show, be3en speaking of engine and transmission-sharing as cost and risk-sharing strategy, even among competitors, as a substitute or supplement to M&A-s that yield economies of scale. Fiat/Jeep-Tata-MSuzuki exemplify this brilliant strategy: and for Fiat this really ensures great profits EVEN without any notable retail sales breakthrough in the Indian car baazar.

    Now, if only we heard similar confirmations of the same strategy being deployed for the 1.6 mjd!:( This year!?!:banghead:
  5. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    FCA has just made an investor presentation to analysts and investors at a Bank in switzerland, reiterating its five year global plan from 6 months ago.

    It clearly emphasizes Jeep for Asia-Pac, where the focus is entirely on China (local production of the Cherokee and the Renegade by the end of 2016), followed again with a China-centricism, by Alfa Romeo too as a brand they want to use in China and the rest of APAC, as the new Alfa-s sedans and sporty CUV-s start coming out starting this year. But it also says: 6 Jeep models globally in 6 localized manufacturing locations, meaning necessarily that India and perhaps Mexico are the other countries to see local Jeep manufacture, to begin by 2016.

    It is not clear at all that India is considered of any major importance by FCA, beyond the Jeep news, since it merits NO seperate mention whatsoever.

    The fact that it says clearly that the focus for Asia-Pac are Jeep (foremost) and Alfa Romeo also means necessarily that the Fiat brand is NOT going to be used much/pushed, since the profits and margins on that are much weaker, or as in India probably negative even.

    Now, UNLESS India is being treated as a whole seperate kettle of fish with its own Avventura-like, Fiat brand-centric script, it would appear that FCA is not keen at all on the Fiat brand in Asia. Of course, the Avventura example shows that they may not be including India in their APAC plans.

    In which case, what about the b-Suv promised earlier for 2016 for India? And the Linea replacement: the Grand Sienna, 2016? Given that these are kind-of all-new models, they'd find mention surely, which they do NOT! Not even for LatAM, where all rumours indicated they were being developedon a much-lightened version of the Palio platform.

    But: the new global presentation matches the original 5-year plan overall almost totally, and THAT plan clearly did state these all-new cars for both LatAM and India (which had its own section then, something it does not this time).

    Overall, one gets the feeling that FCA is de-emphasizing the Fiat brand in Asia, including India, going forward, and going 'premium' with Jeep, instead. Which is PERFECTLY the right thing to do, given the market culture and structure here, and the Fiat brand's deeply regrettable weak RELATIVE brand strength.

    The experience with the India-special Avventura has obviously been poor, leading one to believe FCA MAY be reconsidering any great commitments to all-new models even in 2016?! Presumably only sticking to new engines (shared with tata and Maruti) and maybe the AMT gearbox and a touchscreen equipment upgrade, and of course the Abarth brand? Just speculating, who knows, let's see through this year before concluding.

    I do hope they don't get demoralized about the brand's prospects here, and stick at it through what the original 5-year plan stated: new b-suv, new Linea replacement (also confirmed by sources at Fiat APAC to Autocar recently) + 1.6 mjd.

    But I think the seeming emphasis on engine- and transmission-sharing profits, and on Jeep (also for as exports' base) is just right: the Indian car baazar is NOT going to be any more hospitable to any new Fiats (versions) than it already is NOT! :(:confused::mad:
    bharath and dadasaheb like this.
  6. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    The newest reports/'rumours' suggest that the Jeep C-SUV for localized production and exports will start in 2017, not end 2016, alongwith the 2 Tata SUVs that'll share its 2 litre diesel engine (and transmission?).

    Now, Jeep launches sometime this year, and sometime after that they've committed to local ckd assembly operations for the Grand Cherokee.

    Which, then, leaves all of 2016 empty for Jeep, with no all-new offering, just like 2015 will be for the Fiat brand (not counting Abarth). Unless they plan/decide also on ckd assembly of the Cherokee diesel (it uses the 2 litre diesel too) for 2016.

    2016 is supposed to see the launch of a Fiat B-SUV on the lightened Palio platform, with the bigger mjd too. Except that there is no news or rumour or mule-sightings or concept-displays of it yet, neither here, nor in Brazil, where it is apparently being developed. Which leads one to dispiritedly conclude that it will come only in end-2016 (if that).

    Of course, it is, from all reports, based on the very platform and architecture of the Indian Punto/Linea/Avventura: namely the good old Palio one. And may indeed be called the Avventura. So, other than the 100kgs weight reduction of the platform through use of high strength, light steel, and all-new styling.....it can be brought to market faster than one imagines.

    Still, this localized ALL-NEW (rather than variants, of which there'll hopefully be a few esp Abarth and other t-jet-s+1.6 mjd?) product-launch calender is way too slow, clearly, both for Fiat and even maybe for Jeep, given the pace with which the dominant East-Asian firms, and even Tata and Mahindra, have been and will continue to move in India.

    So, I guess most of the next 2 years will see engine and equipment-level variants, new dealership/FASS openings ONLY, and SURELY?? lots and lots of branding/marketing/promotional activity not just for the new brand Jeep but for Fiat itself, rather than the really exciting and potentially redemptive stuff: all-new locally-manufactured launches.

    I guess it just takes that long to set-up the factory and supply/logistic chain for all-new products, and Ranjangaon's also dealing with the higher production of new Tata models.

    But if this is right, and ALL the evidence points that way, they really need to consider launching the Fiat 500X here even before the C-SUV in 2017: same platform/assembly line, local engine and transmission production (1.6 mjd + t-jet), many shared components and modules. And good export possibilities too, though not as great as those awaiting the Jeep C-SUV. It will do both the Fiat brand and sales here a power of good, and will add economies of scale to the manufacture of many parts of the Jeep C-SUV, no?

    Who knows about their budgets and other constraints at Ranjangaon, though? Especially, since the 'highest quality/match the best of FCA' mandate in production from Marchionne is apparently VERY strict and strong.

    I just hope this apparent slowness does not damage the Fiat brand terminally. FCA will make good honest money in any case through Jeep, Tata JV and Maruti S, but the brand itself needs exciting and apt-for-the-weird-Indian-automotive-palate novelty urgently. Though the financial risks involved in this brutal car bazaar are extreme, as evidenced by the huge losses all carmakers here are making, barring M, HY, Mahindra and ....Fiat India (indirectly)! :(

    The 500X in 2016 seems to me ESSENTIAL, then, for even the minimal well-being of the Fiat brand in India.:(:confused:

    Which, knowing Fiat's behavioural history in India, might mean it is not even being considered!;):p
    abhinav_nani likes this.
  7. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Regolare

    Messages:
    495
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    @prabhjot In one line from your analysis what seems apparent to me that the Fiat brand itself has no great plans. Jeep, Abarth if they do come will be luxury brands and not the people movers. Not good news for the existing customers. I am okay as long as they keep generating spare parts. Problem is if the car dealers are left in the lurch (which would be the case if they only have 2 cars in their portfolio) I am not sure if they would get dealers for the luxury brands.

    o.t. I am in the north - eastern state of Assam and people here have definitely less herding than in South India. This is strictly observation but far less percentage of Maruti - you see a good number of VW's here and Honda's. Heck we saw a Koleos and I have not seen one in Bangalore.
    Rituraj and prabhjot like this.
  8. ccprakash

    ccprakash Regolare

    Messages:
    268
    Bangalore
    Not only automotive industry, even in politics also our people will follow the same rule. Wether this guy is coming from religion, caste or creed, they will vote. They never bother if that guy is having the criminal back ground also. We are so generous : -)

    Last month i been to Ooty with my old friends. There we have got a discussion about the cars. They are willing to take the "M" brand cars even if it fails with "0" crash ratings. I have told them just compare the cars, they never bother they argued with me like a hell.
    Before buying the car itself they are talking about the resale :-(

    In telugu movie one famous diaglouge is there.

    In india People wants MAGIC. They never bother about LOGIC. Thats why here BABAs are famous rather than SCIENTISTS
  9. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol

    I wouldn't worry for a while yet, not till end-2016: they'll 'support' the dealers, and will surely??? engage in bigger better promotional activity+variants (new engines, Abarth, new equipment, amt gearboxes), in fact am certain they'll continue to open new dealerships and FASS.

    Remember: most dealers make money mostly from service NOT from sales, and there are enough new and old Fiats on the road to keep them ok for a few years yet. In any, even apocalyptic case, spares will be no issue at all, am sure.

    There's no way FCA will shut down the Fiat brand here for many years EVEN if sales don't justify being here, since FCA has major, profitable and growing interests in the Indian market (technical centres, Tata JV, supplies to Maruti, Jeep, Alfa Romeo?) and would never want its reputation and therefore overall prospects sullied.

    Remember: car companies are long term players, after all losses from retail operations because of weak sales are the norm in the Indian marketplace. To fear for the Fiat brand's existence here is to equally fear that VW, Skoda, Tata, Nissan, Renault, Ford, Honda, and Chevy too will windup, since they ALL have been and continue to lose money from retail operations in the Indian car bazaar. Some of these firms like Honda and Toyota are losing BIG money in China too, but they're keeping at it. Fiat is profitable from India!

    India, as has been predicted many years ago by such great economists as the Cornell University prof and former Indian chief economic advisor, Kaushik Basu, will within the next 2 years be the world's fastest and steadiest growing big economy.

    Fiat have not done the brand relaunch and the model relaunches/new launches and the new dealerships ....only to give up any forseeable time.
  10. dadasaheb

    dadasaheb Regolare

    Messages:
    374
    Pune
    MH 12 (Ranjangaon)
    Linea 1.3
    plan of FCA is to just relax and have the engine and gearbox supplier only.
    now 1.3 Mjd, in future - 1.6 and 2.0 Mjd to Maruti and Tata.
    i am feeling like they will only postpone Jeep launches from this year to next year (every year):hilarious:
    If they do not want to grow the Fiat Brand why they are increasing the dealerships then ?
    either scrap the Fiat brand and launch the Chrysler with a clean slate.

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