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Fiat India - Future Plans

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

  1. jumu

    jumu Superiore

    I am saying again that FIAT needs a smaller car in the wagon R range that is cute and stylish,reliable and gives good ownership experience and most importantly the handling and drive feel that is central to a FIAT. This will lead to them following their other offerings. It will keep the dealerships and the service busy. The rest features of a good brand will follow and lead to success.

  2. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Superiore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    @prabhjot The first thing that they need is to improve the gearbox. That is even before they bring in the T-jet. See the herd mentality is a little overdone. It is not herd mentality that this manufacturer cannot improve the gearbox 5 years after the car was initially released. 5 years to bring in a quality engine (T-jet); wait actually they still have not and only 2 models in their portfolio. Volumes will come if they release a small car with brag value, slightly more expensive than the M,HY stuff but with all the bling and the safety. Good ride quality be damned.
    dadasaheb likes this.
  3. jumu

    jumu Superiore

    In my new EVO I feel the gear shift has improved and is quite good. No complaints. Also the huge difference in the turning radius is very evident. European gearshift is never like the asian brothers

    prabhjot, shams, rishike007 and 2 others like this.
  4. vista7155

    vista7155 Regolare

    If customers are choosing the M/H/T/Hy then these brands have one or more USP of Reliability,Styling,ASS and Mileage.
    when i chose the Punto Dynamic over Swift VDI it was only for Built quality,Price(Huge discount),Features offered and want to try Punto because we are having old Dzire.
    Certainly took chance in ASS because in bangalore we were having 3 ASS at that time and was confident about FASS of providing service at least for 6 Years.
    FIAT car is Reliable there is no doubt.
    FIAT car maintenance cost is not less due to time chain(60K kms) and early brake pad replacements and it will be compensated with huge discounts we received while buying ;).
    Fiat has good Mileage considering the body weight.
    But Fiat is missing the commitment towards indian customers read as no ASS in some part of our country,long clutch travel,gearshift(maybe improved but not to the level of Polo/Rapid) and Fiat is sleeping from many years in bringing new products for india to keep customers interested in the brand.
    They are in the rock bottom now the only way for them is to exit car(continue only OEM engine,AMT sale) or come up with innovative products to compete and survive here.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
    Raj_pol and dadasaheb like this.
  5. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Linea 1.3
    That is so true. So many people want smaller/cheaper cars these days, very relevant in metros. Also about time to bring in the multi-air engine at lower displacements. A non-turbo model and/or a cheaper FGT turbo model to keep the things fuss free yet interesting too. I am thinking Fiat is taking more time to introduce newer things because they might contemplate pieces of tech like the following one in Lancia Ypsilon a TwinAir Turbo 0.9. I will surely buy one with this engine tech if ever I choose a petrol.

    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 30, 2015 ---
    @Raj_pol, if I have understood Fiat's tech correctly, their engines even the MJD or especially the MJD will be such a great experience to drive if they couple it with a 6 or 7 speed automatic gearbox (with quicker intelligent pre-selection). Even at 1.3 liters it will be a killer combination, but not price wise I guess. It will still need some adapting to driving style as is common for those going from manual to automatics. Changing gear ratios on a manual, will have some serious side effects for the MJD in certain driving scenarios. Or they might also need a much better Turbo, with more intelligent engine management, which is more common with higher-uppermost segment cars. Again a matter of costs.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
    prabhjot likes this.
  6. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol @dadasaheb @vista7155

    Fiat's poor sales have next-to-nothing to do with gearboxes, engines, styling, mileage, pricing or equipment levels. They have to do with the structure of both the market and the culture of the market: the shorthand for which is 'herding'.

    There is a negative informational herd against fiat, especially, and many other firms too, and Fiat cannot change that for love, gearboxes, turbochargers or thinner tyres/thinner sheetmetal. They can change that with thousands of patient crores of investment in marketing and all-new products with dim chances of success, over years.

    Herding under the sign of some brands and against others does not mean, in India, anyone truly loves say Hyundai or hates Fiat in any visceral way. It just means that 9 out of 10 folks find it rational and obvious to not take (what they are told is a great) chance/risk (poorer resale, ostensibly bad ASS, ostensibly poor reliability) when they are told that you can eat your resale cake and have your status one too by just buying, without much research or reflection, what so many others buy: strength in numbers.

    'Herding' is eminently rational for those who value resale, ASS 'assurance', and vague generic 'status' above and beyond all else, which last includes to name just 5: safety, ride comfort, adapted-ness to Indian conditions, good brakes and tyres, good warranties and a low cost-of-ownership, handling, styling language and character, durability, and a brand with a clear historical and cultural identity and character. Ok, that was 10 parameters.

    9 out of 10 Indian buyers are herders: they want appliances that signal their social 'status' of whatever sort, they don't know or care about engineering, technology, gearboxes, anti-roll bars or silent suspensions on rigid chassis-es. They don't care if their Korean car is a vulgar copy of Euro/italian styling, or that their exorbitant Japanese car is a quality and engineering POS.

    They just will not buy your car, nor will they be willing to entertain and give an open fair hearing to the proposition that your car is worth-it in 1 or 10 different, ESSENTIAL, ways.

    They will not buy a Fiat (or a car from 2 or 3 other firms either, very probably.) And they will, if they care to, justify that essentially idiotic hyper-rational/calculating herding by blaming notchy gearboxes and turbolag, and that hard plastic edge near the keyhole, too.

    Fiat should focus totally on that 10-12% of the market that is interested in the finer automotive things, that does know what turbocharging can do to a petrol engine, that know what great braking is, that cares for a flat, supple ride AND for taut handling, that can distinguish Italian (or American or French) automotive style from Korean/Japanese pop-kitsch (Hy and H), etc. And that can for once see a good, paisa-vasool deal when one stares at them in the face beseechingly (esp Fiat, Tata, but also Nissan, Chevy).

    Fiat should go niche (turbo-power, performance, Italian style, top-notch chassis and suspension engineering for a bargain, gearbox technology, and yeah: gizmos galore). Abarth-ify the Fiat brand in India (not literally Abarth of course).

    They may as well. Since they'll perhaps sell just as many cars being true to these essential Italian automotive traits, their DNA, than trying to compete for the 85-90% of M, Hy, H, T and Mahindra buyers. The latter is a fool's errand, as all the non MS, Hy and Mahindra are finding out, when they report their bleeding-red financial numbers.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 31, 2015 ---
    PS: Apologies for repeating myself with this line of reasoning. I find myself doing so....ONLY because it is true. However unpalatably and intolerably for us Fiat fans. I will try to be less pessimistic about what possibilities are still open in India for the Fiat brand, IF ONLY they did x or y.:p:confused::arghh:
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 31, 2015, Original Post Date: Jan 31, 2015 ---
    Perhaps, marketing MAGIC of the following sort? To what sales effect, if tried here?

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
    aramico and acechip like this.
  7. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    @prabhjot, agree with what you said except the Korean/Japanese pop-kitsch part, and can you please elaborate what exactly is Italian automotive style ? If I had 20 lac right now, what aspects of an Italian automobile would persuade me over an equivalent German, for example?- assuming I did not care for mileage/brand rep.
  8. vista7155

    vista7155 Regolare

    for every reply you will comment there is herd mentality i am tired of hearing this as you are justifying for Fiat lethargic and careless attitude towards Indians.
    what is wrong in choosing Korean/Japanese cars,most of the cars from these stables are all rounders in many aspects such as reliable,Better Ass reach,Features rich,ride quality and also has low cost-of-ownership.
    Yes every customer will be having certain parameters to chose the car and what ever first time buyers are there in our market will be playing safe in choosing the Maruti because of large number of ASS,maintenance cost and can go for FNG, so what is wrong in expecting the fuss free ownership?
    But Fiat doesn't offer any fuss free ownership through out the country and we can find less knowledgeable FNG for service.

    For your information Punto doesn't offer low cost-of-ownership in the segment.
    Before jumping please provide the facts about low cost-of-ownership in the segment.
    If you compare Liva cost-of-ownership Punto is no where near to them and please ask any liva diesel owner he will give the break up happily.
    By the way i have compared the maintenance part of toyota liva(gathered info from friend's car manual) to Punto(referred car manual) below.
    You are talking about safety but unfortunately Polo/Liva are more equipped with safety in every variant but Punto doesn't offer this and blame the Fiat here they missed the bus here for Evo and Avventura.

    About ride comfort, adapted-ness to Indian conditions, good brakes and tyres and competition are not miles behind then Fiat they are very much present.

    They may be having Ferrari under them but we have paid money for the car, they have to support us but that is other way around here they have stopped the service in many cities and if this is the brand cultural identity and character then better exit from India.

    Long clutch travel and rubbery gear shifts and the fine tuning of the engine is still missing in updated cars this shows how Fiat cares about our market and how they are eager to compete here.

    Please stop painting the Indians with herd mentality color for Fiat incompetence.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
    Raj_pol and kgramesh like this.
  9. kgramesh

    kgramesh Amatore

    Palakkad, KL
    Linea T-Jet
    @vista7155 - I can vouch for the quality of Toyota since i drive an innova for the last 5 years. Not even a rattle till date. No issues at all plus that D-4D engine .. :). Surprised to note that Liva is cheaper to own.
  10. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    Even if what you say is true, what I am saying is true too: most of the market has closed its mind on Fiats, and their virtues/values, and so won't consider them AS LONG AS Fiat tries to compete only on the terms of ASS/equipment levels/price/cost-of-ownership (all pretty good), if they consider them at all.

    Fiat may've earned this distrust in the past....but it's too late now: people have closed their minds, which are in any case not attuned to the sorts of automotive values that Fiat offers more than the Japanese/Korean marques.

    Hence the claim that they need to approach this market differently: not neceassarily an all-new A- or B-segment car, but perhaps a 'fast, sexy Italian car' approach? Also, Abarth at desi prices? Also, as @acechip points out: a D-segment offering, like the beautiful retro-chic-yet-tough 500X, so that us/the many happy current Fiat owners have something further from Fiat to upgrade to, to desire, and Fiat gets good sales numbers easily?

    Because competing head-on with the dominant East Asian firms ON THEIR and the herd-opinion's terms will not, cannot work. Doing so is necessary (Fiat have achieved that already: improved new FASS, spares supply and costing, proven reliability and durability, great pricing and warranties) BUT is not sufficient for any increase in sales, IMO, even if they launch say the Panda @ 5-6 lakhs, or say an all-new Punto, tomorrow.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 31, 2015, Original Post Date: Jan 31, 2015 ---

    The following is just my sense, based on no expertise in or studied knowledge of (car) design AT ALL.

    It, 'Italian car design' has to do primarily with either (a) explicit references or quotations from the styling history of famous, globally trendsetting Italian car-designs (e.g., Vespa, or the Fiat 500 and 500X, or the Punto with its 'Maserati' snout, etc and/or (b) with a bold originality without trying too hard like the Korean and the Japanese (e.g., the Linea has quarter glass panels, front and rear, and so looks linear/pointed and a roofline that is curvaceous but not out-and-out coupe. And so a design-sense of both linear-sharpness combines with a sense of the 'fluidic' without a too-high window line or any big gashes/creases, a 'coupe'-effect is created while still being a 3-box sedan!

    Or, in the interior of the new Linea: the breaking-up of the combined centre console into three parts, that resonate in their curvy shapes with the curve of the beige soft-touch material that sits high on the dash, not only in the lower parts as is usual. This use of light coloured material right up on the dash was pioneered by Fiat on the 500 years ago. The resonance of the shapes of the dashboard line and the 3 separate parts of the centre console with the shape (soft rather than edgy, almost circular) of the hood of the instrument binnacle, the hooded dials and ...the clean, all black, chunky yet contoured steering wheel creates a 'musicality' of interacting/resonating shapes.

    Similar things can be said of the 500/500X's theme of 'round-ness'/circles...but not done to excess like in a (German) Mini. Or a Panda's design thematics of the 'squircle' (square shapes all over but with rounded edges) found on the headlamps and on the inside. Or the use of three levels and vertical alignments of front lights on the 500X, the Panda and the Jeep Cherokee.

    The VW and Skoda-s then are the polar opposite in one sense: they look the same irrespective of model or brand, and privilege function and straight and vertcal lines, not curves or intuitive-yet-unusual shapes, textures or lay-outs: a kind of plush architectural modernism from the 1950's, while Honda and Hyundai though not Toyota, Suzuki or Mazda practice a sort-of postmodern excess (of shapes, textures, assymmetry, garish backlighting, gashes and creases). Though the newest Hyundai-s (designed in Europe!) are getting better at not 'trying too hard' to impress: the i10 Grand, the Santa Fe, while Honda are getting desperately over-done with gashes etc.

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