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Fiat India - Future Plans

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

  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr
    @acechip I doubt the absence of abs and airbags on lower trims has anything whatsoever to do with their sales problems.

    We keep trying to suggest the product and its properties is the problem. That is what I disagree with: the problem is just the indifference at best and hostility/skepticism at worst the BRAND (not the products) faces in the un-knowing automotive public, given its priorities. The cars themselves fulfill the ostensible likeability criteria of the desi public just fine, and also offer so much more beyond.

    Hyundai-s sell well mainly because the brand is liked/trusted, it is not the other way around!: Brands have their own life, quite independent of the actual cars and their 'features' or even price. An i20 Elite badged a Fiat will, I feel, sell no better than an Evo.

    I feel changes to the product or to features-list or engines etc will to no avail whatsoever. If the target audience is the wider AAM car-buying public.

    Which is why they must give up the mass market entirely for the next 2 years, and focus exclusively on the tiny-minority of 'enthusiasts', such as they are (caring more for engine seed and power, less so for build/handling/steering/braking.)

    If so: that has implications for product-specifications (airbags, abs + all 4 discs across trims? engines, of course: t-jet and 1.6 mjd too, but also twin-clutch/DDCT + AMT gearboxes? gizmo-loaded Absolute editions?), but more for brand promotion volume, idiom, rhetoric and scale?

    IF that is somewhat successful, then in 2 years time: launch the all-new B-SUV and the all-new Linea replacement promised in the 5-year plan, and then give the (evolved?) wider car baazar another stab.

    The Ranjangaon plant will continue to get busier, and more profitable?, through this period, what with the Tata Zest and Bolt production, engines supplies and exports, and presumably?! the preparations for and the operationalisation of the Jeep CKD assembly + 2017 C-SUV local manufacture.
  2. Sujit508

    Sujit508 Regolare

    Bangalore , Karnataka
    Retro / Classic FIAT
    I definitely think this is the way forward for Fiat, I Look back at two such unique bike companies

    1) Yamaha India: was in the same situation. it lost its way post the hugely popular RX100 - 135 series when it got phased out and they targeted the 100 cc mango man segment and got bikes like Yamaha Crux , Yamaha YBR, which flopped badly. and things looked very bad then for them.

    But they came back into reckoning by targeting a niche market/enthusiasts and moving away from commuter bikes with the FZ /Fazer series. and they were able to sell in good numbers, and now even the aam bike buying junta also matured and they started to look at a higher segment.

    2) Royal Enfield. - This brand was always inspirational to biker clan. While other companies looked at quantity of sale and launched bikes in all segments. They remained strong in their core values. Never looked to change their design cues. I remember 10-12 years back, people feared maintaining a bullet, the sparse ASS/mechanics who could work on them, got it the unreliability. Or may be they were just herd stories, made up by non-Bullet owners ? Just like the Fiat ASS/support is made a big story by Non-fiatians!
    Back then, owning one would make you stand out more so like a crazy biker/ or a extremist. But slowly we find more takers for these beasts now. and the people who own them are just looked up as expressionist

    Fiat should take a leaf out of these two companies and their way forward is to follow its heart, and make cars, that are cherished by true enthusiasts, As in few years the car buying junta will mature, and look beyond the tin boxes, and yearn for good handling, safety and dynamics in car. I hope FIAT WILL STILL Be AHEAD.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  3. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Linea 1.3
    Prabhjot, I think @acechip is not arguing these issues which most of us have already acknowledged and they are clearly visible too. What he said is if at all they are selling, why not just one or two variants or maybe all three with safety features as standard. I agree that atleast those buying Fiats will have better bragging rights at minimum as far as safety features are concerned. Maybe the emotion variant could come with more airbags/side air bags.

    They still cannot be termed as "mass market" vehicles given their rather limited acceptance compared to more popular brands/vehicles. Having one option, cheaper or expensive with whatever pros that can differentiate the products will help Fiat maintain its identity and make them a visible player, which should be their focus. One (hit) model is what they need desperately already to break through.
    Raj_pol and prabhjot like this.
  4. EshwarPrasad

    EshwarPrasad Timido

    New Delhi
    Fiat Enthusiast
  5. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    Yeah, here's to sub 250 sales per month on this compact SUV..By that time, the Hyundai and MAruti compact SUVs will have gobbled up the market share.
    @prabhjot- as @asimpleson said, there is no point in Fiat trying to be mass segment player (although truth-be-told, their products are totally mass market) . Since the volumes are anyway low, why not go the whole hog and sell truly VFM cars ? ITs not like their sales are going to slide further..Those 750 souls who have plonked their money into a Fiat are fully aware of what they are getting into. They are not impulsive , neighbour-has-one-too type buyers. So why not reward them with more satisfaction ?
    If I were to recommend a hatchback in 6-7 lac, I would recommend a Polo diesel over a Punto Active/Ambition. Likewise for an Etios over a Dzire/Linea Classic/Linea-Active. Why? Because I like those manufacturer's commitments to safety.
    No point in harping on tank-like-body or sheet metal thickness. Its like saying, a brawny soldier is better off than a more light-weight guy wearing a bullet proof jacket.
  6. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    Personally, I'd rather they shut the brand down in India entirely, rather than pursue the self-defeating and destined-to-fail strategy of offering Jap- and Korean-like cars, or offering cut-price VFM cars like you're advocating.

    A Polo diesel at the cost of a Punto Evo Active? Good luck with that unrealizable recommendation. I'd also wish that Etios buyer, with airbags, considerable luck: he'll be needing it.

    This safety 'feature' stuff is just marketing fluff, you know? Which is why the dominant brands don't bother with it other than in top-end variants. And rightly, too. I'd urge you to check out EMAAA's reports on the subject of safety on the analytics website, India Auto Report.

    I'd rather a solid, sturdy car with top-notch handling-steering-and-brakes (where the Punto is by far not just the best, but the only one in the marketplace, not excluding the 'safe' VW-s, though the Tata Bolt might be OK?) if I want the relative probability of 'safety' and am on a budget.
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 3, 2015, Original Post Date: Feb 3, 2015 ---
    The Punto, Avventura and Linea Emotion-s are already by-far the safest, EuroNCAP 5-star, cars in their segments, and even without discounts THE CHEAPEST: you'd imagine there's no better VFM than that, now, wouldn't you?

    A look at the sales charts, and to speak to a Hyundai, Maruti, Honda or even a VW owner, however, will quickly disabuse you of the idea that there is anything wrong with Fiat's product-specifications or prices, least of all 'safety features' or safety record.

    To keep focussing on product features is to put the analytic cart before the bullocks, am afraid. The 'bullocks' here is...the brand as recieved and percieved in the wider car-public. Changing product specs or cutting prices or feature-lists etc will make no difference. Besides, Fiat has tried all these approaches.

    The mass-market-buyer is not influenced in meaningful numbers by any of these factors (rubbery gearboxes, missing airbags in the Active trim, etc).

    However, pending a transformation of the brand/dealer/ASS image among the wider, less informed public, product-specification and planning can help hugely if Fiat focusses and addresses the 'enthusiast' segment, much more informed and less-risk-averse too.

    i.e., VFM yes, but from above, not below, copying what VW has just pioneered, only much more affordable/tempting: Punto Evo t-jet @ 8 lakhs, Abarth Punto @ 10 lakhs, Linea t-jet ddct @ 10 lakhs, etc.

  7. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Linea 1.3
    @prabhjot, let them give (match) the features first and also the price. The mass market mentality does consider these as size-able add-ons compared to cheaper cars. Market them as ahead of the market (curve). And still later if people do not crowd the showrooms then atleast us Fiatians will have a more better reason to buy or upgrade to Fiats again.
    prabhjot and dadasaheb like this.
  8. Biraj

    Biraj Novizio

    Linea T-Jet
    While recommending Polo over Punto Active makes sense, please don't recommend Etios. Even with multiple airbags, it will remain a car made out of coke-can. You might want to talk to a few Etios drivers (not that hard to find, most radio taxis are Etios these days), and understand how safe they feel. I spoke to a few and they all felt very very unsafe compared to how they felt inside the Indigos or Logans that they used to drive. It's way too light and flimsy to recommend to anyone we care about.
    prabhjot and dadasaheb like this.
  9. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    I guess @Biraj had recently reported from an inside source (?) that Fiat India was looking at introducing autoboxes. I do wish that includes the ddct twin-clutch for the t-jets (all 3 cars) and not just the amt for the 1.3 mjd-s. The way VW/Skoda, Ford (Ecosport) and Honda (City) have priced their petrol automatics leaves it viable for them surely to do what you are recommending: match them for the 'feature'/product-attribute, and maybe even outdo them for price. No?
    asimpleson and dadasaheb like this.
  10. jumu

    jumu Superiore

    I fail to understand this constant rant that Active variants of all cars are unsafe. Among most cars the active of fiat is more structurally strong. Accidents do happen in all manners not necessarily in cars.. One may have the top most safest variant, but the car can be done in by a topple where none of the bells and whistles come into play. Mercedes benzes and BMW rolling off road due to tyre burst!! I have had base variants all my 32 years of driving right from Fiat Padmini, Maruti 800, Uno, Hyundai santro, santro again, Punto active and Punto Evo active again and would have driven in excess of 400,000 kms in all.

    Death will come in any form. One can be in the comfort of their homes and still anything can happen. How many fly Spice jet, Kingfisher, Jet airways, Air india and the other loss making airlines who cant even fill fuel in the planes.? Do they have money to maintain those aircrafts ? Most of the maintenance are carried forward to the last. But people still fly. The safest known airline ran its 747 into construction equipment on an abandoned runway at Changi airport. See, anything can happen and suddenly, and hence aptly called Accident.

    What is the ratio of accidents and among that fatal considering the numbers of cars sold? Doctors die of heart attacks. The dietitians who explain how best to eat to live well die of the same thing that they were lecturing about (recently in chennai , a flamboyant young chef died of heart attack while taking a class on heart friendly diet!)

    Instilling fear and providing the comfort is the new way to make money. You can see that in all aspects of life, right from routine medical check ups, insurance, terrorism..etc. Well some may be true, but majority of them are at the border of induced doubt

    Living in fear is quite painful and saps the person of confidence. Live life, move on, follow rules, be aware of your surroundings, don't drink and drive, don't drive in the night fighting off sleep, don't do target driving. Live and let live

    I am not sure if I have written in the right thread. Mods may move to appropriate thread if required

    VIJENDRA SINGH and prabhjot like this.

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