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Fiat India - Sales Thread (2014)

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by Ravi, Feb 12, 2014.

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  1. zenwalker

    zenwalker Esperto

    Messages:
    2,150
    Bangalore
    @Ravi_M
    There is a 2 fold to what you have mentioned. One is that the lack of sturdiness in those cars in terms of safety as you have mentioned plus:
    1. Braking ability
    2. Handling
    3. Build quality
    4. Interior safety features
    5. OOTB good set of tyres

    And the other side of the fact is the owner/driver underestimating its capabilities. As the japanese martial artists say, not only the knowledge of self art is important, a good artist shall also know the weapon/tools he uses and its pros and cons very well because thats his life line at some point.

    Sadly in our country every tom dick and harry thinks he is an expert driver who knows everything and rule the roads.

    Mod note: Please do not type like this.... Please refer to the TFI rules here - http://teamfiat.com/threads/tfi-rules.9288/
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2014
    prabhjot likes this.
  2. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    @zenwalker, you mentioned "breaking ability" surely you meant "braking ability".:) .the displacement of a couple of characters is the difference between life and death..

    On the same serious note, the point about salesmen reinforcing the cost savings is indeed a good point. In fact, my observation is that they often start by discussing the mid-variant of a model, reeling off the basic features, and then when you mention that you are interested in the top end, they kinda straighten up a bit, alert to the fact that you may be a "higher" category customer.Their demeanour completely changes and they become a bit more soft spoken, more courteous..the tea /water comes quicker..
    I wonder, whether car OEMs actually offer higher margins on the mid/lower variants?
    zenwalker likes this.
  3. jumu

    jumu Superiore

    Messages:
    969
    Chennai
    Fiat Punto when it was launched in 2005 was the car that pulled Fiat out of the doldrums. What made it sell in huge numbers was the fantastic styling and class leading features that Fiat provided in the punto at that time which was unmatched by others in price. A similar situation faces Fiat in India where it is in the sink hole and Hyundai is doing what Fiat did in 2005 by providing features that awes the customer. Sometimes the features may be things that he does not even know. When more numbers are seen on the road, then the herd mentality will provide the tailwind. It is much more worth than idling the plant and giving discounts and having a depressed feeling among dealers. When momentum gathers life is interesting and many good things fall in place.

    Fiat could have easily replicated that kind of move in India with all the quality gremlins erased from the past and should have concentrated on a fantastic finish(the competition has shown them what to do. It is not an unknown) and loaded the Punto with features unmatched or at least matched with the competition. It will not cost more than 20-30K at OE level of costs to provide those. At least it could have prevented the prospective customers from rejecting or walking away for want of features. Will they ever learn?

    Abdul
  4. Ichimaru

    Ichimaru Regolare

    Messages:
    375
    Gurgaon, India
    FIAT did the exact thing when they launched the Linea in India. It had so many "first in the segment" features. But now both Linea and Punto sadly lack many of the modern exciting features as compared to the competition. Trend was started by FIAT but Hyundai has certainly raised the bar here.
  5. punto11

    punto11 Amatore

    Messages:
    70
    assam
    Actually Fiat cars are made for enthusiastic people ready for buying the cars without service support. Alas there are very few people who are ready to take the plunge. Please remember I am one of them and maintaining my Punto without Fiat service. They can never expect good sales. Their moto is sale and run.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2014
  6. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,444
    delhi ncr
    This deficit-of-equipment talk is, pardon my italian, bakwas! ;-)

    It is every bit as well-equipped as the Hyundai, version-for-version. Sometimes they have features that the Punto/Linea don't, but often it is the other way around. The Hyundai i20 elite does not have voice recognition bluetooth, or an ORVM that is biker-proof by twisting backwards, or a (instataneous) mileage feature on the MID, for eg.

    For the price the Fiats here are still VERY well-equipped. But, if one wants to bash and nit-pick, finding fault even where none exists....;-)

    The truth is a major reason sales are weak albeit improving is just that the mass market here just does not appreciate the engineering qualities of Fiat in particular, and Euro cars in general: tough build, ride, handling, steering, big tyres. And most of the mass market is a sucker for 'designer'/'futuristic' design and features: gashes, slashes, gaudy blue backlighting (Honda and Hyundai), chrome moustaches (City) etc.

    We keep blaming fiat for the peculiar, mutating preferences of the average hyper-aspirational yet risk-averse car-appliance consumer. Fiat is doing what it must: play catch-up with that consumer, but of course without losing its Italian/European brand-character.

    That is a tough act, and their implementation is/will at times be dodgy (appointing the wrong dealer in Kolkata and elsewhere or the poor marketing effort for the launch of the new Linea...) but they are trying, and things are improving.

    Bring on the Avventura, fiat! Show the critics what you're made of! ;-)

    [the ridiculous sound of that last line above, which is just a mirror image of the Fiat-bashing lines, is meant to insinuate! ;-)]
    bharath and Himanshukumar like this.
  7. Ichimaru

    Ichimaru Regolare

    Messages:
    375
    Gurgaon, India
    In case you were referring to my post as bashing; you have no idea about my love for FIAT and how many people have I converted to FIAT's. That said, the fact that FIAT's have little to attract the mass market (for whatever xyz reasons); is not helped in anyway because of the missing features.

    Let's just go back to history a bit when the Linea was launched. In case you did not know; I was one of the guys who sold FIAT cars when Linea was launched.
    The car had at least 30 features missing from the City and Verna at that time at an unbelievable price. During this time, the looks of the Linea (even though subjective) as well as the segment first features were the USP for the vehicle.

    Come to 2013-14 we have the same engine with added features like auto wipers and headlamps and reverse parking sensors (albeit without a camera).
    Compare this to the Verna which has a 1.6L engine, the City which has a 1.5 L engine and all the media appreciation behind them with refreshed looks (Verna now considered a looker and City has always been loved by Indians); has led to Linea loosing all its USP's.

    Auto folding mirrors, sun/moon roof, start/stop button, keyless entry, BT Streaming for music, reverse camera, DRL's, Projectors are some of the features that we see in the C+ segment cars of today.

    The questions for both Linea and Punto Evo are -
    1. Do they have any make/break feature?
    2. Do they have all the features that the competition offers?
    3. What new have they brought to the table?
    4. Is the performance out of the world?
    5. Is the mileage the best in the market?
    6. Again, although subjective; are there no other good looking cars in India in these segments?
    7.Is the sales experience exceptional in most of the cases?
    8. Is the service quality exceptional in most of the cases?
    9. Do they have more cabin space than any other car in these segments?
    10. Is the resale value the best in the market?

    I believe we know the answers.
    My point again is that there is no real USP of a FIAT car anymore which used to be there when Linea and Punto got launched. Ofcourse, I know about the built, ride, handling, braking, safety etc. but these things would never result into higher figures.

    With the launch of Evo and Linea, FIAT should have at least added new features to the car if they could not change the engine and gearbox. I wonder why couldn't they include -
    Reverse Parking sensors with camera
    front parking sensors (Segment First)
    Hill Holder (Segment First)
    Projectors
    LED's
    Auto Folding Side Mirrors (Such a nifty feature)
    Cooled glove box
    Start/Stop Button
    Keeyless Entry
    Sun/Moon Roof
    6 Way electrically adjustable driver seat (Segment First) or atleast Lumbar Support
    Side curtains for rear windows (Segment First)
    Anti Pinch and auto closing windows (Another nifty feature)
    4/6 Air Bags
    All 4 disc brakes for Diesel variants

    All of these would definitely have given atleast one USP to FIAT cars. Sadly that's not the case. Personally, I believe when an average buyer (not like us who love FIATs or people who are technically knowledgeable) is doing a survey to buy a new car; would barely have any reason(s) to convince him/her self to buy a Linea/Punto over the competition!
    I wonder how Hyundai managed to pack so many features in the Verna with a 1.6L engine (hence doing away with the excise benefit) and maintained great interior quality (read fit and finish) and still price the car well.

    I wish FIAT launched the Palio Stile with new interiors.
    I wish FIAT launched the Palio Adventure Locker in India.
    I wish FIAT brought bigger and better engines to our market.
    I wish FIAT brought better gear boxes to India
    I wish FIAT brought the Dualogic gear box to India.
    And so much more...

    And I believe there will be a time when FIAT will bring these and other new things to the India market and get the sales figures and recognition it deserves. Till then I am waiting patiently.

    If eternity exists, so does my love affair with FIAT :)
  8. Viny

    Viny Esperto

    Messages:
    1,742
    :)
    @Ichimaru: Nailed it pefectly.
    Faster the FIAT realize it better its for them. A niche player has to run mile ahead of mass player to ensure his market is safe.
  9. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    @Ichimaru, for your wishes to come true, Sergio M should be operating from India. It is very obvious that Fiat India pretty much has to fend for itself with very little support from Fiat Chrysler.
  10. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,444
    delhi ncr
    I did not mean to be taken as personally affronting anyone. I was just jesting, seriously.

    Hyundai-s and Honda-s cost MUCH more than Fiats, yet sell much more, even though their engineering and build etc is much the poorer. How do they do this so easily? Not so much through gizmo-s, of which the Fiats are not at all short, but because people buy them. Many if not most of their buyers buy them because others buy them many of whom buy them too because still others buy/have bought them. i.e., they have strong brands, however mistaken the perception of those brands, and i believe perceptions of trust and VFM and premium-ness are warped in India, but there is no denying the brand-power fact.

    Fiats, like Skoda-s or VWs or Renault-s, sell lesser because they sell lesser and so on ad nauseum.

    Fiats are hard-pressed selling Linea-s, inarguably by far the best sedan in its class (T-jet), to the tune of even 200 a month. Maybe they could double that with huge discounts.

    Now let us imagine a six airbagged, moon-roofed Linea with bluetooth streaming and satnav etc. Fiat will have to price it at least 80,000 to 1 lakh higher. Do we really think a slow selling but beautiful, well engineered car will sell more as a result?

    Fiat's USPs can never be gizmo-s and 'features', useless and frivolous or not. If Fiat tries competing on those fronts it has no hope: the East Asians with their luxury-car-maker profit margins (upwards of 12%) on their cars AND on service charges, warranties and spares, will have no dificulty out-running Fiat or VW or Renault or Skoda, offering say seats with hot massage function! ;-).

    Its usp-s can ONLY be (a) exciting, pulsating yet elegant i.e., Italian styling inside and out (b) ride, build, handling, big tyres, braking, steering etc., i.e., engineering (c) affordability and VFM, given the earlier two.

    Not even engines: note how little difference the T-jet has made to Linea sales numbers.

    I believe the new Linea but especially the Punto Evo and the Avventura offer these USPs in spades. These ARE usp-s, relative to the Jap and Korean models.

    Now, they still will not be best-sellers, because of the whole brand-faith stuff: people won't buy it because people don't buy it (in any great numbers) because they don't....

    Which is why it is a slow, grinding, incremental slog in this market for them, and for all the other non-East Asian car makers too. Marketing and improving dealers/ASS leading hopefully to better word-of-mouth, and more and more of the same.

    That process is well underway now with the Evo and Avventura. Let us see. Am very hopeful, since I believe they are just getting started with their sales revival and new launches: this process will carry on through to end 2016 and 2017 (Jeep and Abarth launch, new Fiat CUV, all-new Linea, 1.5 mjd etc)

    Hyundai offers 'ALL' that they do at 'attractive' prices, because they (a) fleece you with deficient though improving engineering (under the skin, invisible) and then proceed to fleece you further with (b) exorbitantly priced shorter service intervals, ASS charges, spare parts and warranty prices. And their prices, like Honda-s', are already MUCH higher (Linea or Ford Fiesta v/s City or Verna, version-for-version)

    Having said that, Fiat should at some point soon offer an 'Absolute' edition for the Linea but esp Evo and Avventura (blue and me TOM_TOM satnav, projector headlamps, etc)
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