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FIAT India Sales

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by amogh, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

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    I am also inclined to think that the Indian team and market was left on its own to barely survive, while they were at the HQs fully focused on the Chrysler offerings and restructuring (and global Jeep re-launch). FCA for the past few years has been mainly about America-Italy joint platform developments and then some China and some about Brazil. Actually pure Fiat products (not Jeep) should now more than ever make more sense in the still unexplored and evolving Indian market and its demands. I am pretty sure the Jeep product line-up is going to be loved and will have its own fan following here in India too. But the pricing and scaling down of materials and models we shall have to wait and see in this very price sensitive Indian environment.
    The focus looks like getting a footing in the American and also the European market mainly through Jeep products with a common platform, which hopefully will be embraced whole-heartedly by the rest of the world.

    Sergio Marchionne is like that OP research mathematician depicted in THE IMITATION GAME, who has what it takes to take ruthless decisions after cracking the mysterious code to win the game. For this he too might be willing to kill a few platforms or take bold unpopular decisions which may not be favourable or interesting for the average Indian customer's needs or likings. I am not sure how long they are willing to drag these stalling plans and techniques for their car lineups, before making things really interesting.
    prabhjot likes this.
  2. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

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    Exactly @Biraj and @asimpleson

    They have to adopt an 'interesting' approach, that allows them to address the market on something like the front foot, rather than this perpetual backfoot play they are forced to.

    Question is: how?

    Mefeels a Jeep+affordable sportycar niche+a market proposition from above (the d-segment with ckd/part localized/even cbu with the 500 line-up of cars)+Abarth are the only plausible options.

    Whatever the conservatism of Nagesh B. I feel the ABSOLUTE failure of the Avventura (+Evo) suggests that the Fiat brand per se has NO hope of coping with the skepticism/indifference/hostility faced by it in the mass car baazar. Irrespective of rebranding/advertising efforts, which have hardly been missing over the last year or two, to be fair to Enrico/Nagesh.

    Paradoxically, it may be that they'll fare much better with expensive (10 lakhs and upto 25 lakhs) car propositions (whether locally made or ckd or even cbu) than they will trying to be the quintessential mass-popular-market brand that they have always been in Europe and Brazil etc.

    Assuming, that is, that Indian buyers at d-segment type price points are more open and less risk-averse.

    It has been Marchionne's effort to (a) promote Jeep globally and (b) to premiumize the Fiat brand via the 500 line-up of cars and via Abarth, in Europe and the US, ignoring nameplates like the Punto, Linea, Bravo, Qubo.

    That is precisely what they must do in India too, and stop trying to compete with the Japanese and Korean mass market brands, here.

    They must stop thinking of India as a third world, price sensitive, mass/emerging car market. And of Fiat as a low-cost, mass market brand in India or nothing.

    India is ALSO though not to the same extent of course, a burgeoning metropolitan/cosmopolitan/luxury/lifestyle-oriented marketplace, as the booming sales of high end motorbikes, or the German car marques or of Volvo/Land Rover/Jaguar shows.

    So yeah, if they can find ways to affordably price the Jeeps and these more exotic Fiats (500L, 500X, Abarths...), perhaps via export volumes or via a drastic repositioning of the brand to go up at lower prices against say Mini etc or even at the lower end with the topend Dusters or the XUV500....

    What is clear, though, I think is that the b1 to c2 high-volume segments are pretty much closed as viable long term possibilities for the 'Fiat' marque in India. And possibly, judging from the dipping share of all the non-Jap/Korean marques, for several other players here, too (eg., VW). The only opening here might be desi-wallet-friendly 'sportscars' like the upcoming t-jetted Evo+Avventura, or like an locally-made Abarth Punto t-jet at say 10 odd lakhs?
  3. Mabams1826

    Mabams1826 Amatore

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    Taking about T jet Evo and Avvy, now that budget is over and no concession is there, they should launch it soon before the cost of Petrol inches up north.
    In fact Hyundai had the courage in strapping the Getz with a powerful Petrol engine a long time back, so Fiat should move quickly and for god's sake do it with 17" wheels ,projector lamps and good touch screen ICE because whether we like this cosmetics gimmicks or not, in final run these things definitely weigh more in our great Indian car buyer market....
  4. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    @prabhjot giving up on Fiat !! Wow..that happened fast.
    But there is a bit of a problem in the argument of going niche. Here too, the Germans rule roost!
    If the luxury division of Fiat aka Alfa/Maserati have the marketing acumen of the current FCA, then god help them. And lets also be honest. Alfa/Maserati arent exactly the top-of-the-list choices in the supposedly mature markets either..
    Fiat Chrysler has its roots in mass manufacturing. They simply arent interested enough in India, consequently, Indians arent interested in them.
    Rituraj likes this.
  5. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

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    @acechip

    Far from it! I remain their most ardent 'believer', for whatever it is worth, which is nothing!;):p

    I have given up on the mass market's (b1 to c2 segments) even-remote willingness to even half seriously or in jest consider Fiats, these or all new, with or without, more or less, better or worse, advertising.

    And as a Fiat owner several times over, and student of consumer and stock markets, I figure Fiat should be over and done with/by this mass market/car baazar. The war has decisively been won, rightly or not, by MS, HY, H and T. Accept the total defeat and move on.

    Locally assembled/manufactured full line-up of Jeeps+Abarth 500/Punto+the 500 line-up even if cbu imports+perhaps? exoticised Evo/Avventura/Linea with at a minimum t-jets+ddct if not the 1.6 mjd in all 3 cars seems to me the ONLY viable way to go left. To be supplemented in a small-number-but-big-profit way by Maserati, Ferrari and, over the next 5 years, Alfa (fully imported, big premium to German-priced, of course, just like jaguar-land rover).

    Else the zombie state of a Chevy or a Nissan or VW awaits in India, perpetually haemoraging losses, losing out even on the benefits of the JV+maruti supply profits.

    And far from expanding to the likes of Jorhat, they will have to zero-in on only the biggest 15-25 cities/sub-markets. And at least in major part outsource ASS support, while maintaining the recent improvement in service quality, including spares availibility.

    Best of all, redemptive for us all including our long-suffering friend from Jorhat/Assam: just acquire/merge with (Maruti) Suzuki, or even Tata motors (commercial and passenger including JLR)!:p
    Vidhyashankar Kannan likes this.
  6. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    Suzuki maybe, Mazda/Mitsubishi more likely, but I find your Tata Motors +FCA a bit intriguing. Where exactly is the fit ? Apart from JLR, Tata Motors has nothing to offer, really. JLR would rather divest themselves , stay afloat rather than go through another complex merger process again.
    prabhjot likes this.
  7. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

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    Now that Panda is there in factory for some testing reasons, just like SX4 they could right away ask Maruti or maybe even Tata to manufacture and sell it as our localised "bhalu" instead of the chinese Panda. :D

    What do you think @prabhjot are the prospects of the Panda being announced by Fiat in the future and when? Would it be positioned above or below the Punto if (at all) they launch it here?

    Let us also assume a parallel situation that Fiat continues launching apart from selling Jeep and discuss the product market probabilities from that POV. :)
    prabhjot likes this.
  8. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

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    I suspect it is actually just for r&d for the 4x4 system which they're probably looking to use on the upcoming in 2016/17 Jeeps C-suv, the renegade, and/or whatever small b-suv under the fiat brand they may or may not be bringing in 2016.

    The Panda is the world's best small car, period. The 4x4 is a pukka SUV to shame most huge ones costing 10 or 20 times more.

    ergo, it'll be too expensive and will never sell against the Ecosport/Duster/S Cross/ix25.....etc, given its size. Moreover it's a Fiat, so it won't sell much at all against them in any case.

    Not until they completely reposition and re-orient their brand (and their dealers) into a 'premium/niche-yet-affordable' image that Fiat is cultivating as a rule in Europe (and the US)?

    But boy, what a car. It's cute and contemporary yet tough and reliable, apparently, from all reports.....like another great italian brand, Vespa.

    Who knows: you think, @asimpleson, they might be looking at exporting the Panda 4x4 from India to right-hand drive markets, perhaps? I doubt it, really.

    The Chennai r&d centre specializes in CUV/SUV work on behalf of Chrysler, Jeep etc....so it's probably just for research into the small Jeeps (the Renegade being the first) targetted at more at markets like India, Brazil, S Africa, Australia, China etc? If so...that's perfectly alright for me at least!

    Guess we'll know....in 2017/18/??;):p
    asimpleson likes this.
  9. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

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    I have heard the DDCT might be introduced/sold more in Asia earlier than other parts of the world. Better to iron out issues if any? Also the 4x4 is already there for Jeep. So possibly the only reason could be local development for exports in similar or other variants. The Panda has proven itself to be a stunning performer even in off road situations within the given design constraints. I think it will be great vehicle even for many Indian needs. The tall boy design is still preferable for the city commuter, also for easier ingress and egress.

    Read about the possibilities here - http://indianautosblog.com/2011/09/2012-fiat-panda
    prabhjot likes this.
  10. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

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    @acechip

    The gossip on the internet by auto analysts and other gossipy types since Marchionne recent 'merger/consolidation' quotes, keep coming up with Tata Motors too as a possible good option, possibly because Ratan Tata was until recently on the Fiat board, and a friend of the ex-boss of Ferrari, Luca M?

    JLR could offer aluminium architecture expertise. FCA/CNH could offer tractor technology (where Mahindra has a free run currently), the Doblo, the Ducato, IVECO trucks/engines. They could share engines and all future platforms, including for tractors, trucks and vans. India can be the source of budget-brand truck/bus/tractor retail sales possibly under the IVECO and/or New Holland brands in Africa, the Middle East and LatAm? JLR could use Fiat Powertrain's great diesels, and upcoming new 'hot' cutting-edge petrol engines for Alfa etc. Tata passenger cars can function as a budget brand globally for FCA, while FCA moves 'Fiat' into profitable niche/semi-premium direction a la 500(L,X). Huge financial benefits, though with potential brand conflict, possible through cooperation between Jaguar and Alfa/Dodge on the one hand, and Jeep and Land/Range Rover on the other against the shared German enemies.

    Won't happen I guess, since the Tata-s won't sell/merge Tata Motors and it is too big and prosperous to be acquired.
    bharath and asimpleson like this.

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