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FIAT India Sales

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

  1. Vidhyashankar Kannan

    Vidhyashankar Kannan Regolare

    Messages:
    271
    Hyderabad
    Hyderabad
    Avventura 1.3 90 HP
    yes, I just returned from my friend's house who put me in my place with 2 very simple questions. The first question he asked me was "How was the buying and waiting experience with Fiat?". I had to tell him the truth. It was crappy. Especially when compared to Hyundai. The H showroom was buzzing, people beaming, smiles all around, much better approach and eloquent communication, a thorough understanding of the product and very importantly, confidence thrown in. So basically half the job is done. The Fiat showroom has mostly staff who are average in verbal communication, poorly dressed and lacking in information about the product themselves. So when the sales staff themselves do not have the perceived trust in their own brand, a prejudiced customer is just going to be that much more doubtful. And then the completely uncertain lottery of time when it comes to a confirmed delivery date will just irk people off completely. So there is the first definite failure at selling.

    Second, after sales. We say definitely improving but the mass market says "really?!". The H service centre numbers and sheer volumes are enough to instill confidence. Especially in Tier 2 cities. Take Hyderabad itself as an example. The best service centre here called "Ankitha Motors" is shutting down. Why? Even the staff don't know. That leaves Butta and AVM. Butta is average in perception while AVM is above average. Not fantastic, but not bad either. See what I mean? No proper information. And there are so few service centres playing musical chairs in India that the perception is further hurt.

    My friend effectively shut me up. Forget the fact that the i20 rear lights are the Alfa's. Or that the wheels are the Avvy's. Or that the front end is a German design copy. H made sure the customer is hooked when they enter the showroom and looked after very well through after sales. There will be horror stories everywhere. But the higher probability points to this.

    Sure, its not that Fiat can't address the first point above. It is so simple to give a delivery date and stick to it. Its not like they are churning out cars by the 100s in a day to meet demand. Just good old supply chain management. They are a lazy lot. Fiat does a consistent sale figure of around 700 in any month, irrespective of seasonal changes. That too with basically 3 designs.

    This was built over time with just one thing. Consistency.
    bharath, JohnyBoy, PradeepM and 4 others like this.
  2. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    i20 Elite: How can anyone buy a car, that to a mere and perfectly ordinary hatch, with a name like that? Or one that has been advertised on tv the cheesy way it has?

    Ironic, and funny just how much of a mish-mash of copycat stuff (a lot lifted from FCA cars) this car's styling is (unlike the i10 Grand, and the Santa Fe, which are both beautiful, distinctive, and yet beautifully proportioned and harmonised between the whole and the parts).

    Front grill: copied from the new Maserati Ghibli, only with a near 90 degree blunt front, rather than a pronounced 'snout' like the Evo, essential imo to this signature 'Italian/Maserati' front-look.

    Rear tail lamps: Alfa Giulietta

    Rear tail lamp details: Audi Q5 (last, pre-led, itration)

    Basic profile, esp the rear quarter: Range Rover Evoque.

    etc

    Also funny how a car more expensive than its predessecor, with much less equipment than it too, and with pretty much segment-most expensive ASS, spares and warranties, is much more than twice the hit that one was. Talk about brand pull/herding-under-the-sign of the Hyundai brand and i20 sub-brand!

    I personally find the bright blue backlighting on a slew of black buttons on the centre console, all on a beige dashboard rather vulgar, as a colour palette, amber-on-black-on beige was apt surely?, and so just cannot understand what is so remarkable about the i20's interior, relative to Hyundai's own i10 Grand/Xcent, let alone the Evo/Linea/Avventura, the Tata Zest/Bolt, the VW Polo/Vento and the MS Ciaz. Better than Honda, though, yet this last firm's new designs and materials are even more of a hit!:confused:

    Ah well, there's no reckoning with the tastes and knowing?! choices of the common/AAM public, 'mass market'. Nor should one bother to when choosing a car, or anything else: unless one is anxious like so many in India, to let others' choices shape/determine one's own. :eek:

    MS+HY+H already have a stranglehold on the hatch and sedan mass market, Tata's big expensive effort with the Zest and Bolt has already failed (sales are down hugely since launch)...and Toyota still hasn't brought its a-game to this part of the market yet!

    All the other, almost all EuroAmerican firms from Fiat to Chevy to VW face a proper existential crisis in the market, in profit-possibility terms, IMO. There has been a shake-out in the market over the last 2+ slowdown years, and the East Asian brands have WON, definitively, imo. And their small SUV-s haven't even been launched yet!:sour:
  3. dadasaheb

    dadasaheb Regolare

    Messages:
    374
    Pune
    MH 12 (Ranjangaon)
    Linea 1.3
    its brand i20 backed with the experience of people with all previous generations of i20.
    similar to toyota corrola and honda civic, city
    prabhjot likes this.
  4. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    I quite like the I20's external looks, actually. And its not like every product from Hyundai, MSIL and Honda has been a success.
    The Getz, which was really a very well built car all around, was not much of a success for Hyundai, nor was the Baleno and SX4 for Maruti, or Jazz for Honda.
    So there are certain elements to the customer appeal that these three companies have surely worked on. You can argue about the quality of choices, but in the end, they are in for mass market appeal. Incidentally, all these cars I mentioned were really good cars. In fact, all of them truly international level in build quality, no compromises as such.

    But the market simply did not want them. Today's Indians are all about instant gratification. You show them a touchscreen Nav system, they are gratified- box checked. You show them BT audio playback from mobile- gratified -box checked. Legspace (no matter how much the seat squab) - gratified- box checked. Smooth-as-butter steering- gratified- box checked ! And lastly, mileage.- double-gratified- box checked !
    Who cares about the robustness of suspension, perceived sheet metal strength, durability, ride, handling and all such long term attributes of ownership in an era where people instantly communicate while they eat, sleep, drive, get operated upon or perform their ablutions:confused: !
    pabhishek, PradeepM, prabhjot and 6 others like this.
  5. Vidhyashankar Kannan

    Vidhyashankar Kannan Regolare

    Messages:
    271
    Hyderabad
    Hyderabad
    Avventura 1.3 90 HP
    Yes, you're right. I forgot about the Getz and the Baleno. I have driven both of them maybe a year after they were launched. A friend got a used Baleno quite cheap which was surprising. I stepped on the throttle hard (I owned an 800 back then) and the response was like that of a rocket. Very impressive car but it failed for some reason. The Getz too was a powerful hatchback.

    Don't get me started on the Jazz. In fact, when I first began shortlisting cars now, my first and second choices were the Jazz and the i10 Grande. I like the Jazz very much and the new facelifted version is what I may have purchased had it been available. It is a true driver's car. In fact, once the Jazz is out, I think it will further hit Fiat and the i20. Although I don't expect the internationally available trims to come in India. And the build quality may be suspect.

    yes, the right word is "were". The build quality these days is nothing like the first generation ones other than Fiat and VW.

    To be honest, after reading your post, I went to the i20 Elite site and gave it a thorough read again. They have ticked off all the boxes that address the requirements of all strata of society. In fact, they have done it so well by giving the trims the priority and the engines second priority. The pricing is so varied from the base model to the top end that there's something for everyone. True, Fiat also has 3 models for all classes of society but the add ons are more in the i20. Damn that vanity mirror and BT audio. Let us admit. For a country where the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is still poor, every single added add on is VFM. A middle class salary is 6 lakhs per annum in India now. A car is 10 lakhs. That's 75% higher than the annual pay and is still a depreciating asset. So resale value is very very important for us. Average middle salaries in the UK are 21600 pounds per annum. A new car is 9000 pounds. Obviously much more affordable at less than half the annual pay. So nothing about the car really matters as long as all the trims are available at above average quality.
    bharath, acechip, pabhishek and 3 others like this.
  6. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    Thanks for bringing that point up @Vidhyashankar Kannan. Middle class or even those edging towards upper middle class have their own shares of other investments and insecurities (job etc.). Yet another reason for them being 'risk averse' in their decision making. Therefore a bit of more bling and flash they will want for that brand new vehicle they buy. It is valuable to them. Can't expect everyone to look about things objectively about material value and engineering and design aspects. What Fiat aspires or has always managed to offer is not to cost cut or discriminate excessively in their product manufacturing (philosophy) here, which at-least is at par with that in Europe.
  7. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    @Vidhyashankar Kannan

    Yes, well put, and to add to it: I feel the i20 (previous and especially this 'elite') represents/indexes a transition of the risk-averse 'middle class' towards what marketing men (eg., politicians!) call 'aspirationality', which has to be broadcast: a desire for exhibitionism, indulgence and ostentation on the part of the middle class.

    Not that it is the only such index or the earliest one, but yeah it's safe to say that Hyundai's (and latterly, Honda's) take-off in India over the last 5 years as THE 'aspirational' car brand is a case of beautiful timing for them (globally and locally), and for obvious reasons bad timing by the likes of Fiat.

    All those years of more or less pleasing and satisfying first time car owners with the Santro, being reliable, being serviceable....and then all these all-new 'exciting' launches (from the Verna to this i20) just in time to catch that wave of change in middle class consumer/status culture I mentioned. The result is that Hyundai (and lately, Honda) has captured the middle class craving for 'the future/futuristic'/'stylish, sexy modernity', while the European manufacturers are seen to be more than a tad off-putting since they're associated with being a little remote, arrogant, intimidating...and 'risky'.

    We crave the 'European'/'American' (which is why even the Hyundai i20 elite ad is set in a European urbane landscape)....but we are much comfier with a Korean simulation of it (i.e., Hyundai). At least till the stage we develop the financial 'balls' to buy what we REALLY crave: a Merc or an Audi! Even if, as with the Hyundai i20Elite: we have to pay a considerable price premium for that 'comfort'.

    Interestingly, J D Power India finds that while the vast majority of Indian car buyers have next-to-no brand IDENTITY/character perception of say Fiat v/s VW v/s Renault v/s Ford v/s Hyundai (as opposed to pragmatic trust) there is a very widespread general/vague sense that Japanese (and Korean) firms are more 'advanced'/'futuristic' than the EuroAmerican or Indian ones. Strange indeed, since the opposite is very true. I guess all those Sony TV-s, Samsung phones and washing machines, LG fridges....has a lot to do with this perception.

    Fighting and overturning this turn in 'middle class car culture' is already proving to be impossibly hard and expensive for not just Fiat but even Chevy, VW, Skoda, Renault, Tata and even IMO Ford.

    Which is why one feels European firms can really only compete at the premium if not luxury end, unless they have a strong first-mover USP (eg., the Duster or the Ecosport).

    Which leaves IMO Fiat, a EuroAmerican firm strongly associated everywhere with small, affordable, 'middle class' fare between a rock and a hard place UNLESS they gradually by say 2018 but very emphatically take a turn, if financially viable, AWAY from the 'aspiring, nouveau riche middle class' car baazar.

    The latter has been definitively won-over, and how, by the Japanese (Honda City sold 9700+ in March, would you believe) and Koreans (i20 sold 12000+ in March).
  8. prashantgupta84

    prashantgupta84 Regolare

    Messages:
    383
    New Delhi
    Delhi
    Grande Punto 1.3
    whatever said......FIAT need a makeover with launching 4-5 models covering all segment......right from Panda, 500, Bravo, Diablo........Keep the media busy.......be in the news continuously....launching models every months.......other wise bye bye FIAT....

    -------FIAT will always sell 700 cars with current products on offer...no matter how good the after sales etc is.I will never buy current FIAT models and will not tell anyone from my family to by one and I am a hardcore fiat fan-------
  9. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    Whatever Hyundai may be doing, dont you guys feel Fiat is really lazy ? I mean, look at the Avventura launch " Alive" , splashing thru streams, climbing down stepped paths and drifting , with those cycles on top. That was Q4-2014.
    Now? We associate high ground clearance with Etios Cross- courtsey its cheeky ad of helping the falling damsel, the I20 Active is also "Alive" with high ground clearance and "active lifestyle" and worse, DC AVANTI, for cryin out loud, shouting "Feel Alive":banghead:
    http://dcavanti.co.in/

    I mean, talk about stealing your thunder right under your nose, or stealing your nose itself.

    But from Fiats,perspective, however, if you still like driving, they are still ahead. Ahead, because the others are already behind their rear-ends completing the earlier lap!!
  10. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,446
    delhi ncr
    @acechip

    But/except that they have been advertising in print and on tv, as well as the net, continuously since the launch.

    What you're really saying is that if the message comes from fiat, nobody responds with purchases, but the same message from one of the ALREADY popular/trusted brands...works. i.e., it's about WHO the messaging is from, NOT what the message is, or how it is presented.

    The very fact that the messaging from the other firms is a literal mimicry of the Avventura marketing (and in the i20 Active's case, so is the very product idea and specification) tells you the advertising/marketing/messaging from Fiat around the Avventura has struck some sort of chord, even if in C Minor. i.e., it's much less the message (whether in quantity or quality) and much more WHO is delivering it.

    'Fiat' is a write-off from the consideration-set for most, EVEN if they like the ads (which my sense is most people have, talking Avventura here), and even if the products are greatly appreciated (which they are).

    The failure of the Avventura marketing to translate into good sales, and yet to inspire copycatting from Hyundai, Toyota and even Ford for the Ecosport (talking up 'active', 'adventure' etc) ...just reveals the weak STRUCTURAL equity of the 'Fiat' brand (and its agents i.e., dealers and FASS). i.e., it's not the message but who's offering it.

    Shifting deep, ossified, 'structural' perceptions is VERY VERY hard, especially in complex high-value/high-percieved-'risk' commodities like cars, nowhere more so than in India.

    Where they've really really been lazy and reluctant and timid and unimaginative is with the marketing and promotion of the Linea (esp the t-jet) NOT the Avventura.

    IMO merely, of course.
    asimpleson likes this.

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