Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by amogh, Feb 5, 2015.
If they had abarth across all showrooms, sales would have been far higher.
No dealer in Mumbai and limited dealers/FASS in major cities are the main reason. (We all know)... But, I still do not understand why it is difficult for FIAT to have dealership in Mumbai... Can't they have at least company owned showroom??????? They have marketing team.. they can handle that.
So, my question here to all of TFI members.. IF you are a owner of a brand and you want to setup a dealership/outlet of your product, then would you try to establish your own store?
(I am not much into business and marketing so, please dont take it as stupid question.)
(a) there's too much black money and money-laundering and dressage-of-accounts-for-tax purposes involved in running a car dealership viably in india. MNC firms avoid that like the plague, since it brings too great a 'compliance risk' vis-a-vis tax and other authorities. It is a different story for a hard-core-DESI giant and epically profitable firm like Maruti which is going hugely into company-owned showrooms franchised out to dealers who will pay it rent+franchise fees.
(b) there are too many potential liability issues/risks vis-a-vis sales, discounts, bargaining, service and warranties. Having dealers share those risks, including risk to brand identity and corporate reputation is considered essential (ex- of recall and warranty liabilities), as a global policy for firms.
(c) 'Direct Selling' via the internet is possible, but very difficult to have-get-accepted in this industry, even in Korea, Japan and China, let alone the usa or europe or India. imo FCA should try a via-PAYTM or via-Amazon (full dealer services) model, at least partially, at least as a supplement to the main dealerships (talking the new Jeep/FCA ones, that is.) That way one dealer of all of say Greater Mumbai Metropolitan Region with more-than-one service centre, some of which can be independent non-dealer, third-party owned and operated, can cater (at least as far as sales processes are concerned) to a wider geographical area?
Direct selling would further reduce the number of dealers. but that's not an bad idea. At least they can begin with selling spare parts online. So, if your locality doesn't have FASS, you can still get genuine parts and get that replaced by yourself or by known local garage.
Any numbers for Jeeep..
The 'word' is that they're sold out of their first batch of imported Grand Cherokees and Wrangler Unlimited-s, or so it is claimed by someone on tbhp with access to an FCA India insider. Don't know how many that means. A few, 3/4 dozen? In any case it is a pretty sure thing that they'll keep selling a fair few of each, for dealers' benefit and for brand-establishment and propagation, every month, nevermind the 71 lakhs to 1.xx crores price tag. Especially in Dilli-Haryana-UP-Panjab-Gujarat-Maharashtra?
god save those poor souls who paid 1 crore for extremely over priced product and soon they will understand the value of money once they go for service.
having 2 sales(1 is still not opened) sc in entire country and expecting the sales of 3 /4 dozen is day dreaming.
Boss, they've already delivered several of these (to early 'priveleged' customers who attended their multi-city special-invitee launch parties), EVEN before the opening of the dealerships, all of which will happen by (for some) end-of-Oct, and for the rest: by-december.
Folks who have that kind of spare money sometimes, EVEN in India, tend to think differently to those who have little beyond say for a Swift, Punto or Duster-affordability. THAT is what makes them feel free to showoff their wealth: they aren't paranoid and vulnerable, dar-pok mere middle class-mentality/neuroses folk, like you or me! Sometimes, even in India.
The quality, expense and ease of owning say an Audi, a BMW, a Mercedes, a Jaguar-LandRover or even a Volvo (i know a bit about these, since have friends and family richer and more show-off-y than mere me!), in terms of service or reliability cannot be said to be AT ALL good in India (from a 'dar-pok' middle-class perspective.) And yet they sell plenty in India's biggest cities, do they not? JEEP will sell even more widely (geographically), since the c-suv will be available at well-below new Fortuner prices for most-variants.
Mefeels JEEP will have no great difficulty gradually building up a reputation for quality, reliability and ease/expense-of-'good'-service, over time.
Contrary to the melodramatic blame-giving and praise-singing tendency too many in the Indian automotive baazar subscribe-to: sales and service is NOT rocket science: everything in the final analysis hinges on ensuring good profitability and sustained viability for dealers and their workforces.
THAT is why FIAT after sales had-been/is sub-par, and that too only in some cases (not in mine, in many years worth of owning FIATs in Dilli-Gurgaon, including in the Tata ass days.)
THAT is why FIAT-branded cars cannot work in dar-pok, lazy-with and paranoid-about-service India/indian middle-class (sub)markets. THAT is why Fiat must be withdrawn from India: there is no virtuous cycle even-possible between good-enough-sales and good-enough-profitability-for-dealers.
The story may and imo WILL be very different with the JEEP brand: far higher margins, all-new expansive, expensive dealerships, a slew of new models to-come steadily (because of export possibilitites out-of-Ranjangaon) over the next 2-3 years, plus Alfa Romeo/Chrysler to be added in as luxury-car options in some cases. i.e., the Dealers ought to be viable and be rather profitable, hence enabling a potential virtuous cycle of decent-sales=decent margins=decent sales and after sales HR and processes. Let's see.
btw, consider this, clear evidence that FCA vis-a-vis Jeep is pursuing, on a global basis, a whole new and different order of sales, dealership and aftersales standard to the old mass-market, inexpensive, tight-margins-for-dealers Fiat/ChryslerCorp days (in europe, latam, china or india, etc.)
JEEP sales have increased 260% over the last few years, globally, a lot of them (in the uk, europe, japan, brazil/latam) all-new and/or upgraded dealerships, increasingly shared by Alfa Romeo and/or Fiat all around the world, esp europe, china, brazil, mexico, japan etc. The anecdotal evidence (based on what one can gather on the internet) about these new dealerships in the Brazilian or German or Italian or Chinese is pretty good!
THIS is a global rollout, mostly all-new (in most countries, just like in India.) Because there is brand-equity and more importantly strong sales to back-it-up: almost everywhere (i.e., Jeep, not always in every place say Fiat or say chrysler.)
53 for MB,30 of audi,30 of BMW and 23 of JLR are the Delears/SC of respective companies and also hold some of the products ranged near 1 crore, still they make 6-12 k per year of sales on an average but jeep having 2 SC/Dealer and expecting to compete against Germans or JLR is illogical.
we might be dar-pok mere middle class-mentality/neuroses folk for expecting the good service from a manufacturer but this is basic expectation from every human being in the world who spent his hard money on any product be it RS 10 or 1 Crore.
I gave my Punto for second free service today, below is my experience which also says why most of the middle class/lower middle class (to whom this product is targeted) people might be avoiding Fiat.
- Service Centre is around 20 km away which took 1 hour 45 minutes to reach even though I started at 8.30 in the morning due to traffic. This is my problem so no complaint, but when I had swift it was just 2 km away and was on my way to office, that is where my inconvenience arise.
- Since, they are working in a temporary and small place, no washing and cleaning. This is again acceptable explanation, but my previous vehicle used to look very clean and shining after service was done.
- I had booked appointment and was told to bring my vehicle at 10.00 in the morning. When I gave the vehicle SA told it will be ready by 4.00, but promised to get it done early knowing I have to come from 20km away. Since I had a scheduled meeting at 7.00PM in the office, I went there directly at 3.30 to make sure I avoid rush hour traffic and reach back office before 7.00. But when I went there I saw my vehicle is standing exactly at the same place where I had parked and just as I entered, a mechanic came and took the vehicle to service area. When I inquired I was told they are working on it and it will take couple of hours. After I asked on my appointment, promised delivery, etc., they told they would deliver the car to my office in the evening. Realising nothing could be done, went back to office. I already spent around Rs. 800 for cab and autos.
- Evening SA called me and told vehicle is ready, but there was one small part which had come loose, will be replaced under warranty but they would get the part only tomorrow. Again I dont have any choice, so I said ok send me the vehicle tomorrow.
- He also told total bill for the service is Rs. 8,000 (offcourse he had given the estimation of Rs. 8,500 when he took the vehicle). Again I can't do anything as he has itemwise details. But for last two vehicles (one I had for 4 years and another one for 2 years) I never paid so much (only once I had paid Rs. 5,000).
- Ok, with all these I hope he gives me properly serviced vehicle tomorrow.
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