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Interview with Rajeev Kapoor

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by Ravi, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Ichimaru

    Ichimaru Regolare

    Gurgaon, India
    i think there is another link. service@fial.com maybe. I am not sure about this.
  2. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Recent Interview

    Q:How was 2010 for Fiat India?
    2010 was not really as good as we wanted it to be...we started with really aggressive volume projections but the end was not really in line with what we expected..we launched 90hp Punto and T-Jet as you know in the year which were both received very well - both cars are basically for power enthusiasts...both cars have done very well but on the distribution side there were some weaknesses which both the companies have realised and are rebuilding that...you know there has been a major organisational change in Tata Motors and there has been a lot of new focus...the field team looking after Fiat has been reinforced now, new brand activity will be happening very soon...so both manufacturer and distributor have been very focused...but as I said, it could have been better...

    Q: But 2010 was a good year for the industry in general?
    Yes..if you are looking at industrial growth one has to do a slightly deeper analysis...2010 was an amazing year with respect to new car launches...Then there was also the entry of a major player, especially B and C sector cars...Volkswagen came in..then there was the Nano effect..As part of the automotive fraternity we are very happy about the overall growth... We expect the industry to grow further this year...but there have been major fiscal problems that have been putting pressure on the industry –increase in commodity prices and interest rates have been hardening...it has happened twice...also, there is a general inflation effect that is going on..but despite this uncertainty the overall outlook is still very good...

    Q: Both the Punto and Linear are doing well agreed but this trend has not been uniform all over India?
    See, what happens is that both are very powerful cars and when you go to smaller towns the need for power is not that much..these cars were launched for people who said they need more power...there is such a segment...but if you look at the total automobile scenario, when it comes to power segment the sale is slightly higher in Metros..But...we are doing good numbers, we are happy with the performance of both the cars...what happens really in the power segment, when the cars go on the road people start feeling that power does not really mean compromise with fuel economy and then they start understanding...one major shift that happened was that the petrol market has suddenly become smaller...if you notice, the industry has suddenly moved towards diesel because of the differential pricing and the steep rise in the cost of petrol in the last few months - what used to be 60:40 has become 80:20.

    Q: The new CKD rules that have a lot of automobile companies concerned, will it impact Fiat India?
    No, not at all! We have a business model that concentrates on local manufacturing..we make our own engines, we make our own cars locally...this is more for the CKD manufacturers...as for our position on it, we will go with what SIAM has said...we have approached the government on this to see if it is possible to have a re-look at it...give adequate time to the industry to gear up for it...such abrupt changes do cause problems...like it is not possible to put up an engine plant at such short notice..see, nobody wants to leave India as it is a very big market but the cost impact of 30% is a big burden...

    Q: Last time we met you talked about a lot of interesting plans for India...Where are you on those plans and what can you tell me about 2011?
    See...what we are doing is taking insights from our experience in 2010...we all agreed that we need to do a far more aggressive job on building our brand together...the study told us that all has not been forgotten, the brand still has some of the past memories attached to it even though I reinforced my spare parts pricing – today we are not the cheapest but we are not the most expensive either...we have a 168-strong dealer network across India...the fact that we were ranked 2nd by JD Power for quality of service behind Maruti says a lot...

    Q: At the last Auto Expo you had shown a bi-fuel car with very clever packaging of the alternate fuel tank...what is the status on that?
    See we did a study and we are still very excited about it but...there is a small catch that has affected this...we do not want to launch a car in which the kit is fitted outside the manufacturing lines...that is the model currently being followed in India...but our design has the kit integrated into the car before it leaves the factory and when I do that the price impact is quite adverse...when we did the clinic, we found people were not ready to pay that kind of price...so it's got delayed but we are still talking about it...

    Q: Where are you on the Dualogic automatic transmission plans?

    That is very much on the cards, it is still being discussed...see we have a partner and whatever we launch here we have to give to Tata Motors too – it has to be able to fit their cars too..

    Q: How has the Palio been doing? Is it time for it to be replaced?

    Let me fill you in on the Palio...we have not upgraded it for Euro IV so it is available everywhere except in the Metros where Euro IV is compulsorily...we are not going to upgraded it either...we are working on an India-specific car and when that comes in, the Palio will have to go..currently we are selling it in small numbers because of which the price is high...It is not worthwhile to upgrade the engines though it would be much easier to upgrade the diesel than the petrol unit...also, if you want to launch a car at an attractive price then you have to invest a lot of money in it...the Palio is several years old now. So we are focusing on the small car now.

    Q: The Palio is selling in Tier 2 cities but who is buying the Punto and the Linea?
    Punto customers are generally the young ones...the car purchasing age has dropped to 26-27, people on their first job. Linea is bought by people who are about 35 to 45, moving up to a bigger car, from hatchback to sedan and going for a bigger car...with a family, married and who wants a car that is really stylish.

    Q: There is nothing in your portfolio bigger than the Linea currently?
    There is nothing in the Fiat stables currently but there are possibilities from the Chrysler portfolio, especially the Fremont...but no sedan as of now...

    Q: Any thoughts on pre-owned cars? Will you be getting into that?

    From next year onwards, perhaps...at present our car park is not suiting at present...

    Q: Tata is setting up Fiat-only showrooms...what is that about?

    There is a little confusion there...firstly, there are these two brand cafés coming up, one in Delhi and one in Pune...a very unique concept, nobody has ever attempted it... what we realised is that dealerships are getting short of space, so some expansion has to happen...but it will be need-based expansion.. We currently have Fiat-specific sales people already but now they will have a new uniform code to distinguish them from the other sales people.

    Q: How is Fiat First doing?
    Very well, I can tell you from personal experience. I like to do tests and the dealer usually does not know me...

    Q: I understand Fiat India is getting into motorsport in India?
    In a very small way...It's not really to boost anything...We are entering a Punto 90hp in the INRC as there is a diesel category this year, so let us see what the experience is like..

    Source - http://www.wheelsunplugged.com/show_story_newI.aspx?sid=147&iid=9
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  3. kedarbendre

    kedarbendre Esperto

    MH 12
    Ravi thank you for sharing this information. I am eagerly waiting for Brand Cafes.....
  4. fiatlover

    fiatlover Esperto

    Grande Punto 1.4
    Fremont looks exciting, if it comes to India!
    Also let the smaller ones come in before other auto makers cash in!
  5. Dilip_dmk

    Dilip_dmk Superiore

    Delhi, India
    New Delhi
    Grande Punto 1.2
    lol .... Are u serious , the dealers dont know who The Rajeev Kapoor is ????
  6. Pran

    Pran Superiore

    Grande Punto 1.3
    I am disappointed. Except for the small car and the possibility of Fremont there is nothing promising from the Fiat stable. I strongly feel that unless the product line up is expanded people wont believe Fiat is really serious about India and start trusting the products and buy them. What will happen if Linea owners need an upgrade, say after 2-3 years from now, its a void.
  7. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    @Dilip dmk

    Rajeev Kapoor ain't Ratan Tata or Mukesh Ambani ;)
  8. Dilip_dmk

    Dilip_dmk Superiore

    Delhi, India
    New Delhi
    Grande Punto 1.2
    ^^ I m not talking about the general publics awareness about who the CEO of Fiat India is !!!!
    Here , we are talking about Tata-Fiat dealers , who dont know who there boss is ??? Quite strange ans hard to digest though !!!!!
  9. if this is the case come out from TATA or atleast get your own suppliers for the interiors
  10. royj

    royj Esperto

    As far as I can see, this is a real concern for FIAT and a clever manipulation of the situation by TATA from its position. So any new engine or transmission they bring in, will find its way to Indica / Manza and they bring it out as a cheaper option :confused:

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