1. Introducing the smashing new Team FIAT T-Shirt !! To order yours click here : Team FIAT T-Shirt

What FIAT needs to do to sell more

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by Sumit, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. rajesh karia

    rajesh karia Amatore

    Last month when i was researching for various car, i had visited Shaman Ford, Malad to have a look at the Ford Fiesta Classic, i was very much hooked to it & was keen on buying it until i saw the Linea & booked it eventually (no regrets here). I did not told the SC Ford guy about my Linea purchase & told him i am waiting for the New Ford Fiesta.

    So as a follow up, today the SC Ford guy called & told me that the NEW FORD FIESTA is being launched on 14th July & the car will be available for viewing this Sunday at their showroom. He also told me that the New Fiesta is packed with ABS, Airbag etc right from the base variant. When i inquired about pricing, he told we also don't know about it & will be available by 14th July. The Fluidic Verna & New Ford Fiesta will definitely give a hard time to Honda & Fiat in this segment.
  2. amit

    amit Superiore

    Navi Mumbai
    Fiat's problem is they gave us the Palio 1.6 when the market was just not ready for a hot hatch. Now when the market is ready to accept a powerful motor in a hatch they are attempting to give us economisers! :A

    Fiat has never understood the market here even though they are among the first comer's to India post the liberlisation.

    I always believed that Fiat should have launched the Linea 1.4 T-Jet & 1.6L MJD from day one. For Punto, they should have equipped the car with a 1.4 T-Jet and 1.3 VGT motor with the 1.6 MJD coming in about a year and a half from launch.
  3. Sumit

    Sumit Superiore

    i agree with amit but wud like something to it. linea shud have 1.4 t-jet and 1.6 MJD and Punto shud have 1.3 VGT and 1.4 t-jet engines and in addition to that 1.2 Punto and 1.3 FGT shud also be a option for young buyers at 4 lakhs and 4.5 lakhs respectively.
  4. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Do you guys really think Punto T-Jet has a market here?


    There is no market for a performance petrol hatch in India. What is required is a balance between performance and efficiency.

    I'm sure the 1.2 is not the ideal engine for the Punto. But the 105bhp Multiair 1.4 is the ideal one. Not the T-Jet.
  5. jayadev

    jayadev Esperto

    Kannur, India
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    when mr.X go to fiat showroom in india he neither finds economy nor performance presently affordable to his pocket.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  6. sungoa2010


    Tjet could have filled the gap between Multiair and current 1.4 FIRE in Punto. Also Multiair will not have the massive torque of a petrol Turbo. Am I correct?
  7. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    But it won't have the turbo lag of the T-Jet also. ;)

    The Indian market is not like others. You can sell a Punto T-Jet in Europe, U.S.A etc because people are ready to pay for it and accept the fact that it's a hot hatch.

    Here people will buy it for performance and then keep cribbing about fuel efficiency and say " Swift best hai bhai (Brother , Swift is the best)"

    That is why Mr.X goes ahead and purchases a Maruti. Because he cannot understand what performance really means. :)

  8. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    My view is bit different.

    Ours is not a mass-market for hot hatch or performance cars. Our market is literally MASS market. It does not give a damn to a car which is best in class in 1 or 2 or few parameters/ specs but are low on few other parameters. It hails cars which is no. 2/3/4 in most of the parameters. Simply put, it welcomes all-rounders like Robin Singh's & not specialists like Rahul Dravid. And quite rightly so. Car is not a necessity in our market, its a luxury. Unlike developed countries, you can't just work for 2-3 months & get to own a car. Here is takes 5 - 10 years of working & saving to get hold of a car.

    Whatever little or decent sales of about 1,000 Linea's & 1500-2000 Punto's Fiat has managed is due to the fact that both Products were priced competitively (and of course with decent mileage and with diesel advantage) at the launch. The offer was so irresistible that inspite of knowing that its a big risk those 3,000 customers (per month) have taken the risk. Rs. 50K to 1 Lac more & 75% of those 3,000 customers would not have bothered to look at Fiat. That's why I never believed that Tjet would turn around Fiat's fortune or sales & it never did. In fact, I felt it'll affect sales negatively since Vento/ City/ Verna etc will now be compared with T Jet & not FIRE & the Price advantage or positioning will be gone (I remember mentioning this on the forum somewhere). And sure the sales of Linea started reducing after T Jet launch.

    T Jet is an excellent car. But when you look at the segment as a buyer, the differential price advantage of almost Rs. 1.5 to 2 Lacs that Linea 1.4 FIRE enjoyed over City is gone or substantially reduced now with T Jet. So, for a customer, the temptation of taking the plunge could also be reduced. And in the process, T Jet has killed that advantageous positioning of Linea 1.4 FIRE as well. I won't be wrong if City/ Vento sales guys must be comparing it with T Jet & must be pitching that Linea 1.4 FIRE is a segment or a part lower !!

    Secondly, Fiat's problem of low sales was never due to so called "underpowered" engines. It was just a hype created by media/ forums. People need economy, lower price, higher FE, better resale, etc etc. The real issues were always Fiat's disconnect with market, Spares availability, Questionable QC leading to niggles, lack of effective marketing and above all Silence !!

    People are so excited over 1.6 MJD Linea since last 2 years. I doubt if it can revive the sales inspite of so much hype. It can take the car to different Price point & the positioning in customer's perceptual map changes.

    On the other hand, just try to simulate a situation just purely from sales point of view. Had Linea/ Punto come with lighter weight, with an acceptable Ride & Handling (not best in class but acceptable), easier EPS steering, lower turning radius, slightly better QC, slightly better interiors etc etc, wouldn't the sales be a bit higher than what it is. May be.

    The problem for Fiat is that now the competitors have come out with higher capacity engines with wide range. So, Fiat will also now need to match the higher capacity engines at a lower price. Customers won't pay similar price for Fiat. Fiat can't afford without a considerably higher Price advantage. So, yes. If Fiat had launched Linea with T Jet & 1.6 MJD but at the very beginning but at the same price it launched 1.4 FIRE & 1.3 MJD, then it would have been better. But would that have been affordable? Very tough going for Fiat here onwards. It has to match the 1.5 / 1.6 ltr engines dished out by others & it'll have have a minimum 20-25% Price advantage AND with a sustained marketing/ visibility/ customer connect. Tough, indeed.

    From customer's point of view, why would he consider Fiat? Even if price is say 20% lower, his overall economics won't get much better as resale could be much lower. To increase resale, Fiat needs better sales. To increase sales, Fiat will need lower price for similarly specced cars with increased marketing efforts & consistent customer service/ spares availability. Indeed, a tall order.
  9. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3

    Some very valid points that you have made.

    In our forum there was a thread "Kitna deti hai" about Maruti's advert. Whether we like it or not, that ad just about sums up the average Indian car buyer. This is the segment that really controls the fortunes of any auto manufacturer. The 'performance' and 'quality' segment of the buyers, is now increasing, but at a very slow rate. In 1996 when I was in Thailand, the Toyota Corolla was the accepted entry level car in that country. It will take us a very long time to reach this stage of awareness. As VP very correctly pointed out, this has to do with the buying power of the mass buyer in terms of the amount of savings required of him.

    So, I too think that models like the Linea/Punto T-Jet, or the Fiat Bravo etc will not really affect the sales of Fiat. They have strategised correctly about the models they have launched. The only thing they have not done is to market the product line. Personally, I think that by now they have missed the boat, with the large number of models launched aggressively by the competition.

  10. amit

    amit Superiore

    Navi Mumbai
    I agree with you on that BUT to be a mass market player you need more then competitive product & pricing. Fiat's both cars qualify in both these parameters but the company fails in the rest. Peace of mind of ownership, confidence that spares will be readily avaliable, dealer's response in handling complaints & niggling issues. These are areas that Fiat has failed to cover. If you are aiming to be a mass market player, you have to be able to take on Maruti & Hyundai. Fiat is not capable of that. The better option then would be to tighten up QC, screw the interiors better and give better performance motors. That way you will be a niche market player but at least you will play it well. Maybe Fiat should have taken the top down approach. Launch the T-Jets and 1.6 MJD's first and then bring in the lower powered motors.

    It is not a hype, it is true. The motors could be better turned and powered. You have to give the market what it wants. Due to slower speeds in our country, people believe a car that's peppy in first and second gear is powerful and has good pick up. The impression is made in the first two gears, post that it doesn't matter what action happens in the third. Either Fiat gives the market what they want or educates people on why their cars are tuned the way they are.

Share This Page