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What FIAT needs to do to sell more

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

  1. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    Surely you are joking. They better shut shop if it comes to this. IIRC , Rover Montego did this kind of a sale?
  2. Ichimaru

    Ichimaru Regolare

    Messages:
    376
    Gurgaon, India
    I think I am going to make a long post here and most of it would be wishful thinking, but I really believe this could be the mantra for success as far as FIAT India is concerned. And with this post I am assuming, FIAT has the money to spill because sitting here I cannot possibly judge the relevant economies of scale for FIAT.

    FIAT India's Lineup:

    1. FIAT Palio (B Segment)
    • Latest version of Palio with 1.3 MJD FGT (75PS). Mileage 25+ Kmpl
    • Latest version of Palio with a 1.0-1.2L Petrol engine (70-80 PS) 18+ Kmpl
    • Latest version Palio with maybe a CNG option.
    • Priced Between 3.49L - 5.49L.
    2. FIAT Punto (B+ Segment)
    • 1.3 MJD VGT (92PS) across all variants. Mileage 23+ Kmpl
    • 1.2 Tjet Petrol across all variants. (85-100PS) Mileage 17+Kmpl
    • Better Gearbox for improved drivability and better 0-100 figures
    • Priced between 5.49L - 7.49L
    • Autp Optional
    3. FIAT's small Sedan C Segment (Palio Based like the Sienna or Petra?)
    • Same engine as the Punto
    • Priced between 5.49L - 7.99L
    • Auto optional
    4. FIAT's mini SUV
    • Palio Adventure Locker or the New 500X
    • 1.6L MJD (120 PS) 22+Kmpl
    • 1.4 TJET (115 PS) 17+kmpl
    • Priced between 7.49L - 8.99L
    • Auto variants for both petrol and diesel
    • 4X4 Option
    5. FIAT's C+ Segment Sedan (All New Linea)
    • 1.6 MJD as the suv
    • 1.4 TJET as the suv
    • Priced between 7.99L - 10.99L
    • Auto variants for both petrol and diesel
    6. FIAT's D Segment Sedan (Viaggio)
    • 2.0 MJD (150+ PS) Mileage 20+kmpl
    • 1.4 TJET (140+ PS) Mileage 16+Kmpl
    • Auto variants
    • Priced between 11.49L - 14.99L
    7. FIAT's Proper SUV (Freemont)
    • Same engine options as above
    • 4X4 Option
    • Priced between 11.99L - 15.99L
    8. Launch 500 and Bravo as CKDs (Not CBU) to keep a check on their pricing.

    Assumptions :-
    • FIAT has the vitamin M
    • By the end next year FIAT will have 200+ dealerships
    • Omitting Avventura for the time being
    • All engines and cars are manufactured in India
    Additionally, improve the cabin space in Linea and Punto and bring in new/more features (over and above the existing ones) like:
    • Hill holder
    • smart entry with start stop button
    • 6 way electrically adjustable drive seat
    • cooled glove box
    • sun moon roof
    • auto folding mirrors
    • anti pinch windows
    • auto closing windows
    • 4-6 airbags
    • better ICE systems
    • Proper arm rests
    • Proper bottle and glass holders
    • dual zone ac etc.
    Coming to FIAT's marketing and PR they must do the following:

    1. Make brand centric adds in addition to product centric ones.

    2. Come up with special service packages bundled with the car

    3. Open exclusive Company owned showrooms of FCA starting with Metro Cities which would sell all other brands owned by FIAT Group like Jeep, Abarth for the time being and then Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo Later and maybe even Chrysler. These showrooms must be opened at very prime locations like the Golf Course Roan in Gurgaon. I have noticed a sudden increase in Volvo cars in Gurgaon right after they opened their showroom on the same road. Now, I see atleast a couple of Volvo cars every day! These showrooms have to be very grand. Absolutely no compromises. They must also educate people about the History and Legacy of FIAT. How about a front facia in which FIAT's Logo is right on the top and in the middle and we see the rest of the brands on the left and right in a sloping fashion forming an umbrella of sorts? However, using the current dealerships for Abarth is also not a bad idea as the actual car would be the 500 or Punto under the Abarth batch.

    4. This one I think is the most important point of all. From my perspective, the worst time for FIAT India was during 2005. Even the owner company was almost about to be closed before Mr. Marchionne launched the miracle car "The Grande Punto" which saved the company. During that period the only reason why FIAT could survive in India was the Uno/Palio/Sienna/Petra/Adventure Owners who stuck by the brand no matter how expensive the spares were, how low the resale was or how S****Y the service was!
    I don't now how, but FIAT must reach out to those people; at least as many as possible. Go through the older data bases, find out the numbers, email ids, social media profile s...whatever it takes and then publicize it. Reach the people through news papers. Make them feel that they cared for FIAT; it now wants to return the favours. Those guys were some of the biggest FIAT loyalists! Once, this is properly used as a marketing tool, FIAT's goodwill will increase manifold. This will automatically increase the mindshare and hence the market share.

    5. Rigorous and continuous training of sales and service staff on the products and the brand. Surprise visits to showrooms and service stations to check the quality is a must.

    6. Follow ups are very important. Every time, a FIAT service centre has told me that some part is not currently available but they will place an order and get it within a week; they never called me back and when I called them, the part had never arrived. And this goes on for months!

    Like I mentioned somewhere else also, FIAT's current battle is with their own self. Where they were last year and where do they stand now. Continued efforts will ensure victory at the end. The darkest hour of the night is right before the dawn and there is always light at the end of a tunnel. They just have to BELIEVE and I wish them all the best.

    P.S. --> Already saw an owned Avvy on Delhi Roads (Bronzo Tan) and the car is surely a head turner. My friend has also booked one (Orange) and the delivery is expected in the last week of Nov.
  3. Sumit

    Sumit Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Munger
    ichimaru, we are talking about fiat india here. these things are only day dreams. it will never be a reality. fiat india is the most dull and unhappening company.
  4. Ichimaru

    Ichimaru Regolare

    Messages:
    376
    Gurgaon, India
    Oh that's why I wrote WISHFUL THINKIN in my first sentence. :)
    Atleast I spoke my heart out with that post and made a real effort :D
  5. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    Never say never. If it ain't happening in other BRICS member countries, then perhaps never. Whats with the negativity bro. :D
  6. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,455
    delhi ncr
    Boss, Fiat India is already implementing many of these sales, marketing and service related suggestions, all of which have seen a considerable continuous improvement since the split from Tata.

    Fiat have no need for a B-segment car: instead, the current strategy of using Tata petrol and diesel Ranjangaon JV sales and Maruti diesel + AMT gearbox sales (both increasing foreseeably) for revenues in that segment is THE right one.

    They have laid out a plan for a small SUV built on a modified, lightened Palio platform above the Avventura with a 1.5 mjd. Confirmed.

    They are also, apparently, NOT going to launch the turkey-developed all-new Linea here. Instead, come 2016/2017: they will launch the all-new Grand Sienna built on a modified version of of the Palio rather than Punto or the SUSW platform that is being deployed on the 500L/X + all-new Linea + all-new Punto. There MAY not be any all-new Linea at all, am afraid! (am basing this on their 5-year plan map and Autocar's recent sourced reports)

    D-segment is going to be for Jeep to play in, not Fiat. Though i feel there will be room in the D1 segment @ say 15 lakhs ex-showroom for the Viaggio (which will flop) or, better, the 500X, since the India-made Jeep will be at Fortuner prices. But there is nothing about either in the five-year plan or the Autocar report based on Fiat Asia-Pac sources

    IN ANY CASE: Fiat's problems are gradually getting alleviated. Don't forget they make profits in India on the manufacturing side of the business, unlike most other carmakers here, including the likes of Ford, VW or even Honda.

    And their problems are not engines, or even product range so much as brand/dealer/ASS distrust/misconception. That cannot be solved by ad campaigns or product launches alone or mainly. It will take them at least another year and a half or two to turn that around fully, as they've started to successfully do slowly over the last 8-10 months. IF as you say they keep continuously improving marketing and dealer and service quality. As I feel they are well on their way to doing.

    I fully agree on the company owned dealership approach in the big cities to the premium brands, starting with Jeep and hopefully including Alfa Romeo too as the latter come out with the 6-8 brand new models promised by 2018.

    Marchionne and FCA could, of course, just acquire or merge with Suzuki globally and in India! ;-) Better chances of that than one imagines! ;-)
  7. Sumit

    Sumit Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Munger
    @prabhjot, whats the need of such a long list of probable cars for India when they can't sell the present lot. Linea is the best car in its segment but just look at their sales figure! Pathetic. There are no marketing strategies. Not a single advt of avvy till date. They have killed Linea and Grande Punto. I really don't have high hopes from the current MD and fiat India at moment.
  8. Ichimaru

    Ichimaru Regolare

    Messages:
    376
    Gurgaon, India
    I have never seen a single add of the New Linea, let alone the Punto Evo. And I have already seen more Evos on the road than Linea despite the fact that it got launched much later.
    The friend of mine who booked his Avventura was told by everyone in his family (without exception) to not buy a FIAT car!
  9. jackharrisw

    jackharrisw Amatore

    Messages:
    146
    Chennai
    There are multiple reasons for the pathetic sales of Linea and Punto.
    1) Lack of powerful diesel motor. This is one reason for some of the people to reject Linea
    2) Facelift is not liked by many(Though objective, even Honda City is not good looking).
    3) Lack of brand awareness.FIAT has made no effort to change or increase this.
    4) No advertisement and Marketing. Many people don't know that Linea facelift has been launched.
    5) Perception of After sales and service.
    6) No dealerships in Tier 2 and 3 cities.
    7) Unimpressive Gear box and ratios which spoils the party.
    8) Herd mentality.
    9) Initial niggling issues and Quality control, which FIAT is not ready to concentrate on.
    10) Past bad strategies and records of FIAT.
    Some of the above points are valid for the manufacturer and the other point is Indian market specific.
    But, the above points should not deter FIAT from launching new products. Launching new products will only help in
    increasing the customer confidence and Brand awareness, thereby increasing the sales. Don't expect any abrupt increase in sales.It
    is a gradual,very slow process.
  10. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,455
    delhi ncr
    Quite unfair guys: there has been a FAIR amount of TV advertersing of the Evo and now of the Avventura. Before that: the 'Hello Life' ads. And before that the witty 'desi'-style ads (Fiat guy picking up a phoren returned friend from the airport, and another one about how Fiat's diesel engines are used in so many cars, so why not just buy a Fiat esp now that independent service centres have opened up). And before that: the 'Make the Move' ads, which were pretty effective at keeping the brand alive during the very dicey transition away from Tata.

    Your and my 'friends and family' are simply automotive FOOLS: no amount of expensive advertising will change that emphatic, unambiguous fact of our market. Fiat's sales are up 50% YTD from last year, the Evo has been launched pretty well considering the ramped-up competition from the i10 Grand, the i20 elite, the new Polo, the Zest, the new Micra etc. Am pretty sure the Avventura will add a few hundred to sales, too, sustainably.

    Sales redemption will take years: everyone in this market is failing, except for Maruti, Hyundai and Honda, and this last is, VERY unlike Fiat India, sitting on thousands of crores of accumulated losses.

    Sales performance is NOT a spectator sport: i.e., 'see how pathetic Rahul Dravid is at hitting sixes'-type comments are silly. All that matters is: are sales increasing incrementally? Yes. Is current customer satisfaction high and increasing, and so word-of-mouth too? Yes. Are new products at competitive prices and with good USPs being introduced? Yes. Has marketing increased and improved? Yes. Will it have to increase and improve much further? Yes.

    btw, as an owner of a new Linea T-jet i can say that the Linea, like the Ford Fiesta, stood and stands NO chance in its segment, 95% of whose buyers are risk-averse status-seekers NOT people of autonomous automotive taste. Blowing up crores on advertising the Linea when it has no USPs recognized by buyers in its segment would be foolish, at least till the 1.5 mjd comes, and maybe even then. Better to put most marketing eggs, exactly as they are doing, on the Avventura and the Evo.

    Advertising CANNOT substitute for the inevitably slow process of rebuilding brand trust and perception: a car is too big and complex a purchase to be easily swayed by mere quantity of advertising, it is not like selling cell phones or watches or apparel or even a political party/its neta-s. Have VW and Skoda made a penny of profit despite the loud, brash, and big/continuous advertising they've been doing over the last 2-3 years? Have their sales risen commensurately?
    acechip, dadasaheb and jackharrisw like this.

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