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Will Linea Diesel Succeed even with the 1.6 MJet ??

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by cyberdoctorind, May 4, 2011.

  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    You claim to be from the 'mass' in your marketing-man/product-planning perspective on Fiats, but you're citing a car the mass does NOT favour, the GT twins. Most Polo sales are of the awful 3 cylinder petrol, and the excellent diesel, not the GT-s. A majority of i20 elite sales are of the awful 1.2 petrol, too, btw.

    I doubt very much your interpretation of the 'what the market wants', or of 'consumer behaviour' in the Indian car market, or of the way the history of 'brands' (Fiat v/s say VW or say Hyundai), globally and especially here in India circumscribes sales potential.

    I keep telling you, with ample evidence and research: it is NOT an issue of engines, of equipment levels, of styling or of pricing. It is not even an issue of 'freshness' or 'all-newness', although that perception however false (eg., the current...er...'new' Honda City, the 'new' Maruti S Swift and Dezire) does help, but as far as anyone with eyes will tell you the totally-facelifted Punto and Linea, nevermind the Avventura, are as 'new' as these cars, in fact more so.

    Reports of the i20 elite being 'excitingly new' are also exaggerated btw: platform, powertrains the same, equipment much lower, prices much higher. How terrifically 'new'! Positively deserving of the mad rush to buy it.

    These are just brand-perceptions and biases at play: to call like the market does the current Honda City as 'new' while the Linea is 'dated', or the Evo (still by common consent the best looking hatch in India) as old while the i20 elite as 'futuristic' etc just reveals the prejudices and irrationality of consumer bahaviour. No one's refusing to buy or even consider the Evo because of its styling, inside or out, being dated, i promise you.

    "It's the brand perception, stupid!" Which cannot be shifted at all easily or affordably in a highly risk-averse, and therefore herding-biased, market like India.

    i.e., if its from Hyundai it's 'excitingly new and fresh and futuristic'...but the same design offered by Fiat would be seen much less effusively. Branding of perceptions at work, that's all.

    It's pretty much game over in the hatch and sedan mass market space, I am afraid: MS+HY+H, with Toyota to still to come stronger and better in these segments, have WON. As they will in the small 'SUV' space, too.

    Fiat's got to think very laterally about their next moves, whether that concerns advertising or new products or dealers. The t-jets in the Evo and the Avventura would be a good start, but it needs even more radical re-orientation (gradually by moving out of mass market cars, and towards exportable d-segment ones, alongwith their Jeep twins, IMO, by 2017/18).
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 7, 2015 ---
    As @kk27 points out very acutely: only when the mass, sub-10 lakh market turns towards finer engineering and design like the motorbike market has, can the likes of, esp with their mottled history/record here, Fiat hope to succeed in India.

    NOT for many years, am afraid: India is the quintessential risk-averse 'immature emerging mass-market' for cars in the world, as every car manufacturer knows, as every auto/business/investment/marketing analyst knows.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
    asimpleson likes this.
  2. kk27

    kk27 Amatore

    Kandivali - Mumbai
    Kandivali - Mumbai
    Fiat Enthusiast
    A few years from now there was no chance the likes of Triumph, Indian, Harley etc would've thought to enter this market. But you can see now they're key players in a serious competition of many segments. But it was Kawasaki that faced much critics when it dared to launch Ninja 250 with a twin cylinder. A fine motorcycle but it died before birth due to complexity & pricing & most importantly "Perception on Ass & resalability". In turn Honda & Yamaha launched dressedup 150cc bikes which took the market like a storm. Was it any way better than Ninja??? not even close, but they knew exactly that Indians prefer looks over everything else, so a dressed up 150cc single cylinder looks like a SuberBike, form established players, costs less & most imp give mileage. But the small fragmented sale of Ninja along with the New Bajaj produced KTM sticker bikes eventually turned the market around. But a exact comparison of Fiat can be made with the Royal Enfield, same perceptions still linger, Bulleteers were also called upon "pseudo enthusiasts", but they stuck to what they did & eventually a Enfield carved out a niche for itself.

    It's just a matter of how the markets turn & it's preferences which is what decides the fate of certain companies. A very big example of this is Nano - while it was welcomed with a roar, it tanked miserably, why coz exactly because it came to be known as "poor man's car" & no one wanted that image :).
    varunrtr, prabhjot, jumu and 2 others like this.
  3. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Linea 1.3
    Hopefully this will still be considered an OT post, on-topic ;)

    On topic of success of engine (power and capacities) and also that of bikes. Did you see what happened to the Suzuki Inazuma? Now agreed that it was overpriced even for an 'enthusiast with money' with that parallel-twin 250cc. But even after Suzuki's supposed re-pricing of the same, the bike sales never happened. What so many people (outside India) and even within country do not understand or get to know or care less about is the brand DNA or what a product is all about. In this case it is a well above average 'commuter', a practical bike for someone who would like to zip through his way on comparatively open roads, in city and on highways. Combine that with excellent cruise capability and occasional bursts of power on tap or twist!? it is a great bike overall. Also with all the superior platform (or frame) it is based on which contributed to class leading comfort. But NO! The market chose to look the other way. And again, even Suzuki folks very casually or conveniently? failed to market it well. Just the way FIAT is an expert in failing to highlight (underline) enough what an engine and mainly the combo the T-jet Linea offers. In certain ways these two products are very similar in the sense they offer mainly what you need and also that bit when you want. The power or torque when and where you need and also some more where you want; not to waste it in competing in BHP or at expense of total loss of FE. The same applies to the Inazuma's looks, understated yet just a bit where needed and a bit where wanted. Not bad at all..!

    @prabhjot, they cannot afford to keep changing strategy time and again. If dealerships are already there in place, then please provide them with models in time. The market matures at its own pace, it is their job in those lovely offices to find the money and the right products to launch at right time and ensure that initial sales response. OK if mass-market cheaper stuff should not be focused on, but when will the game changing CKDs and local limited produce happen? We'll see what succeeds, I cannot and wouldn't speculate much with what you are projecting. Agreed our market does not generally have affinity esp. to mass-market European or American goods; esp. when cheaper VFM products from East Asian kings are making it possible to deliver things in time, at right time, time and again with reasonable amount of tech.

    Did you observe that when it comes to relatively new or modern tech offerings these very east asian kings too are not pinning to much hope on the markets. (Maruti tasted it again with Kizashi). Traditionally they have been soft about these launches and only focus much on complete product offering as a whole package@price rather than boasting much about the specific tech within. After-sales, (relative) reliability and trust, they have acquired over time. There are no two ways about that. So calling names to the market or the people's mentality driving the market does not go in favour for Fiat either (no matter how true it is), since their mistakes are much bigger than the way they are misunderstood, even for which they are the ones to be blamed.

    Also the term 'enthusiast' is much overused, nay abused on our forum. I believe in a simpler fact, we individuals or group of Fiat owners are here mainly by choice and many also by chance; who happened to taste or discover after the fact that they ended up buying a Fiat. Something within 'clicked' and felt like this is the right car for a vast majority of its owners. And of-course they know deep within they don't regret it that much and rather would repeat this 'mistake' if it is worth the 'risk'. A significant no. of Fiat owners here in India and perhaps also in some other parts of world end up buying a Fiat atleast once again in their lifetime, no matter when or how or how much they have suffered in a particular ownership experience. And all I wish is that Fiat give these loyalists (pretty much everyone) a chance or a risk worth taking. :)
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
    prabhjot and dadasaheb like this.
  4. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Superiore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    @prabhjot Do you seriously have the numbers for diesel and petrol separately? If you have can you put the same to enrich the debate for both Elite i20 and the Polo. I am talking real sources and not hearsay.

    I mention the GT twins as enthusiast cars and not mass. You sir have a way of twisting statements.

    My point - Fiat is neither mass nor enthusiast and something in between will not work. Also speed matters sir. We both agree that numbers would not be high but how much time does it take to release a T-jet version of the Punto just for bragging rights - like 6 years now?

    And you should read carefully - i20 is new in looks and in my country for mango men (including myself) looks matter in a 10 lakhs car. It does and that is what Hyundai keeps changing. I never mentioned powertrains engines etc, in fact I have always mentioned bring on the bling.

    My wish list: More edgy design - call it a Punto 2.0 if you will
    Bling - including places for a 1 litre bottle holder
    Awesome music system and please change the current voice based stuff - never works for me
    Rear view cameras
    Good looking seats :p
    Deliver on time
    Get some good salesmen
    T-jet bragging rights, get the buzz going increase sales from 600 to at least 1200 on average/month
    prabhjot likes this.
  5. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol @asimpleson

    My wish list:

    A, the promised/planned b-suv (2016) off the same, current but lightened Palio platform, but looking say like the FCC4 concept, i.e., quite radicalised Panda styling. MJD2 if not the 1.5 mjd (that mythical beast, spoken of so much, yet never seen). Bigger-than-Ecosport, Duster-killer, with more rear legroom?

    Its quite exact Jeep twin, if they've decided on one like they said they were considering (FCA global product planning head).

    Priced from 9 to 12 lakhs, say.

    For exports as much as for India. Since they won't sell that much here, even if they are segment-best. Which like the Linea, Evo and Avventura they will be.

    Renegade+500X+500L: from say 12 to 16 lakhs. ckd with decent local content esp powertrains. Shared platform etc with the to-be heavily localized Jeep C-suv. Mainly exports, again: strategy copied from Nissan-Renault in India.

    This Evo and this Avventura: a lot more sales can be eked out, via t-jets, Abarth versions, touchscreens, projector lamps etc.

    A retro, Premier Padmini-referencing restyled Linea, with the mythical 1.5 mjd too? Special-edition Linea-s (e.g., matt coloured, glossy-black alloy-wheeled, contrast roof-ed, de-chromed but with other inserts on the bumpers...) Also: T-jet+ddct priced as much as say the Vento Tsi or the Honda City cvt.

    Emulate Mini (BMW) only at vastly lower price points: ckd with localised powertrains the 500 and esp its upcoming Punto-replacing 5-door version. Same platform as the Renegade/500X/Jeep c-suv, so high local content guaranteed. Positioned against and like Mini, Merc A-class etc but costing 13-16 lakhs rather than 25 lakhs+ like they are. Position Fiat like it is increasingly positioned in Europe: sub-luxury but premium-within-mass/what they call 'emotional/aspirational'.

    No all-new fully localized sub-10 lakh product that cannot also be exported in good numbers.

    Instead of the Grand Sienna to replace the Linea in India in 2017 as they plan to (it won't sell), offer the European/Turkey Linea-replacement, but ckd with partial localization at say 13 lakhs+ ex-showroom: like Renault does with the Fluence, like Hyundai does with the Elantra. Straddle the c2 and d-segments. It too is off the same platform as the to-be-localized here for exports Jeep c-suv, the Renegade, the 500X. Much cheaper than Octavia/jetta/Corolla. The Linea IS and should always have been in the (sort of) D-segment price-wise.

    Think of India as you think of Turkey: a quasi-European car culture, which it is showing every sign of being (outside of/above the mass, sub-10 lakh rupee segments).

    Advertise!, but go much farther out with the ad's form/content, or else don't even bother: be very edgy and even controversial, take a loud cultural 'panga' or two via your ad's messaging. Get talked about because not you but your ad gets talked about. i.e., the kind of stuff FCA does routinely in the US under Olivier Francois. A desi 'blue pill ad'? A desi 'Fix it again Tony' ad featuring say sardars?

    ah well, ours (Fiat in India fans and their hopes) is only to wish! The likelihood is that FCA may well do one or two such...but by 2018, focussing on Jeep till then. Don't blame them.
    dadasaheb likes this.
  6. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Superiore

    Punto Evo 1.3
    @prabhjot Do you really have the list that I requested? :) Petrol Diesel split for the GT twins. By the way their numbers are increasing from when they launched the same.

    About time for a 1.6 and a T-jet.
  7. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    I live in Gurgaon, the country's capital for (in quantitative terms) consumerism of all sorts, not least property and .... cars.

    I have spoken to 2 Hyundai dealers here, often, an accident of my itenararies within the city. Both tell me the 1.2 petrol i20 Elite sells quite a bit more than the diesel. Both at their dealership and nationally. So.

    Similarly, the VW dealer on MG Road, near my place reports the GT Polo-s and the Vento Tsi+dsg do sell, but only a very small number of their total sales, though the latter is seeing some uptick. I suspect the GT and Vento Tsi/dsg sell a bit more in say Bombay, but the market is still very small in percentage terms.

    But VW have shown the way, maybe this micro-niche can be grown rapidly from now on, given low fuel prices, and given what's been happening in the premium 2-wheeler mkt?

    I fully agree, then, about the 1.6 mjd and the t-jets, provided the marketing and brand-positioning is drastically altered so that you actively ward-off the 'car as status worthy appliance' crowd. The latter will be here soon enough, and the former may well be here...'sometime' next year?!

    Total, net-net sales numbers will barely budge, I fear, but at least Fiat would not need to discount like hell, and might actually make some money, rather than losing it. Though launching of new engines is an expensive business/risky investment, which is why neither Suzuki nor Hyundai nor Honda (petrol) have bothered to do it for MANY years now.

    But if you are a niche player 'de facto', sales wise, might as well make it 'de jure'/explicit, eh Fiat India?
    asimpleson and dadasaheb like this.
  8. Saurabh Gharat

    Saurabh Gharat Novizio

    Linea T-Jet
    Maruti is launching S-cross and Chiaz with 1.6 Multijet.
    Will this engine be manufactured in India?
    Will Fiat manufacture it?
    Will Fiat incorporate 1.6 multijet in linea and punto?
  9. Deepak

    Deepak Superiore

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    as per the news 1.6 will be imported by MSIL. If fiat decides to bring in 1.6 in Linea it will be shared with Tata motors as well. [if manufactured locally] IMO fiat will definitely consider 1.6 option in Linea. Rumor is that fiat working on 1.5 diesel engine. Lets wait and see.
    Saurabh Gharat likes this.
  10. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr
    @Deepak @Saurabh Gharat

    The is not a rumour, anymore than the t-jet in the Fiat/Abarth Evo+Avventura+595 was mere rumour.

    Sourced and quoted reports in credible news outlets have claimed that the 1.5 mjd will appear, as says their offical India product-plan too, but probably only first on the 'New Avventura' (b-suv) for end-2016 and a little later, on an all-new tata suv and an all-new small locally made-in India jeep or two, as well. Possibly/presumably also to be supplied to Maruti S

    The Linea is IMO unlikely to see the bigger diesel, first or, indeed, at all?! Sad but the inevitable truth, given low sales volumes + weak pricing power?


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