A rejuvenated Fiat after its split with Tata Motors is planning aggressively to turn things around in India, one of the most important emerging car markets in the world. Last December, the company held a press conference, one of its most impressive in years, charting out a plan to re-align its strategy for India. The highlights of the event were the announcement about introduction of Jeep and Abarth to India and thoughts on how Fiat will do it all by itself after parting ways with Tata
In a follow-up press conference which talked about the groundwork done by Fiat after the last announcement, the Italian carmaker introduced its newly appointed MD and President Nagesh Basavanhalli to the media. The press conference highlighted the aggressive steps taken by Fiat in the past few months to make sure that its next offensive is successful and transforms its image in the market once and for all. Sharing the stage with the new Fiat India MD was Enrico Atanasio, Director, Fiat Group India.
Both the speakers took the present media through a presentation which highlighted the advances made by Fiat in the past few months and threw some light on the road ahead to establish Fiat as a popular and successful brand. Going by the look of it Fiat has done its homework well this time and is working hard to make sure that its basic infrastructure is in place before they launch its next generation of products in India.
The key takeaways from the press conference about Fiat’s preparedness for going it alone in the Indian market were:
1. Dealer expansion: After deciding to sell its cars through exclusive showrooms, the company has started appointing dealers aggressively. 51 exclusive dealerships have already been set up in all the metros and several other cities. 16 more are under construction, and work on several others will start soon to take the total dealership count to 102 by the end of Financial Year 2013-14.
2. Image Points: The company is also working on increasing the number of its image points in various cities, better known as Fiat Caffes, where the history and heritage of Fiat is presented to the customers in its true glory. Along with a cup of authentic Italian coffee, of course.
3. Customer support: Fiat India has been setting up a robust infrastructure for exhaustive customer support. A dedicated call center has been setup with 30 executives and capability of handling more than 1100 calls a day.
4. Better experience at dealerships: Apart from introducing exclusive dealerships, the company is working on improving the experience for the customers. Better service stations with new generation machinery and better trained staff is being deployed for superior customer experience.
5. Mobile service: 24×7 mobile service vans are being deployed to provide roadside assistance to broken down cars
6. Readily available spares: The Company understands the need to make available genuine spares readily and at an affordable price. A new 60,000 square feet spares warehouse has been setup to supply spares across the country without.
7. Better Warranty: Fiat products will come with a warranty of 3 years / 100,000 km. Customers will have an option to extend it to 150,000 / 5 years at a nominal cost
8. Marketing campaign: To create awareness about all these steps, the company is going to create a 360 degree campaign covering TV, Print, Radio and digital medium. More than 13,000 TV spots have been booked along with campaigns for print and digital media ready. You should be able to see the first TV commercials during this season of IPL
9. 3 pillars: Brand building, production and distribution will act as the three pillars of Fiat’s growth in India over the next few years.
10. Market share: Currently claiming a dismal 0.7% of the Indian market share, the Italian carmaker aims at grabbing upto 5% of the Indian car pie in the coming years.
11. Make the Move: Fiat’s next marketing campaign will revolve around the ‘Make the Move’ mantra. The phrase underlines Fiat’s intention to finally ‘Make the Move’ and achieve the position it has always deserved in the Indian market. The phrase also forms the core of the company’s ad campaign, asking the prospective customers to stop pondering, take some time out, Make the Move, and do what they have always wanted to.
The new MD and President at Fiat India is a young, dynamic man. In his first interaction with the media, he looked sharp, focused and had a pleasing air of energy around him. His address to the media reflected his willingness to turn things around for the Italian carmaker.
After dragging our feet through several boring Fiat conferences, the last two have comes across as a gush of fresh air. The Fiat camp seems to be pulsating with energy and confidence. They have a product and marketing strategy in place, and going by the look of it they seem to be damn confident of it. We are happy, for we have always appreciated Fiat products which unfortunately have been marred by poor customer handling and service.
Hopefully Fiat India will break the jinx this time. We wish them all the best!