Fiat fans might be wondering what the Italian company is upto, with no action off late. Well they are upto nothing and that is something which certainly doesn’t please the head honchos of Tata Motors. Tata Group Chief, Mr. Ratan Tata has admitted that the JV hasn’t worked as they had thought and needs critical examination. He further said that Fiat need to get more models to India, which would keep dealers interested. Talking about dealers, we have an interesting story to share.
When the Fiat Grande Punto was launched way back in mid-2009, we went to a Tata-Fiat dealer to inquire about the car. The talk between the salesman and us went something like this : –
MB – We want to checkout the new Fiat Grande Punto.
Salesman – Kindly have a seat, I will just check and get back to you.
MB – Thank you.
10 minutes later.
Salesman – Sir, the car is undergoing washing. Why don’t you checkout the new Tata Indica Vista?
MB – No, we are looking at the Grande Punto.
Salesman – Sir, what is so special about the Grande Punto. It uses Tata’s Quadrajet engine.
MB – No, its the other way round, its Fiat’s engine.
Salesman – Sir, you need to see the new Vista. More space than Punto and is more value as well. It is cheaper than Punto. Plus Fiat’s future in India is uncertain.
MB – How much time will the car take in washing?
Salesman – Around 20 mins, but why don’t you take the test drive of the Indica Vista till then?
MB – Thanks, will get back to you later.
Now as you can see, potential Fiat customers are converted into Tata customers. This is all courtesy of the 50:50 joint venture agreement signed four years ago. The agreement enables Tata Motors to distribute, service and sell Fiat cars. What does Fiat really do then?