Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Pun to sell PUNTO

Ad By: Bates 141

Fiat Grande Punto in India is Left Out !
Italy's leading car maker Fiat Motors and India's most acknowledged car maker Tata Motors had a joint venture to come into Premium B segment hatchback car with new Fiat Grande Punto. It has indeed brought a change in hatchback cars in India with its design from world renowned Giorgetto Guigiaro giving consideration to having a crafted style for its aerodynamic and sporty presence. The car is launched in India with 3 engine options- 1.4 litre Fire Petrol, 1.3 Litre MultiJet diesel and also 1.2 litre petrol (so as to reap in the excise benefits). The 4 varying trims- Active, Dynamic, Emotion and fully loaded Emotion PK are priced in range of Rs. 5- 6.5 Lakhs. With such pricing and positioning, it competes with rival models from Hyundai and Maruti. Earlier, when Fiat has come up with anything, they have tried to mould themselves according to need of "Developing Countries". This time when they come with Grande Punto, they understand the way Indian automobile industry is emerging, and so are cautious for not repeating the mistakes thereby targeting specifically "Indian market".

When such an high understanding is reflected in entire marketing by taking care of Product, Price, Place then how can the other P of 4P's be ignored- Promotion. While they act so cautious in bringing their product to India, how can they show a product which is not for India. Fiat Grande Punto is shown thru a video on television wherein it is shown to excel and leave behind all other vehicles. But when they show this, they are showing a "LEFT HAND DRIVEN" vehicle. Targeting Indian market which is a right hand driving market and asking them to buy the vehicle by showing a left hand driven vehicle. Though you might be saving on your marketing expenses but you have dealt with a very high opportunity cost. If the ad reflects that you are not concerned about Indian regulations, then how can the product be trusted for its performance, how can it entice anyone when you are not sensitive to their thinking. The ad otherwise certainly show the claimed sporty character of vehicle but unfortunately no one in india would be able to flaunt that sporty character with the left hand drive (No Pun intended !)

Everything counts! Every P is important or else its just left as Pun! The consumer is very intelligent today and the target segment for this vehicle is certainly very learned and informed people. When they make a decision for high involvement product, they tend to notice every small and smallest thing related to it. Taking the communication casually is a big thing for the audience to notice which might forbid them to become consumers.

India is Right !


  1. The observation is worth appreciation.
    in my view, how does this curtails the prudence of the 4th P. The central idea is the product and its specifications.
    I think by showing a wheel on the left will pitch this product to be truly international. I mean indians love importing cars. And one wud like to purchase a car of international standards
    you are right in saying that the customer in india is wise and i agree with u. Thats why i have 2 submissions to make in the purview of this fact-
    1. the customer is wise enough project that the car that wud be available in india wud comply with the indian motor vehicle act
    2. the customer is wise enough to infer that for the purpose of making TV commercial only, the car maker will not design a left wheel car. What i am trying to say is, if its so in the ad, then the product must be actually global.

    So in my opinion, the 'P' is not to be blamed... at least not for the wrong placement of 'O'

    M N N

  2. Thanks Manan. It definitely talks about the other side of coin. Though you are right in talking about wise customers but it is more of giving yourself a false illusion that the audience would understand you and would take your proposition positively. Keeping that confidence in your customer suits when you carry such background or rather if you are a cult brand or hold monopoly in your segment. In midst of this stiff competition you cannot leave it on audience to carry positive attitude yourself.

    And about global standards, I am sure you would agree that left hand drive is not the only mean to show your international spirit. Its certainly about the 4th P in my view as the promotion is not communicating the central idea which is- bringing international standards to local market.