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Old 25-06-2009   #76
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by sledge View Post
Why?
The resulting silence is deafening, isn't it?

Same old same old...
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Old 30-06-2009   #77
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

A mate of mine has a Skoda Fabia with the 1.2 3-cylinder engine. It's been pretty good and with 70K on the clock feels more solid than my Panda with 42K. However he has changed the shocks whereas I think mine probably need to have them changed.

Having said that, the dash and seats wouldn't really entice you into buying one, the interior is far less appealing than the Panda Dynamic.

What was a surprise to me though, is that in the 4 years he's owned it, he's replaced a Lambda Probe every year. Somehow, having to replace the same component every year doesn't seem to crop up in the JD Power survey.

I also wonder who takes part in these surveys. I filled out one last year re: the Panda but missed the latest one. My Dad, on the other hand, has filled it out every year since 2005. Oddly enough, that was when he bought his first new Toyota; a Corolla. Unfortunately due to both him and my Mum having recently had knee replacement ops., they started looking for an automatic that was easier to get into.

The short list included a Merc A-Class, Corolla Verso and a Zafira. He chose the Verso. The point about the JD Power survey was that since he retired, his annual mileage has been less than 5,000 miles, in fact closer to 3,000. I can't help wonder how many Toyota owners who reply to Power are like my Old Man because, even with the worst car in the world, there's not much that can go wrong in 12K in 4 years.

I'd also question how much performance satisfies older drivers. By his own admission, he doesn't expect as much from cars now as he did in the early '70s when he had a Vauxhall VX 4/90 followed by a 3.3 litre Ventora.
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Old 30-06-2009   #78
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Regarding dealers. When i went to view Lucia at my local main fiat dealer she had a nasty stain on the rear seat and generally was a bit grubby inside as it had only been valeted to "Sight" according to the saleswoman. The front tires were also just above the legal minimum, the rears wern't far off. The sales woman told me this would be sorted out prior to the car changing hands. When i received the car (it was delivered to the house when i was at work as I had yet to pass my test) some attempt had obviously been made at cleaning her but the stain was still there (albeit not as prominent) and there was still dirt in the crevices etc in the car. There was also still a lot of wax that hadn't been buffed off on the exterior. Tires wise the rears were left as is, the fronts were replaced with the cheapest ATS would provide them with which turned out to be unsuitable (a trip to the same ATS branch after getting my rears replaced by a local garage on the way back from the dealer to get my alignment checked as they could not determine what the steering issue I was having was caused by confirmed this as i was told to switch my tires round due to the rear replacements i bought at my own expense (23 each fitted) were apparently a much better tyre and this could cure the steering issue - it did and the handling and grip are much improved!).

In comparison, I used to do a bit of work for a VW dealer prepping used cars. A car would not of even got on to the forcourt until it had been MACHINE polished, fully valeted and serviced and tires had to have at least half their tread intact (this was part of a pre sales inspection which was done). Where as I think the car itself is fantastic, the corner cutting by the dealer could put me off buying another fiat when the time comes. The fact that they could not even ensure the wax residue was buffed off just screams carelessness. Luckily I had the skills and knowledge to do a proper job of the valet, some of the most obvious issues were fixed in seconds! My brother will be buying his first car soon and where as I would love him to get a fiat (he really likes the 500, but is tempted to get a grande punto as he may have to travel in his job), I am inclined to point him in the direction of a different or non-fiat franchised dealer. Where as the sales staff have been great, and the service staff always seemed polite and courteous there does still seem to be some quality control lacking.
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Old 30-06-2009   #79
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

With all due respect the car you got was secondhand (judging from your post), sometimes people forget that the car has been used & there will be marks, scratches etc. As for the tyres that decision is down to one man who is constantly trying to find ways to reduce spending/increase profits especially in these hard times. 3mm is generally the accepted absolute minimum (personally I think it should be 5) but a good set of tyres would cost around 160-180 & with profit margins so tight this simply cant be done.

I understand what your saying (and agree with you) but a quick look on the other side of the fence might help you understand the motor trade abit more. Also there will be more profit margin in a VW compared to a Fiat.
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Old 30-06-2009   #80
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by T14086 View Post
With all due respect the car you got was secondhand (judging from your post), sometimes people forget that the car has been used & there will be marks, scratches etc. As for the tyres that decision is down to one man who is constantly trying to find ways to reduce spending/increase profits especially in these hard times. 3mm is generally the accepted absolute minimum (personally I think it should be 5) but a good set of tyres would cost around 160-180 & with profit margins so tight this simply cant be done.

I understand what your saying (and agree with you) but a quick look on the other side of the fence might help you understand the motor trade abit more. Also there will be more profit margin in a VW compared to a Fiat.
I know what you are saying but how long would it have took someone to check that residue etc had been removed. Most of the jobs i did myself took very little time indeed (it took 3 days for the car to be prepared by the dealer). I just think it creates a very bad impression of the dealer (who have otherwise been faultless and does enjoy a good reputation) and the marque for someone who doesn't know better. I wasnt expecting an immaculate car (in fact i like the little scuffs and scrapes - it gives her character), just one that had been cleaned! This is the type of thing fiat need to get right (quality control)if they are to change peoples perceptions of the brand (Fix It Again Tomorrow). Afterall, this is what seems to be what influences these surveys most rather than actual reliability. You are right in saying that margins at other brands are higher but a lot of this is to do with the fact that people know the type of service they are getting. As a footnote, a family member recently bought a second hand Hyundai from one of their main dealers. The car quite literraly was ready to go on the forecourt and was spotless inside and out. It also was older than my car and had a higher mileage. If Hyundai can do it on the type of margins they operate on considering the depreciation of their vehicles then why cant Fiat? What type of impression does it leave with people if they go to view a car and it isnt even cleaned properly. You wouldn't do it if you were a private seller so why are dealers. I am talking about cleaning grime on the interior plastics, etc here btw not a full detail!!!!!!

The 500 is a great opportunity for Fiat as a lot of people are interested in buying one who otherwise wouldnt touch a Fiat due to its cheeky looks (i.e. looks are making people forget their perceptions of the brand) and desirability to younger drivers (who afterall could potentially be buying Fiats for years to come). Modern cars for the most part are very reliable, no matter what the brand. The difference comes in the aftersales service. Lets hope Fiat have cleaned up their act - afterall, I know word of mouth was a big factor in my buying decision and I very nearly didnt get a Fiat due to this.

I am glad i did go for the Fiat and I am delighted with my purchase, i am simply saying that by taking an extra few minutes here and there then the dealers can go a long way to impoving the companys reputation and also their own sales!
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Old 01-07-2009   #81
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

If you noticed I bodyswerved the cleaning/polishing bits as i'm not a valeter so not in any position to comment on this....I hate cleaning my cars but thats why you have kids isn't it

I agree though that first impressions count, dirty car & the salesman is going to have a hard sell on his hands, gleaming car and he is already halfway to gettting that signature.
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Old 02-07-2009   #82
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Fiat's role in helping to save Chrysler post-bankruptcy was applauded by President Obama just days ago, but already the naysayers are building their case. And unfortunately, it's shaping up to be a decent one. The latest JD Power figures put Fiat at the bottom - 28th of 28 - in UK satisfaction
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Old 02-07-2009   #83
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Errrrr yeah we know, thats what this thread is about
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Old 02-07-2009   #84
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by T14086 View Post
If you noticed I bodyswerved the cleaning/polishing bits as i'm not a valeter so not in any position to comment on this....I hate cleaning my cars but thats why you have kids isn't it

I agree though that first impressions count, dirty car & the salesman is going to have a hard sell on his hands, gleaming car and he is already halfway to gettting that signature.
I think perhaps I could have wrote my intial post better. The bottom line is if Fiat want there repuation to improve then dealers are gonna have to make more effort not only with aftersales but also first impressions as they are what last. Likewise Fiat themselves have to make more of an effort.

Part of Fiats problem is that many peoples first experience with their cars was of unreliable rustbuckets. Those times are long gone but people still assosiate that with the brand, so when something does go wrong the attitude is "well its a Fiat, thats what they do" wheras if the problem occured on say a Honda, or Lexus (or even Skoda nowadays) the attitude is that it is the exception to the rule even though the problem is probably as likely to happen on any car.

I think Fiat have done fantastic work on getting their products right (who doesnt love the 500 for example) but they also need to put the same amount of effort into improving peoples perceptions. If Skoda can do it (Remember the "its a Skoda, Honest" campaign) then Fiat can to (even if they arent owned by VW). Another example is what Hyundai have done with the 5 year warranty thing. Many people wouldnt have touched one of their cars but by slapping a massive warranty on the cars they have tempted more people to take the gamble. Word of mouth has got out that actually these aren't bad cars.

Of course this isnt something the dealers can offer on their own, and Fiat do have a responsibility to back up the dealers, but if there was more willingness on the part of both dealer and manufacturer to fix problems when they happen instead of holding out for the customer to pay then perhaps the attitudes of people would improve. Afterall when problems happen we are taught in customer service that the best course of action is to fix the problem as soon as possible and apologise. Dragging your feet and making excuses only makes people more hostile and quickly errodes any goodwill felt between that person and the organisation. This is what Fiat needs to get right -customer care.
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Old 02-07-2009   #85
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Quote Originally Posted by tarbyonline View Post
Likewise Fiat themselves have to make more of an effort.

Tend to disagree here as I think Fiat (especially Fiat UK) have been making a incredible effort.

If Skoda can do it (Remember the "its a Skoda, Honest" campaign) then Fiat can to (even if they arent owned by VW).

Fair point but skoda havent exactly set the motoring world on fire let alone big sales. 2 skoda garages near me have gone, couldn't honestly tell you were nearest one is?

Another example is what Hyundai have done with the 5 year warranty thing. Many people wouldnt have touched one of their cars but by slapping a massive warranty on the cars they have tempted more people to take the gamble.

Also a gamble by the manufactuer, all it needs is a engine fault to come to light & Hyundai could be in trouble, remember daewoo. I believe Fiat are looking further ahead and not just short term to grab customers in any way possible but investing in new technology which will keep the Fiat brand going for a long time yet.
Fiats major problem is getting large dealerships to comply like the smaller (better) chains.
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Old 03-07-2009   #86
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Personally, I put it down to a couple of things...

1. Fiats warranty handling.

For many years Fiat have been giving owners agro when it comes to warranty claims. This causes enourmous degrees of bad feeling & will, 9 times out of 10, evoke the immortal words "I will never buy a Fiat again". The majority of those disgruntled owners will indeed stick to their words.

In alot of cases, in the past at least, Fiats warranty department would refuse a full pay out, saying the faults were dont to normal wear & tear or driver abuse & then offer to pay a percentage, it was then up to you & the dealer (aka piggy in the middle) to argue your case & barter.

Its a warranty for God sake, not a bloody car boot sale...

2. Dealer attitude.

Problem 1 means that the staff in the dealers have to put up with an almost daily torrent of abbuse from these angry customers, this leads to a high staff turnover, mainly in service reception & on the sales floor.

This also leads to lowered staff moral who are less willing to help because they KNOW the pattern... they KNOW they will get a bollocking from an angry customer, possibly in front of other customers. How depressing is that day in day out?

And what can they do about it? they end up being go betweens, trying to please the customer, and the service manager, and the dealer principal & having to deal with Fiats warranty claim department.

Its not an easy job to do, its not far off being a traffic warden!

Dealers are often understaffed to, resulting in people being too busy to get cars back when promised & customers routinely not called back.

This also causes huge irritation to customers, who again, vow to never buy Fiat again. It also goes for Alfa & was the same with Lancia back in the day.

Also, tarbyonline covered another thing... quality control. Its almost non-existent at most dealerships, its due to the low moral & understaffing issues mentioned above, resulting in things being forgotten or not bothered with..

A little while ago, against my advice, my parents got a used low mileage Stilo SW from a dealer they`ve been using since the early 90`s (Dad previously bought 2 brand new Fiats from there). They payed top top dollar on this car (I wasnt there when they got it, if I had have been, they wouldnt have got it!) & the dealer wanted a week to prep it. My parents were fine with this.

They asked me to go with them to check it over when they collected it a week later.

After an informal chat, we were dragged through the back of the showroom to the workshop (which was a right state). It was immediately apparent to me the car was in less than mint condition. it wasnt cleaned to dealership standards inside or out, it had been washed, polished haphazardly & hoovered out, thats it, the same sort of valet you`d expect for a fiver. The alloys were kerbed, the rear bumper was scuffed, the service history had vanished. Amazingly, when I opened the bonnet, the battery cover & clamp was loose, with the (missmatched) bolts lying seperately.

There were no mechanics there & after a long wait, I gave up & ended up refitting them myself, using the strewn out toolbox next to the car (I think it belonged to Mr Clarkson, not Mr May).

Frankly, I could have bought a car in identical condition from an auction for 3 grand less.

Yet this was a car they had a week to PDI, Absolutely rediculous.

The thing had running issues the day after collection & the car went back 2 days later. This part the dealer dealt with in a decent way.

I found the whole situation embarrasing, I felt shame for the dealer & Fiat.

For the record, my parents got a Volvo V50 on the 1st of March & are very happy with both it & the dealer standards, I`m 99% sure they will stay happy with both too.

This lack of attention to detail & general lack of care is exactly what people dispise about the Fiat group, there may be the odd exception, but as a rule the dealers leave a bad taste in a very high percentage of customers mouths.

We love the cars, we could even live with the faults, IF they were handled properly by the dealers & we were handled in the professional way we expect (and get) from other car companies.

The 500 is doing wonders for Fiat, its the perfect oportunity for Fiat to become strong again. Its also a bad time to be p**sing customers off. I just hope standards have now risen in all the above areas, or in a few more years the word on the street will once again be "Fiat? I wouldnt have one of them again"....
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Old 06-07-2009   #87
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Re: why are Fiat bottom of the 2009 JD Power Survey?

Interesting thread this and i would like to comment about a few things,

When i bought my stilo, the Egr valve failed within a week or so and when i took the car to Hutton's it was diagnosed as the egr and duly ordered and fitted a couple of days later.
There was a issue regarding this at the time which is all sorted but have used Hutton's only once to fix the Over boost valve and then replace it under warranty, Not because they are a bad dealer but because really Nothing has gone wrong with it. I have had no problems with Hutton's and would buy from them and have a car serviced with them no problem.

Now I'm talking about a 04 stilo Jtd multi wagon that has and gets thrashed by myself 98% of the time showing 115,000, But the thing is now what do i replace it with as fiat have deemed itself not worthy of replacing the multi wagon with anything. I don't want to drive a van (doblo/Cube thing) so that counts out anything fiat (new anyway), So what does one do pickup a late stilo on a 06/56 plate and keep it for 2-3 years and see if they turn out a Bravo estate or do i run my Stilo on for another year or so and get a stilo multi wagon.

So it looks like my Fiat ownership will come to an end in 2-3 years as there is not a product thats suitable for myself. I never thought i would say it but i like driving and owing my stilo and Fiats in general.

Perhaps i have been lucky but fiat ownership is and continues to be a very good one.
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