Fiat India has been a silent player in the Indian market for a long time. Although globally, a very respected brand back in India it has failed to garner the same status. Part of it can be blamed on the Tata-Fiat joint venture for showrooms and service stations and part of it on Fiat’s reluctance on bringing more models to India. However, now post the Tata JV split-up, Fiat Indian is chalking out some bold plans for the Indian market. The Italy based company has announced that it will be introducing 5 new cars in the next 4 to 5 years including the Jeep and Abarth brand . Fiat has currently undertaken a brand restructuring strategy which a part of the company’s initiative to make the brand more appealing to more and more customers and enthusiasts.
One of its key strategies will be to have a greater focus on sporty design and the use of sophisticated technology. Fiat India has also started independently setting up its own distribution network and showrooms in India. as a part of the brand re-jig, this will also get some action going with a target of setting up close to 120 showrooms by 2013. Currently, in the global market Fiat has 11 platforms that form the underpinning of all its cars sold. However, with rising competition and development costs, Fiat is planning to reduce it to 5 platforms.
Back in India, the first products to roll out under independent Fiat will be the updated Grande Punto hatch and Linea sedan. The Fiat Punto is expected to launch in 2013 while the Linea will follow in 2014. This year, Fiat has already given them a mild facelift while next year we would be witnessing cosmetic changes to both with revised front and rear styling, new alloy wheel designs and a thorough re-working of the interiors. The Fiat Linea will get the 1.6 litre Multijet diesel engine and the 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol. However, Fiat has already said that it will continue to sell the existing Linea alongside the new version, dubbing it as Linea Classic. Another all-new B-segment compact utility vehicle shared with the Fiat-owned Chrysler group is also expected to hit India by 2014.