Fiat is one of the oldest car manufacturers in India, having enteredat a time when there was no GM, Volkswagen, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai in the country. Today, Fiat is the second last in terms of market share, selling just less than a thousand units on a monthly average. The company below Fiat in terms of market share is Mitsubishi, which only sells SUVs in the Indian market. So how did Fiat manage to perform so poorly? Poor customer service, bad marketing and lack of new products has lead to Fiat’s slow demise in the Indian market. No more, says Fiat.
Fiat has announced plans to double its market share to 1% by selling around 25,000 units this year. The company has broken distribution ties with Tata Motors, which (or so it said) was selling Fiat cars through its dealerships. If one went to buy a Fiat vehicle, the dealership would convince them to buy a competing Tata vehicle instead. Now Fiat is setting up its own independent dealership network and has a target of 80 showrooms by the end of the year.
Fiat has announced its aggressive plans for India. The company will bring in new products like the updated Punto and Linea. Currently Fiat has only two products on offer, the original Linea and Grande Punto. The Italian car maker has also announced plans to launch a locally manufactured Punto Abarth along with bringing various products form the Jeep line-up. Currently, Jeep is not present in India, but Fiat-Chrysler plans to make India an export hub for right-hand drive Jeep models.
Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.