Fiat India developing a Compact SUV & a new small car to take on the Alto-Eon-Datsun brigade

By the end of 2014, Fiat India aims to expand its product line up to no less than five cars. Of these, three cars will consist of the next generation versions of the Grande Punto and Linea, while the current Linea sedan will continue to do duty, albeit in repositioned guise. The two other brand new cars from Fiat for the Indian car market will be the compact SUV and a new small car. While the compact SUV is expected to compete with the likes of the Renault Duster and the Ford EcoSport, the small car will be pitted at the Altos, Eons and Datsuns of this world.

2014 Fiat 500L Trekker Hatchback

2014 Fiat 500L Trekker crossover used as an illustration

For quite some time now, Fiat has been hinting that it wants to enter the big volume-entry level small car market in India but the lack of distribution strength has meant that the Italian automaker has had to go slow on its small car plans for the Indian car market. Now though, Fiat has embarked upon strengthening its distribution and after sales network with a slew of independent dealerships across the nation. So, a Fiat small car sometime in 2014 will arrive just in time to capitalize on the wider reach that the Italian automaker will have in this country by that time.

Other details of the Fiat entry level small car remain unknown at this moment. Meanwhile, it is imperative for a car brand to have a strong dealership and after sales network, especially when it wants to launch a high volume product like a small car. There are two main reasons for this.

1. A wide dealer and after sales network will allow the said brand to maximize the sales potential of its entry level small car.

2. The incumbent market leaders in the small car space, Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have the best dealership and after sales networks in the country and any new player needs at least a decent network to compete with these behemoths.

Coming to the other hot product from Fiat, the Italian car maker has decided to launch a compact SUV as this is the current flavor of the Indian car market, with almost every new compact SUV managing to make an impact at the hustings. While the exact details of Fiat’s new compact SUV are unknown, the car will be available in both petrol and turbo diesel engine options. The 1.4 Liter petrol engine and the 1.3 Liter turbo diesel engine are expected to be the power options for Fiat’s India-bound compact SUV. For now, this is the information we have with us. We’ll keep updating you with new details of these exciting new products from Fiat India, as and when they emerge.

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