Fiat India inaugurates its first standalone service center at Pune
Fiat India, in a reaffirmation of its commitment to the Indian car market and car buyers who have bought Fiat cars has opened the first standalone service center in Pune. The service center is called Millennium Drive and is situated at Dapodi, Pune. This is the first such Fiat-only service center that the Italian brand had established in India ever since it exited the distribution and service joint venture it had with Tata Motors, earlier this year. Fiat has also established an independent dealership in Hyderabad a couple of months ago.
At Pune, Fiat sells its cars through the Fiat Caffe, which also doubles up as an experience zone and cafe for Fiat enthusiasts and prospective buyers. Going forward, the brand will establish 100 standalone dealerships across the country, along with dedicated service centers to maintain Fiat cars. After sales service has been a major gripe amongst Fiat car owners, and this has been true especially when Fiat exited India after its failed joint venture with Premier in the 90s. When Fiat exited India, its customers were left high and dry with nowhere to go for servicing Fiat cars.
In its second coming into the country sometime in the late noughties, Fiat tied up with Tata Motors to sell and service its car range. Tata Motors dealers however were found under selling Fiat cars and instead were pushing Tata cars to prospective customers. After realizing this, Fiat India exited the sales and service joint venture with Tata Motors to go it alone. This announcement, which was made earlier this year was welcomed by Fiat car buyers, who were often doled out step motherly treatment at Tata Motors’ car dealers.
On the after sales service front, parts availability was still an issue at smaller cities and towns of India. This latest move from Fiat India to set up exclusive service centers is expected to go a long way in easing this situation. Currently, Fiat sells two cars in India, the Linea sedan and the Grande Punto hatchback. Both the cars are known for their solidness and exemplary ride and handling. Fiat India will concentrate on setting up independent dealerships and service centers in the next one year, after which it will begin launching new cars.