Fiat India dumps Tata Motors to go it alone on the dealership front, in some good news
With the Fiat Caffe at Janpath up and running, Fiat India finally seems to have woken up and smelt the coffee in the Indian car market. Fiat will now officially cut ties with Tata Motors on the dealership front which means that officially, Fiat cars will not be sold in Tata Motors dealership once the independent Fiat dealerships are set up. This will happen in a phased manner though. Talking of which, this is a welcome move, especially if you’re a prospective Fiat car owner in India as this means no step motherly treatment from Tata Motors dealers, who often have been found urging Fiat customers to instead shift to Tata cars.
Fiat India has been selling its three car product range in India through 178 Tata-Fiat joint dealerships across 129 Indian cities. However, Fiat India will encourage these Tata-Fiat dealers to now open standalone Fiat dealerships. Fiat is also planning to establish an independent after sales service network to service Fiat cars. However, there is no specific time frame given by Fiat India for completing this exercise in which the Fiat cars will be sold and serviced through independent dealerships and service centers respectively. So, for the time being, expect Fiat cars to be sold and serviced from the existing Tata-Fiat joint dealership set up.
Tata and Fiat are choosing to call this change in tack a re-alignment in the joint venture. However, the Tata-Fiat joint venture for manufacturing cars at the Fiat factory in Ranjangaon will stay as it is, with Tata Motors sourcing engines from Fiat and using the latter’s manufacturing facilities to manufacture specific Tata car models. Tata sources the 1.4 Liter, 90 Bhp Safire petrol engine from Fiat for use in the Manza sedan and the Vista hatchback. Similarly, the Multijet engine is supplied by Fiat for use in the diesel versions of the Manza and Vista.
This move from Fiat India could increase the sales of the Linea sedan and the Grande Punto hatchback gradually. Also, Fiat going it alone on the dealership and after sales front will be a confidence booster for Fiat customers in India, who can now be assured that Italian brand is quite serious about the Indian market. Also, Fiat India needs to increase its dealership reach if it plans to launch its sub-Punto small car for the Indian car market. All in all, a positive development for Fiat India, which has been the sales doldrums for quite a while now.