Fiat India is aiming to sell 25,000 cars in 2013, a full 150% jump in volumes when compared to its sales in 2012. Fiat hopes that the big bump up in volumes will come from the massive dealership expansion that the brand is carrying out across India. Even as you’re reading this, Fiat India is busy inaugurating new standalone dealerships across the country. By March 2013, Fiat hopes to have 65 independent dealerships across India. The number of independent dealerships in India is expected to go up to 120 in number by the end of this year.
Fiat India’s biggest stumbling block so far has been its botched up distribution alliance with Tata Motors, by means of which the Italian car maker used to sell Fiat cars through Tata Motors’ dealership chain. Tata Motors dealers often used to push Tata cars instead of giving equal preference to Fiat cars, leading to the latter struggling in terms of sales. It took over two years for Fiat to realize that the Tata-Fiat joint dealership venture wasn’t going anywhere. So finally, Fiat has broken away from the Tata-Fiat joint venture for selling cars and is now all set to go it alone.
The large number of independent Fiat dealerships that’ll be established in the next 12 months are expected to more than double volumes for Fiat India. Through this sales boost, Fiat’s market share in India is expected to touch the 1% mark. Currently, the car maker sells two cars in India, the Grande Punto hatchback and Linea sedan. Both cars are available in a wide variety of variants, with both petrol and diesel engine options. These cars are well known for their exemplary ride and handling characteristics, apart from the tough build quality that Fiat cars have been known to possess.
Later this year, Fiat will bring the Jeep brand to India, with CBU imports like the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs positioned as brand builders. The first mass market compact SUV from Jeep will arrive in 2014, with the second model to follow in 2016. In 2014, Fiat India will launch the facelifted version of the Grande Punto hatchback and the next generation version of the Linea sedan. The current Linea will get a facelift and be positioned at a lower price point, as the entry level Linea Classic sedan. Come 2015, Fiat will launch a compact SUV in India.