Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Fiat plans SUV for Indian market - possibly a 500X and 500L

Italian carmaker Fiat plans to drive in sports utility vehicles in India soon to boost its market share, a senior executive told .
"We plan to unleash some excitement over the next few years by launching different products and brands, especially in the fast-growing SUV segment, to achieve 4.5% market share in India," said Enrico Atanasio, Fiat India's head of commercial operations. 

Fiat, which has less than 0.5% share of the domestic market, is looking to introduce its SUV models 500X and 500L, along with the five-seater multi-purpose vehicle Qubo, an executive, who did not wish to be named, said. The company is also studying the feasibility of bringing in its American brand Jeep. 

"We want to keep Fiat's legacy alive in India. We are one of the oldest companies in motoring history and are committed to the Indian market," said Atanasio, who is likely to take over as the managing director of Fiat's new sales company in India. 

Fiat is the latest to join the SUV bandwagon in India, Asia's second-fastest growing car market. While Renault's Duster has notched up over 10,000 bookings within a fortnight of its debut, Ford is expected to bring in its Ecosport by the end of the year. Also lined up is Toyota's five-seater Rush. 

Turin-based Fiat plans to set up about 100 new dealerships in India by next March. 

The carmaker, which recently severed ties with distribution partner Tata Motors, has already set up its own sales and marketing company to ramp up market share. Fiat's India sales dropped 51% to 2,819 cars in the first quarter of this fiscal. 


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