Fiat back in the ring: Opens 5th exclusive dealership, 65 more to follow by March

If you own a Fiat car or are planning to buy one, let’s put all your fears at ease. Fiat Group Automobiles India, today confirmed to CarToq that it is here to stay and also shared an aggressive sales and service plan with us.

Enrico Atanasio, managing director, Fiat Group Automobiles India told Cartoq that the company will be opening 70 dealerships by March 2013 across India. He also said that the company is targeting 100 dealerships by December 2013.

 

fiat-india-md-enrico-photo
Enrico Atanasio, MD, Fiat Group Automobiles India Pvt Ltd

Fiat-Tata finally split

Atanasio also confirmed that the relationship with Tata to sell and service Fiat cars will cease to exist by March 2013, and from April onward, you can only get your car serviced at a Fiat dealership. However, he also said that in smaller cities, some of the Tata-Fiat co-branded service centres will continue to service Fiat cars until December 2013, by which time the company would have fully established its service network. Also read: Fiat-Tata breakup, what it means for you

So what does this mean for you? If you own a Fiat car, it would make sense for you to now explore new dealerships, which are exclusive to Fiat, like the one inaugurated in Noida today – Kashyap Fiat – Fiat’s fifth exclusive dealership in the country. This dealership and service centre is spread over 4000 square feet of area which includes the showroom, 18 service bays, as well as a paint shop and body shop.

Fiat says that it has already approved 61 letters of intent – which means 61 new dealerships are already being set up. Not all would be as large though.

How strong is the brand now?

Buyers still shy away from Fiat products because of its past history with dodgy after sales service and support. However, Atanasio was quick to point out that this time around Fiat is “committed” to the market – first by setting up a fully owned subsidiary company (so far it has always been in joint-ventures), second by rolling out a road map of future products for the Indian market (it is at present a two product company – selling only Punto and Linea), and third by setting up exclusive Fiat service stations across the country. He hopes this will convince buyers that Fiat is a serious brand to reckon with. Also read: Upcoming Fiat Punto spy shots

Fiat says it has also convinced some dealers to set up smaller sales and service outlets in smaller towns, so that it can expand its reach faster.

New product line up

fiat_punto_evo_abarth

Fiat also confirmed that it will be bringing in new products to the Indian market under the Fiat brand as well as upgrading the existing cars. The Fiat Punto will get a facelift and will be launched in a few months in India. The new Fiat Linea will also come in in the beginning of 2014, while the existing Fiat Linea will continue to be sold, being rebadged as the Linea Classic – a strategy similar to what Ford is doing with the New Ford Fiesta and Ford Classic. Fiat will also be launching a compact utility vehicle by mid 2014 to compete with the Maruti Ertiga.

Fiat also confirmed it will be launching the Abarth brand in India in six months’ time, which will give enthusiasts a very affordable sporty hatch. Also read: 165 bhp Fiat Punto Abarth coming to India

It also confirmed the launch of the Jeep brand with the Cherokee and Wrangler by October 2013. Also read: Jeep to enter India with Cherokee and Wrangler

If you plan to buy a Fiat car, this is as good a time as any to book one. There are discounts of up to Rs. 75,000 on the Linea and up to Rs. 60,000 on the Punto to be grabbed, and better still, there’s hardly any waiting period.