Fiat India on aggressive dealership spree, opens more service centres

Two months ago we told you about Fiat India’s aggressive dealership spree, and that the company was looking at opening 70 dealerships by March 31, 2013. This seemed like a highly ambitious target given that on January 10, 2013, it only had five dealerships in place.

At the time, Fiat Group Automobiles India managing director Enrico Atanasio told CarToq that Fiat was planning to open 70 dealerships by March and that he had given out 61 letters of intent already. Guess what? Three days short of the deadline, Fiat India now has 57 dealerships ready to operate from April 1 onward. Not bad at all. Also read: Fiat opens new dealership, 65 more by March

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Fiat India plans to open 100 dealerships by December 2013 and by March 2014 it plans to have 112 dealerships and service centres in place. For Fiat India it is a start from scratch, reviving the brand and selling and servicing cars on its own after its tie-up with Tata fell through. And it’s a tough task given that it had a far greater reach earlier through 174 Tata-Fiat co-branded outlets. Also read: Fiat-Tata breakup, what it means for you

Given that car sales at the moment are not really robust, and Fiat only has two models in the market – the Fiat Punto and Fiat Linea, both of which are in the last place in sales in their respective segments, the company really needs to do something different to survive. Fiat’s total sales was under 10,000 units in 2012, a number that just a single car like the Maruti Wagon-R beats in a month. Fiat wants to double that sales figure next year, hoping for a 1% market share in 2013 and lifting it to 5% in 2014. Also read: 165 bhp Fiat Punto Abarth coming to India

It is planning to bring in the Abarth performance brand in the next two months. It is also launching updated versions of the Fiat Linea and Fiat Punto in the next month, and will follow it with a compact SUV in another year. Its sister company Chrysler will bring in the Jeep brand by October with the Cherokee and Wrangler. Also read:Jeep to enter India with Cherokee and Wrangler

In most large metros and tier two towns now you will be able to access a Fiat service centre. However, in some tier-3 towns where there is no Fiat service centre, the Tata service centres there will continue to service Fiat cars for the next six months. Also read: Upcoming Fiat Punto spy shots

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