One of the largest automakers in the world, Fiat will soon pull the plug from its Indian operations. Currently, Fiat only offers the Linea, Grand Punto, Avventura and Abarth Punto in the Indian market and none of these vehicles complies with the future safety and emission rules.
All the Fiat vehicles are not popular in the Indian market, and the sales chart show us the same picture. From December 2017 to November 2018, Fiat sold only 101 units of its vehicles in India and the brand is not planning to launch upgraded versions of the cars that will comply with the expected norms. The Fiat Linea and the Punto have been on sale in India for a long time now, and both the vehicles have not received any major update to keep them fresh in the market. Even the derivatives of the Fiat Punto in the form of the Abarth Punto, Urban Cross and the Avventura are quite outdated.
Fiat-Chrysler launched the all-new Jeep brand in the Indian market in 2016 with the CBU models like the Wrangler and Cherokee in India. In 2017, the all-new Jeep Compass was launched, which became instantly famous in the Indian market. Going forward, Fiat-Chrysler is expected to concentrate only on the Jeep brand in India while the Fiat vehicles will be phased out.
India will get the new Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assesment Program (BNVSAP) from October 2019. According to the ACI report, none of the Fiat vehicles can meet the minimum safety requirement. Also, in 2020, the more stringent BS-VI emission norms will be implemented in the Indian market.
The popular 1.3-litre Multijet engine, which is known as the “National Engine of India” is not BS-VI ready and to turn it into more emission norm compliant a large sum would be needed. Even if Fiat bring in new cars, the company will have to invest a large amount of sum to upgrade the production line and bring in new technology.
Instead, the brand has decided to focus only on the Jeep brand in the coming years and discontinue the Fiat brand from the market. This is the second major brand that is exiting from the Indian market in a short time. From 1st January 2018, General Motors’ Chevrolet brand ceased the sales of its vehicles in the Indian market due to extremely low popularity.
Fiat also supplies the 1.3-litre Multijet engine to numerous manufacturers in the Indian market. As the engine is not BS-VI ready, they would not be useful after the upgraded emission norms are implemented in the country. This would bring the revenue of Fiat India considerably in the future.
The Italian manufacturer has asked all its dealers to sell off the non-ABS inventory as soon as possible in the market. It should be noted that ABS will become mandatory in the cars from 1st April 2019. However, the major update will come in October 2019 when the new BNVSAP rules get implemented in the market. That’s the time when the Fiat is expected to officially cease their operations in India.