Fiat has big plans for India. The Italian automaker has finally realized that in order to be successful in the Indian market, they have to keep launching new products and refresh existing ones. Now Fiat already has two fantastic cars on sale – the Grande Punto and the Linea, both of which were given a minor update earlier this year. Fiat does not plan to launch anything in India till March 2013, as the company will be concentrating on expanding its retail presence. Fiat has already opened 3 independent showrooms and plans to add another 75 by the end of this fiscal year. Post the set up of their independent network, Fiat will start launching more products in India, including an MPV and a compact SUV.
Just recently Fiat started to expand the 500 line-up with the launch of the 500L. The company is trying to leverage on the popularity of the 500 hatchback by bringing in more models on the same platform and style. The next vehicle on the 500 platform was recently teased in a promotional video and is the 500X. The Fiat 500X is a compact SUV, which measures 4.2-meters in length (just a shade shorter than the Renault Duster). At the recent technology meet, Mr Enrico Atanasio, Head of Fiat India (Commercial) said that vehicles from the Chrysler stable along with the 500X are under consideration for the Indian market. The company plans to expand into growing segments such as the MPV and SUV segments.
Fiat also plans to launch a full-sized MPV on the 500 platform, which would be a 7-seater version of the 500L. This vehicle is still under development and is most likely to be launched in India by 2014. The Fiat 500 7-Seater MPV will rival the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. It will be priced between Rs. 7-9 lakhs and will be powered by the 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine. Fiat India does not plan to get the MultiAir engines in the near future and the 500 MPV will be offered with the 1.4-litre FIRE engine which does duty on the Linea. It remains to be seen how Fiat boosts volumes in the compact MPV segment, against the likes of the Ertiga and Mahindra Xylo.