Fiat, even after being negligent towards Indian market is still being appreciated just because of technology and quality it is offering. Many Indian consumers are still keeping their eyes filled with hopes on Fiat, such that is will bring some great products and better service to support them. Fiat India is taking care of the latter by establishing independent sales and service company but new product launches are yet nowhere in sight. We all know automobile industry in Brazil and India falls under the same category in view of automobile manufacturers; many products are common in both countries. Let’s have short overview of potential products Fiat can bring to India.
Fiat Palio – ‘India is the market for small cars’ is a proven fact. Companines which are having a strong product on offer in small car market can achieve success easily. Even Fiat knows this fact as they had received good response to the Uno and Palio in the past. Unfortunately due to some circumstances, the Palio and Uno no more exist in India. The old model of the Palio was a good looking car in itself. But the new Palio on offer in Brazil is one step ahead in terms of looks. It follows the design of the Punto and looks like a younger sibling of it. Interiors are attractive and spacious too and there are no evident panel gaps or irregularities on the dashboard. Though in the picture, dashboard is in grey color, beige might suit India more. Instrument cluster is also well sorted and features are on par with what competition has on offer.
Three engines are on offer in the Brazilian version namely 1, 1.4 and 1.6-litre with petrol and flex fuel as option. But the engine which can attract buyers in India is the 1-litre engine. Specifications are as follows –
Number of cylinders: 04 in row
o Motor position: Transversal previous
o Displacement (cc): 999
o Max power (bhp): 73.0 @ 6250 rpm
o Maximum torque (Nm): 93 @ 3850 rpm
o Bore x stroke: 70.0 x 64.9
o Trunk capacity (liters): 280
o Fuel tank (liters): 48
o Vehicle length (mm): 3875
o Vehicle Width (mm): 1671
o Vehicle height (mm): 1504
o Wheelbase (mm): 2420
o Ground Clearance (mm): 147
Fiat can offer this car with their existing engines in India or can bring the above engine. The can also develop stripped down version of the Multijet engine (found on the Chevrolet Beat Diesel). But new engine development will consume lot of time, which is what Fiat is not having. If launched soon with efficient engines, the Palio will do the magic for Fiat, which is much required in the current condition of the company.
Fiat Siena – The name Siena is also familiar to us Indians, as it was one of the last cars from Fiat during its last attempt, before Tata-Fiat venture. Siena failed as it came at a wrong time, the time when Fiat in India was on a declining path. If brought in India it could sit below the Linea and become an entry level sedan from Fiat. Siena evolved much better in Brazil, when it was being discontinued in India, and is now a better looking car with good features and a lower price tag. All these things made the Fiat Siena a hit in Brazil and it commands a long waiting period out there. The cabin layout is somehow similar to the Palio and is an attention grabber.
Some features available on the Brazilian Siena Attractive are full wheel covers, switchblade key with remote to open the doors, windows and trunk, trip computer (distance, average fuel consumption, instantaneous consumption, range, average speed and travel time), power steering, fog lamps, HSD (High Safety Drive ) – Dual airbags (driver and passenger) and ABS with EBD.
– Engine Specification:
o Number of cylinders: 04 in row
o Motor position: Transversal previous
o Displacement (cc): 1399
o Max power (bhp): 85 @ 5750 rpm
o Maximum torque (Nm): 122 @ 3500 rpm
o Trunk capacity (liters): 520
o Vehicle length (mm): 4290
o Vehicle Width (mm): 1675
o Vehicle height (mm): 1506
Dimensions are generous with huge boot of 520-litres. But length of over 4-metres could be a hurdle. Fiat can strip it down like the Mahindra Verito or cut it down to fit it in 4-metres. An engine other than above which likely can make it to the Siena is India’s favorite Multijet. Some modification and great packaging can give the Maruti Suzuki DZire a nightmare.
Fiat Idea – To sail with current winds in the Indian market there has to be a compact SUV in the portfolio of a company if it wants the volumes. Yes, Fiat has the product which can fit there as well, named Idea. If launched it could be one of the best looking and well packaged cars. Looks are sharp, somewhat like the Ritz and side profile is like the Mahindra Quanto. Overall stance is tall and aggressive. Cabin is well packaged and has sports elements all over. Feature list is also long and it has an auto box on offering. The Adventure variant gets dials which shows longitudinal and lateral inclination angles and a compass. This type of dials can be found on true SUVs, and that is why it is very unlikely to make it to the Indian version, as Fiat would want to achieve a lower price.
o Trunk capacity (liters): 520
o Vehicle length (mm): 3955
o Vehicle Width (mm): 1698
o Vehicle height (mm): 1701
o Wheelbase (mm): 2511
o Ground Clearance (mm): 170
The dimensions above are strong evidence of suitability of this Idea for India. It falls in sub 4-metre category and has enough ground clearance for an entry level compact SUV. If it had already made it to Indian shores well in time then Mahindra might have thought twice before launching the Quanto. Fiat please at least bring this vehicle to India soon.
Fiat Freemont – When small SUVs are attracting volumes, the big muscle SUVs and crossovers are bringing brand value and recognition for a company in India. With Fortuner doing well for Toyota, the market is ready for a fresh new offering. Fiat Freemont can fit in there perfectly with its great looks inspired by Chrysler, big dimensions and road presence and Fiat refinement. It was unveiled at Geneva last year. It has space for 7 people and is a front wheel drive with automatic transmission packed in it. All Fiat has to do is bring in the 2.0-litre Multijet unit to power this beast and the ground will be ready for Fiat Freemont to challenge the existing bestsellers.
This is a little overview of Fiat Brazil’s portfolio which has strong potential for Indian market. Not to forget the upgraded Punto, Linea and Punto Evo are also available there and we all are waiting for a long time for them to be launched. These products can fill the voids in product portfolio of Fiat India and make them a successful manufacturer ready for the long run. All that is needed is Fiat should consider the need of new products and prepare to bring the entire product portfolio in 2 years down the line. Fiat can do this on fast track as there is no need of developing all new product, only Indigenization of above cars is what is needed. It may call for new engines to be localized but it is the need of the hour. And it has one advantage associated with it as they can earn by selling those new engines to other manufacturers as well. Hope Fiat is already considering these products and is working on them. How do you find these vehicles, please do tell us?