Fiat India has halted all its future plans including the Abarth and Jeep launches at present due to the sudden exit of the company’s MD.
The sudden exit of Fiat Chrysler India’s Managing Director (MD) Nagesh Basavanhalli has left a lot of questions unanswered for the company’s future plans and launches. With Pablo Rosso, current head of Fiat Chrysler in South Korea acting as the interim MD and President, the company got together in Lavasa in Maharashtra to discuss the road ahead. We spotted Fiat’s entire lineup including the Punto Evo, Avventura (pictured above) as well as the Abarth 500 being driven in Lavasa for what seems to be a closed door meeting.
Incidentally though, we also found the drivers of Fiat cars highly irresponsible. The drivers were rash and seemed to consider the Lavasa roads as race tracks with no respect for other vehicles or pedestrians. While the sight is not new on Indian roads, such kind of behaviour is certainly not expected to come from a major automobile manufacturing company or its employees. We would urge Fiat to look into the matter at the earliest.
Coming to the question of future launches, Fiat’s premium brands have seen the most delay here. The automaker was to bring the Abarth 500 late last year which was pushed further to early 2015. However, it now seems that the sporty premium hatchback will see further delay as the company has put its launch plans on hold as of now. The halt also extends to the Jeep brand that is being pushed for launch since 2012. Under the Fiat brand, the automaker has no new launches planned (except new variants of existing cars like the T-Jet petrol in the Punto Evo and Avventura) and will continue to retail the existing lineup. We could also see a halt in the sales and service expansion plans that were charted out for the year.
Mr. Nagesh Basavanhalli was the former head of Chrysler India Automobiles and was responsible for Fiat and Chrysler’s APAC (Asia-Pacific) Technical Centre located in Chennai. He took over the position of MD and president of Fiat Chrysler India in April 2013 and major updates to the products came in during his tenure, apart from the expansion of sales and service network across the country. With discussions in progress, we hope to hear of some major announcements from the Italian automaker soon.