Fiat has announced some big plans for the Indian market in order to enhance its presence in our country. The Italian automaker has a target to introduce nine new products in the Indian market by 2016, including the Chrysler products, which will be introduced via the Jeep brand in a premium way. The Jeep brand is likely to be launched by the end of this year and the products will be imported via the CBU route, which attracts hefty excise duty, thereby pushing the cost of the vehicles upwards.
Products lined up for 2014 by the automaker include the new Punto, compact SUV, new Linea Classic and a new 2014 Linea. The aforementioned models will be assembled locally, while the Punto Abarth performance hatchback will be imported via the CBU route so expect a hefty price tag. Earlier it was speculated that Fiat will locally manufacture the Punto Abarth but the company has other plans. Enthusiasts will be disappointed as they were hoping for the performance Punto to be offered at a mouth watering price. The Punto Abarth will be positioned as an aspirational vehicle.
According to Nagesh Basavanhalli, CEO and Managing Director, Fiat Chrysler India, the company’s goal is to achieve high level of localisation in India eventually. Initially Fiat products will see a mix of CBU imports and CKD local assembly. By the end of this year, the group will introduce two Jeep SUVs in India including Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. The Wrangler and Grand Cherokee are currently on test in India and the launch will be of the latest models, which are currently on sale in international markets The automaker is also considering two new SUVs for 2015 and 2016 launch in the compact B and C segments respectively.
Source – The Hindu