So finally Fiat has decided to say goodbye to its Indian sales partner Tata Motors. Fiat has decided now to brand itself as sole player in India by 2013 and stop its sales through Tata’s dealer Network. Fiat, has no significant presence in Indian market in terms of car sales, now they have decided to prepare a road map for themselves and align for the growth prospects in the growing Indian car market. Fiat is planning to initiate with 80 dealers countrywide under its revival plan. The two will continue its existing car and diesel engine manufacturing facilities partnership. Prior to the joint venture with Tata Motors, Fiat also had partnered with Premier Group, which they parted in 1997 and started their solo journey which didn’t turn out to be a successful.
Fiat entered into a joint venture with Tata Motors in 2006 with a hope of increasing its sales through TATA’s dealer network which didn’t prove to be fruitful for them either. Currently Fiat sells its cars through 174 Tata-Fiat branded showrooms across 126 cities in India. As parting agreement, all of the showrooms will be retained by Tata Motors. From next fiscal year, Fiat is planning to have its presence in 67 cities in India, which will be increased by December 2013. Earlier this year Fiat also opened two caffe’s in Delhi and Pune as a brand building exercise. Fiat will also be recruiting new people for its own distribution network, it will be hiring 100 people with the skills in customer handling very soon to start it solo operations. Fiat plans to increase sales ten times in the Indian market and is working on a slew of launches.
The company also introduced ‘Absolute’ editions of the Punto and Linea, with an offering of freebies worth with Rs. 67,000/- and Rs. 78,000/- respectively for the upcoming festive season. The company admitted that they have lost its market share in past few months due to this ongoing transition but are optimistic on picking up numbers in the coming months. The company will be investing on brand building exercise, but haven’t shared any details on the same. Fiat sold 4061 units in this financial year, which is 48.44 percent less than previous year’s figures for the same months. We hope Fiat’s revamped strategy works for them and the company offers the consumers more and affordable options.