Fiat has laid the foundation of its solo run in India by opening 51 exclusive dealerships in the last three months. Nagesh Basavanhalli, the newly appointed MD of Fiat Chrysler India said the firm would more than double the number of dealerships by the end of this year.
Fiat was sharing dealerships with its joint venture partner Tata Motors since 2007 when it re-entered the Indian market. As the joint dealership experiment did not pay off, Fiat has decided to go solo in sales and marketing. All 171 Tata-Fiat joint dealerships were scrapped as the distribution agreement between both the partners ended on March 31.
Basavanhalli said the firm would launch three new models in India this financial year. Fiat is planning to bring the popular SUV brand Jeep from the Chrysler stable this year.
With just two models - Grande Punto in compact car segment and Linea in midsize sedan segment - Fiat commands just 0.7% share in the Indian car market. The company has charted out a plan to expand its market share to 1% this year and 5% by 2016, by when it will launch nine models between Fiat and Jeep brands.
Enrico Atanasio, director, Fiat Group Automobile India (FGAI), who presided over the transition over the last two years, said 16 more new dealerships will come up shortly. FGAI, the national sales company under Fiat Chrysler India, will have a 100-strong work force by December.