Fiat is set to join other carmakers who are enjoying the SUV party by launching its own range of SUVs in India. The Italian carmaker is planning to launch new models that it hopes will help boost its market share.
The Economic Times has quoted Fiat India head of commercial operations Enrico Atanasio as : " We plan to unleash some excitement over the next few years by launching different products and brands, especially in the fast-growing SUV segment, to achieve 4.5% market share in India."
Fiat does not have a huge say in the India car market and its market share is less than 0.5%. It believes new models will help it garner more sales and reach its target. Like any other carmaker in India, Fiat is also looking at SUVs to boost its performance. This segment has shown tremendous growth even as other segments are slowing down.
Fiat's new cars to be launched in India might include the 500X SUV, the 500L MPV as well as the Qubo hatchback. The 500 as we all know is Fiat's best selling car across the globe. Fiat is now planning to make a brand out of the 500 by making SUVs, MPVs, convertibles and even estates based on the 500's design. This is very much similar to how BMW has created an entire family of cars under in Mini brand.
The fiat SUV being considered is the 500X, a small SUV which is expected to hit the market by 2013. The 500L is an MPV based on the 500's platform. Fiat has stretched the platform to add two more doors and additional space. Another interesting car from Fiat will be the Qubo five door vehicle. The Qubo is also an MPV that has been appreciated for its good mileage and wacky looks. The Qubo is powered by Fiat's famous 1.3-litre diesel engine.
Apart from the above mentioned models, Fiat India is also planning to launch the Jeep brand of premium SUVs in a big way in India. Fiat has been hit by the SUV bug after noticing the positive response received by recently launched SUVs such as the Renault Duster, XUV 500 and MPVs like Maruti Suzuki Ertiga.
Fiat India is now operating its sales and marketing division independently after severing ties with long term partner Tata Motors. It has seen a huge drop in its sales and market share and is now planning to open 100 new showrooms across the country. Fiat currently sells the Punto hatchback and Linea sedan in India.