Fiat’s Pune Plant Will Roll Out Rugged SUVs

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is trying to reboot its India story as the group will bet on the Jeep brand to find its way back into the Indian car market. The manufacturer is preparing to roll out its maiden locally produced model 'Jeep Compass' in the first half of 2018 from its Ranjangaon plant in Pune.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Group, told ET, "We were very strong and successful for a long time (with Fiat), but we now need to focus on our strength, and it will be with the Jeep. The Fiat brand can't relive its history again."

In the past, Fiat was seen as a challenger to auto giants such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai in the premium segments of the market. But now, the company only manages to sell fewer cars than even what luxury automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi do.

The Ranjangaon plant was originally built to manufacture Fiat and Tata cars, but now, Marchionne insists that it will be now used to make the rugged Jeep SUVs in India. FCA India will also export the Compass to all right-hand drive markets of Fiat Chrysler.

The marque is also planning to introduce two more compact SUVs in India in the coming years and will take on big carmakers such as Maruti and Hyundai.

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Story first published: Friday, March 17, 2017, 10:37 [IST]
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