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FCA is reportedly planning to discontinue the sales of the Fiat brand in India. According to LiveMint, the company is looking at stopping production of models such as the Punto, Linea and its derivatives (such as the Abarth, Aventura etc) in the country.
FCA will, however, shift its focus on the more popular brand, Jeep in the country. With the SUV market in India receiving high demands, the Jeep brand has already created its foundation in the Indian market and are now looking to expand further.
The Fiat models (Punto and Linea) initially received good sales numbers, at the time of their respective launches. However, over the years, the poor after sales services and a number of other vehicle issues have dented the sales.
Fiat still produces spare parts for the models, yet their sales targets and inventory are at a bare minimum. Fiat has been in India for a long time (since 1905), however, for the most part of their presence in the country, they have been unsuccessful to rival the likes of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai.
FCA will soon start giving more importance to Jeep by providing more floor space for the SUV brand in dealerships. The Jeep brand has grown exponentially since the launch of their Compass model in the country.
The brand now hopes to keep this growth over the years with the launch of new products, including a new sub-four metre SUV offering. The FCA is already said to have set up 70 dealerships, exclusively for the Jeep brand which will sell bigger cars such as the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler.
Kevin Flynn, President & MD, Fiat India, stated that it is ‘evidently clear' that the Fiat brand has failed to successfully take on its rivals in the Indian market. However, the Jeep has been growing well and the company has realised the importance of the brand in India.
Thoughts On Fiat Being Discontinued In India
India is said to become the third largest automotive market by 2020. However, Fiat is the second largest automaker to stop their sales in the market, after General Motors. With FCA now shifting its focus to Jeep, most of the Fiat dealerships will be converted to exclusive showrooms for the SUV brand in the country.