Fiat To Shut Down India Operations Soon — End Of An Era!

Fiat is all set to shut down its India operations, ahead of the upcoming stricter safety and emission regulations. The company which has become a household name will soon exit the Indian market.

Fiat currently sells only two products in the market - Linea and the Punto, along with its hot hatch and crossover derivatives (Abarth Punto and Punto Aventura). However, both products do not comply with either the safety or emission norms of the future.

Also, according to Autocar India, there has been minimum investment towards both the products in the country. The two offerings, the Linea and Punto have gone well beyond their lifecycle; with a combined sales of just 101 units over the past year (Dec 2017 - Nov 2018). Hence investing and upgrading the two products, would prove pointless for the brand.

To revive the Fiat brand, the company would have to introduce an all-new model range, along with a completely new powertrain as well. They will also first have to discontinue the ageing products currently on offer. This whole process of upgrading would cost the company millions of dollars. However, considering the weak market share of the company in India, even this would not work out in Fiat's favour.

In November last year, FCA announced that it would discontinue sales of the two Fiat offerings, to focus on the Jeep brand instead. The company feels that upgrading the two models is not worth the investment, as both of them would not comply with the crash test norms coming into effect from October 2019. Fiat dealers are also being asked to sell off the non-ABS versions of the two models, before the safety regulations are implemented on 1st April 2019.

Apart from the two models in the market, Fiat would also have to axe its 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine as will not comply with the upcoming BS-VI emission norms. The 1.3-litre unit is also supplied to companies such as Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors, who will replace them with much efficient in-house developed powertrains.

Thoughts On Fiat India Shutting Down India Operations

Fiat has been in the Indian market for a long time. However, with little to no investment from FCA and ageing products in the market, the company failed to make its mark in India. Now with the upcoming safety and emission norms, Fiat is left with no choice but to shut its India operations completely. FCA, on the other hand, will focus on its more successful brand in the market, Jeep.

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Article Published On: Friday, February 1, 2019, 12:12 [IST]
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