Linea Classic launch: Fiat plans more cars to enforce its comeback in India
Fiat India, a subsidiary of Fiat-Chrysler group, plans to launch the Jeep Cherokee, Wrangler and the Punto Abarth soon. While the Jeeps could arrive here as early as 2013 end, the Abarth will make it to Indian markets in 2014.
The idea now is to have Fiat, Jeep and Abarth brands under the same roof. There are also plans to launch a facelifted Linea soon. The stripped down version of the Linea, the Linea Classic, which will compete with the likes of Etios, Classic and Manza, has already been launched. There are also talks of a Punto Adventure on the lines of VW's Cross Polo. Fiat, however, may not venture the estate route again having burnt their hands with the Palio Weekender and Adventure.
Fiat earlier had a 50:50 tie-up with Tata for its sales and service processes. Both the companies dissolved this agreement with Fiat setting up its own countrywide network of dealerships. The market currently has two products from Fiat, the Punto hatch (the 500 has been axed) and the Linea sedan. The portfolio expansion is a clear step by Fiat to try and recapture lost market share. It is also a step to show customers that the company is very serious about its Indian operations.
Abarth is a performance brand from Fiat. The Grande Punto Abarth is basically a hatchback on performance enhancers. Specifically targeted at an audience that likes hatches but does not want to compromise on performance, Fiat will look to mirror the VW Polo strategy.
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