Fiat eyes sale of 25,000 units, one pc market share this year
Italian carmaker Fiat said today it plans to more than double market share to one per cent here, as well as sell over 25,000 units this year by ramping up distribution network and launching new models.
"We did slightly more than 10,000 (in 2012), but it was a year of transition. In some regions, we are not present at all. We wish to have 1 per cent of the market which is seen to touch 2.6 million units this year. Our objective is to sell 25,000 units," Fiat India Managing Director Enrico Atanasio told PTI here.
Citing Fiat's market share across various regions like Latin America (18 per cent), Europe (close to 10 per cent), North America (15 per cent, including Chrysler), Atanasio said, "Can I be at 1 per cent? I would be the lowest in the world. You cannot be the lowest in a market which today is the seventh largest in terms of size worldwide."
He said the company, which called off its sales and marketing partnership with Tata Motors last year, will launch two luxury SUV models 'Wrangler' and 'Grand Cherokee' in the domestic market this year, under the Jeep brand, besides a premium hatchback 'Abath' towards the end of the year.
The Jeep brand will be fully imported, while Abath will be manufactured locally at its Ranjangaon plant near Pune, Atanasio said. Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of its first exclusive dealership in Mumbai, he said that the next few weeks will see a massive string of inaugurations to take the total number of dealerships to 65 by March-end and 100 by the end of the year.
Explaining the reason for calling off the alliance with the Tatas, Atanasio said though the partnership was a good one, there was a need to take the brand to the next level. He also explained the benefits Fiat derived through its erstwhile partner and said at least 30 of its dealerships are from Tata Motors, where the dealer expanded to include a Fiat showroom as well.
Asked about the impact of recent policy movements on the diesel front, which is the Fiat's portfolio's major focus, Atanasio said diesel is "unstoppable" given its benefits. A few customers will move to petrol, but it is not a concern, since diesel would still comprise more than 50 per cent of new sales, he said.
The Pune plant has an installed capacity for 1,30,000 units per year which can be expanded to 2,00,000 units, he said, adding the Tatas also plan to use the facility as an export hub. Last year, Fiat exported a "few hundred units" to South Africa, Nepal and Sri Lanka from the plant, he said, stressing that going forward, it would focus on meeting domestic demand.
The company also has plans to launch its own entry-level SUV here by 2015, he said, without giving any details.