Fiat plans to launch a low-cost car by 2012. Fiat's decision to manufacture a low-cost car is purely based on buyer's preferences in India. It is also said that India will play a crucial role in Fiat's plan to manufacture the small car. This is because the proposed low-cost car will be rolled out of the Tata-Fiat's Ranjangaon plant near Pune.
Fiat is looking at possible opportunities to make India a key hub for supplying auto components for the proposed small car. This is mainly because local Indian component suppliers offer cheaper components than suppliers in any other country. The company may also tap its Indian partner, Tata Motors, for implementing its plan.
Fiat has no plans to launch a car in competition or in line with the Tata Nano. Silverio Bonfiglioli, Chief Operating Officer of Fiat Group Automobiles International said, “The Nano is positioned in the bottom end of the A segment. We have experience in developing vehicles in the top-end of the A segment or the bottom end of the B segment. It's that area where we probably want to develop a low-cost car.”
To revive its Indian operations and strengthen its presence in the country, Fiat has lined up aggressive new car launch plans. Recently, the company has made a strong entry with its mid-size car, the Fiat Linea, and the next launch is the Grande Punto. It has also expanded its production strategy and started producing cars and engines at Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra in association with Tata Motors.
Fiat assures that the current slowdown will not see any backdrop from the company as it has great plans for the future.