Fiat India will overhaul its product and distribution strategy in an attempt to prop up falling sales. Top officials from its Italian parent have recently visited India to help the Indian management rebuild Fiats brand equity in the country.
The Italian auto major intends to launch a face-lifted Punto (hatchback) and Linea (sedan), which will be followed by a small car, people familiar with the development said. The Punto and Linea cars, part of the current portfolio of products, have been falling short of targeted sales numbers. Fiat spokesperson did not reply to questions on the subject.
The Italian auto major is currently in discussion with dealers to set up separate showrooms so that the Fiat brand gets an identity of its own. “Although Fiat India will look at separate showrooms, Tatas will continue to support the marketing efforts,” said a senior official. Currently Fiat cars are sold through the Tata Motor dealerships.
In 2007, Fiat entered into a 50:50 JV with Tata Motors, for joint distribution and back-end support. Fiat India officials declined to comment. In 2010-11, Fiat India sales were down 15 percent to 21,066 units against a capacity of 80,000 units.