Italian car maker Fiat said it is evaluating options to introduce a new model in India through the completely built unit route and is also firming up plans for a small car that is likely to hit the market next year.
The company, which is present in India through a joint venture with Tata Motors, recently restructured its board in India by replacing two of its directors. As part of the rejig, Giovanni Bartoli and Harald Jakob Wester have moved back to Fiat Group headquarters in Italy.
In their place, the company has appointed Gianni Coda and Alessandro G Baldi as the new directors in Fiat India Automobiles Ltd. It has also appointed Ezio Barra and Giovanni Sella as the alternate directors for Coda and Baldi, respectively, in case of their unavailability.
Besides, Silvia V Blina has been appointed as the alternate director for Alfredo Altavilla. Stefan Ketter and Lorenzo Sistino are the other two directors on the board. “This is a very routine restructuring of the board. There is nothing serious about it,” Kapoor said.
“There are different routes and opportunity to launch a model in India and the completely built unit route is one of them. Every route is open to us and we are still evaluating,” Fiat India President and CEO Rajeev Kapoor told media.
He, however, declined to share further details such as the model and a possible timeline to launch the vehicle. At present, the company is developing an India-specific small car at its R&D centre in Turin, Italy, with input from its operations in India.
“The small car is under development. We had announced earlier that our intention is to launch it in 2012. The exact timing and details will be shared when we will be ready with the product,” Kapoor said.
During the Auto Expo in January last year, the company had said it would develop a small car specifically for the Indian market, with 80-85 per cent localisation of parts. The small car would be produced at its plant in Ranjangaon, Maharashtra.
Kapoor had said the car could be similar or smaller than its existing hatchback, Palio. Meanwhile, Fiat India has restructured its board with the replacement of two directors. The 10-member board has equal participation from both Fiat Group Automobiles SpA and Tata Motors Ltd.