Fiat's 2014 strategy for the Indian market
The year 2013 was not as exciting for Fiat on the product front as one would have initially thought. Owing to the same, the company did take some major steps to ensure a change in 2014. The Italian auto maker focused on setting up an extensive dealership network in 2013; however in the current year, it is likely to introduce facelift versions of Linea sedan and Punto hatchback in the Indian auto market. Along with, the company is planning to launch Jeep Grand Cherokee in early 2014, which is based on the same platform used by Mercedes M-Class.
Industry experts are of a view that Jeep Grand Cherokee will be competing against BMW X5 and Audi Q7. In the initial stages, it will be brought through CBU (Completely Built Unit) route and is likely to cost around Rs. 40 lakh. Another Jeep model, named Wrangler is also expected to be launched in the Indian market. The price of this vehicle, which is aimed at off-roading enthusiasts, is likely to be somewhere around Rs. 25 lakh; however nothing is confirmed as of now.
Car aficionados can also expect the facelift version of Fiat Linea any time soon. This car is likely to come with minor changes done at its exteriors and interiors. The auto company is also keen to introduce a 1.6-litre Multijet diesel engine in this car, which can deliver a maximum power of up to 105 bhp with peak torque of 320 Nm. Beside facelift Linea, Fiat is all set to introduce Punto Evo in the passenger car market. This vehicle is likely to feature refreshed interiors as well as exteriors. There are rumours about the car getting couple of new engine options, namely a 1.3-litre Multijet diesel and TJet petrol. One can also expect the auto company to launch Punto Cross, with a starting price of around Rs. 9 lakh.
Interestingly, 2014 is also expected to see the debut of Punto Abarth. This car will be assembled locally and thus, is likely to be sold at a highly competitive price of around Rs. 10 lakh. According to rumours, Fiat may also chip in Panda in the market to get more domestic attention. As can be easily seen, the Italian auto maker is going to work around aggressively to lure domestic buyers. So, it would be interesting to see how this entire rock-n-roll of cars in the Indian market is going to change fortunes of Fiat in the current year.