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Fiat on recovery route

Calcutta, Dec. 3: Italian auto maker Fiat today said it was on a recovery path in India after separating its commercial and distribution activities from Tata Motors.

The car maker said it had drawn up an aggressive plan to improve its market share, which at present is less than 1 per cent.

“We are recovering in a down market and our number is growing,” Nagesh Basavanhalli, president and managing director of Fiat Chrysler India, said at the launch of the Absolute version of the Linea and Punto.

He said the company was looking to improve market share by increasing its dealer network, strengthening product line-up and improving brand presence.

“We are doing about 1,000 cars per month and at present our market share is about 0.6 per cent. Our aim is to double it every year,” Basavanhalli said. The company looks to set up 100 dealer sales points across the country by March 2014, of which seven will be located in the eastern region.

The company plans to launch nine models, both refreshed and new, within 2016. “We have planned more cars in the B, C and SUV segments,” he said which include those from the Jeep brand of American car maker Chrysler.

Company officials said to promote its brand presence, the car maker had introduced the iconic small car Fiat 500.

“As part of the brand building exercise we had introduced Fiat 500 for a small period of time and sold about 70 cars,” said an official.

He, however, said that no such brand building exercise was lined up for its upcoming launches.

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