The Telegraph
Friday , December 7 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fiat lines up nine launches

Mumbai, Dec. 6: Italian car maker Fiat plans to introduce nine models over the next few years, including the Jeep brand.

Fiat, which has seen a sedate performance in India with only the Grande Punto and the Linea on sale, is expanding its network to around 120 independent dealers by 2013.

Earlier this year, Fiat and Tata Motors ended a partnership under which the latter distributed and serviced Fiat cars.

The Italian car maker said nine new or refurbished models would be introduced by Fiat, including the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Jeep brand at present belongs to Chrysler, in which Fiat has a majority stake.

Both the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee will be imported by the end of 2013. Fiat will create an exclusive dealership for the Jeep brand that will leverage the existing Fiat network of dealers.

The company will also expand production to manufacture the new Fiat Linea classic edition and the Fiat Punto edition.

“Our vision for India will revolve around a three-pronged strategy. First, the introduction of vehicles that will soon include the legendary Jeep brand. Second, the expansion of our independent dealer network and, finally, strong marketing initiatives that will continue to improve our awareness and brand perception in the market,” Mike Manley, chief operating officer for Asia and president and CEO of the Jeep brand, said.

Manley met dealers in Mumbai to discuss details of the new products and output plans.

“We are optimistic about our prospect for growth in the Indian car market, which grew 12 per cent in 2011 and is rapidly becoming one of the major markets in the world. With the launch of the Jeep brand, new Fiat products, an expanding network and upcoming marketing initiatives, we will be in a strong position to capitalise on this growth,” Enrico Atanasio, managing director of Fiat Group Automobiles India Pvt Ltd, said.