Italian automobile major Fiat-Chrysler, which earlier announced plans to launch nine products in India by 2016, will make or assemble almost all its planned new Fiat products in India while the Chrysler products, to be introduced through ‘Jeep’ brand, will be imported as completely built units (CBUs).

Fiat will launch the new Punto, a compact sports utility vehicle (SUV), the new Linea Classic, and a new Linea in 2014. However, its small premium sports car, Abarth, will be imported as a CBU.

In an interaction withThe Hindu, Nagesh Basavanhalli, CEO & Managing Director, India Operations, Fiat Chrysler, said, “Fiat-Chrysler is today the world’s seventh largest automobile maker. As and when we are doing more products for India, our goal is always to get to a high level of localisation.” He said that for the newer products, the company would adopt a mix of the CBUs and completely knocked down (CKD) or local assembly route. “The Abarth is an “aspirational, fun-to-drive performance vehicle, and we see an area of the market where Fiat fans will be interested,’’ he said.

Jeep plans to launch the D segment Jeep Wrangler and E segment Grand Cherokee later this year.

It plans to launch an SUV in the B and C segment each in 2015 and 2016.

Fiat’s Ranjangaon facility now makes Fiat’s Punto and Linea, and has a capacity of 1.65 lakh cars and 300,000 engines and transmission components, besides being used by Tata Motors to make its Vista and Manza cars. “Where there is a need to be quicker to market, we will go to the CBU route, and in cases where it is more price-sensitive and we need to localise more to get to the consumer base, we will opt for the CKD route,” he said.

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