Italian automaker Fiat will complete separation from Tata Motors in sales operations in India by March next year, and plans to have 80 dealers of its own as the company embarks on yet another revival journey.
The company’s wholly-owned Indian arm Fiat India Automobiles Ltd. (FIAL) is also in the process of hiring about 100 people for customer-facing roles.
“We have a revival plan for Fiat in India. For that it is important for us to complete the timely realignment of distribution network. By March, 2013, no Fiat car will be sold under the existing Tata-Fiat joint dealerships,” FIAL Vice-President (Commercial) Ravi Bhatia told reporters here.
Earlier in May, Fiat and Tata Motors had announced that they would realign their joint venture formed in 2006, and the Italian automaker would go on its own for sales and distribution in India, instead of selling its cars in Tata-Fiat branded showrooms.
The two firms, however, had retained their partnership in car and diesel engine manufacturing operations.
Fiat, which went on a solo journey in India in 1997 after parting ways with the Premier Group, had formed the joint venture with the Tatas as it sought a reversal of fortune in the Indian market.
The company had so far remained a marginal player.
Mr. Bhatia said Fiat vehicles were sold in 174 Tata-Fiat branded showrooms in 126 cities across the country but these showrooms would go to Tata Motors as part of the parting agreement.
“By March next year, Fiat will have presence in 67 cities under our own dealerships, and we will make up for the rest by December 2013,” he said.
Besides strengthening of the sales network, FIAL would also be reinforcing its workforce.
The company, on Wednesday, introduced new variants of its sedan Linea and hatchback Punto under the ‘Absolute’ range offering freebies worth up to Rs.78,000 and Rs.67,000, respectively, ahead of the festival season.
Linea is priced between Rs.6.96 lakh and Rs.9.35 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), while Punto comes at a price range of Rs 4.96-7.36 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Mr. Bhatia also said the company would be investing on brand-building exercise to align with the Indian market.
Keywords: Tata Motors