The Fiat Group is looking at the possibility of partnering Tata Finance or Tata Capital for vehicle finance in India, even as the Italian car major seeks to aggressively double its market share and become “an important reality here in India”.

The possible tie-up comes at a time, however, when the company is terminating most of the dealers under the Fiat-Tata joint venture, planning to wind almost all of them by March-end, and start the rollout of its own dealer network.

“We will still be associated with the Tatas, and hope to have an arrangement with them in terms of vehicle finance by April. It will mainly be a reciprocal arrangement as Fiat Capital provides vehicle finance for Tata’s Jaguar and Rover in Europe. In India, it should be the reverse,” said Enrico Atanasio, Managing Director, Fiat India.

He was addressing reporters at the inauguration of the company’s exclusive dealership here.

“There are over 150 dealers in the Fiat-Tata joint venture which should be closed by March. While in some smaller cities and towns there will still be a few open to provide after-sales service, which the Tatas will continue to do for us. However, by the end of March we hope to have 65 of our own dealers open and 120 by the end of the year,” Mr. Atanasio added.

The company also hopes to double its market share to 1 per cent — a commitment that is underscored by its decisions to have nine new products out in the next three years.

“With our own dealers we will be able to remove one layer (the Tatas), by dealing directly with the consumer which should improve our support service,” he said.

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