Fiat is planning to introduce its Chrysler models for the Indian car market. The Italian car maker will first import the models directly as completely built units (CBU) and depending upon the market response, will start local assembly of the cars.
Nagesh Basavanhalli, president and managing director, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles India said, “India is a strategic, long-term market and we are bullish on it. We are planning to launch nine new models by 2016, of which five will be launched by the end of 2014. The Chrysler models will cater to a more premium segment.”
While Fiat hasn’t yet decided on which Chrysler models would be introduced here, for this year, the company has five cars in pipeline. Of these five, the Linea facelift was launched recently, while the Punto facelift and Avventura will be launched soon. Fiat will also introduce the Abarth, the company’s high-performance marquee, with the Fiat 500 Abarth and the Punto Abarth. While the former will be imported as a CBU, the latter will be retrofitted with imported kits at Fiat’s manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon, Maharashtra.
Fiat’s sales figures have been quite uninspiring for a while now and the company is expecting a surge in demand after the elections. The company might first start off by introducing the Jeep brand and then move on to compete with the likes of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW with its Chrysler models. The volume products of the lower segments might take a while to get here.