Italian carmaker Fiat plans to open 20 exclusive dealerships in India this year, as the company decided to end a distribution agreement with Tata motors.
In addition, Fiat, which recently ended a six-year distribution agreement with Tata Motors, plans to set up a new company to sell its models in India.
“Tata Motors has grown over the years and now has over six to seven models. Our presence alongside them may not fully represent what the brand reflects. Therefore, we are setting up new exclusive outlets of Fiat.”
This long awaited move from Fiat means that its cars will finally get a better chance to be sold to prospective customers who walk into Fiat dealerships, something that wasn’t the case in the Tata-Fiat joint dealerships, where there have been many instances of Fiat customers getting a step motherly treatment, with Tata cars instead being pushed forward.
The annual volumes took a further beating in 2011-12 with only 16,095 units sold, down 23.59% and this is despite heavy discounts of over Rs 50,000-1 lakh on its cars.
Fiat considers India as an important market and intends to launch all-new models from its global line up.
Tata and Fiat will continue their manufacturing activities at its Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra. Currently, the Grande Punto, Linea and Tata vehicles are manufactured at the plant along with engines and transmissions.
The Ranjangaon factory can produce up to 200,000 cars and 300,000 engines annually, as well as 300,000 parts and accessories for both the Indian market and for exports.