Fiat and Chrysler will commence selling Jeep vehicles in India in the third quarter of 2013, starting with off-road pick-ups and luxury sports utility vehicles. Fiat’s Chrysler lineup in India will feature off-road pick-ups and SUV, considered as one of the country's fast-growing segments. Fiat is trying to reboot its failed incursion into India, where it failed to break into the highly-competitive low-cost segment and suffered a split with local sales partner Tata Motors.
Mike Manley, the head of the Jeep brand, said that their goal is to capture at least a 5-percent market share in the foreseeable future. Manley said their strategy to reach the goal is to bring in new products into India. Asia Pacific is the biggest growth market for them.
Fiat has been trailing behind its European and US rivals in high-growth Asian markets, despite breaching the Indian market in the 1950s. Fiat sold just 4,717 cars in India during the six months to September, for a market share of 0.4 percent. It offers its Punto hatchback and Linea sedan in the country.
While Fiat sells Jeep vehicles in 120 countries across the world, it does not do so in India, which is considered as Asia's third-largest car market. The Italian carmaker plans to introduce two international Jeep models in India in 2013, and two local models later. Fiat plans to sell Jeep through 32 dealers in 25 cities across India, according to Enrico Atanasio, managing director of Fiat Group Automobiles India.
Jeep will be competing against Tata and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. in the country, where SUVs have become hot-selling items, boosted by government subsidies on diesel fuel. In the first half of the current financial year that started April 1, 2012, SUV sales in India soared 55.8 percent year-on-year, while car sales dropped 0.3 percent.