Fiat will be opening 20 exclusive dealerships in India by the end of 2012 in an effort to rebuild its supply network in the country after recently terminating its distribution agreement with Tata Motors, according to a spokesman of the carmaker’s local unit. Fiat, which had been selling its vehicles in India through Tata’s showrooms, opened its first exclusive showroom in the city of Hyderabad on May 9, 2012.
Fiat’s decision to end its six-year distribution agreement with Tata was prompted by years of dismal sales performance. The company follows the lead of other foreign carmakers operating in India -- like Honda, Nissan and Ford -- that have recently taken action to gain more control of their operations. Fiat has yet to reveal how much it will spend to develop its dealer network in India, where it sells around 20,000 vehicles per year.
The company currently lags behind other European and US carmakers in imposing their presence in high-growth Asian markets, particularly China. Fiat’s current lineup in India includes Linea, Palio and Punto, and there are plans to launch a new product line for the Asian country. The Italian carmaker also plans to introduce more brands -- Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep – in the country.
Fiat is quite known in India for its 1100 sedan that was sold in the country from the mid-1950s to 1997, as the Fiat 1100 Delight and as the Padmini. The 1100 sedan is typically converted into a taxi unit in India.
The termination of the distribution agreement, however, does not affect a joint venture created by Fiat and Tata. The joint venture produces Fiat and Tata vehicles, engines and powertrains in Ranjangaon, India. The joint venture has produced a total of 190,000 cars and 337,000 powertrains.
Launched for the first time to the world at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, the all-new Fiat 500C honors the original 1957 Fiat 500 and its fabric roof, but also gives advanced solutions when it comes to comfort, engines, and mechanical design. All these are in line with the original Fiat tradition of offering people access to firsts in technology and content.
On the exact birthday of the Fiat 500, on July 4th 2009, Fiat fans can take it for a test drive to feel the improvement of the car in terms of technology, safety, convenience and comfort. These will take place in Italy, exactly two years after the model was unveiled.
Utilizing a common open-source approach (i.e. constantly improving a successful product on the based on user input), the Centro Stile Fiat design center made the Fiat 500C through speaking with Cinquecento enthusiasts and other similar communities – particularly the 500 Wants You site – and fully positions the car model as the “vehicle for the people and by the people.”
Beginning from the saloon version, the launch of the soft top doesn’t replace the winning features of the model like its comfy seats and boot capacity, but it sure does provide additional functions that increase fun. These come with easier accessibility to the boot even with a fully open top, kudos to an intelligent parallelogram hinges system.
One more strong point of the unique cabriolet model is its unparalleled acoustic and climate comfort. A comprehensive aerodynamic research results in minimized turbulence with the roof open, giving the driver enjoyment in the company of his passengers while feeling the fresh air on his face.