Fiat bids goodbye to India
The Indian car market is a high potential space, in which several global automakers are interested in. India is set to be the third largest car market in the world, and thus, the interest of the car manufacturers in it is very natural. Nevertheless, the Indian auto market is highly competitive as well, so much so that many auto makers have already succumbed to the competition. One among the car makers which have succumbed to the extreme competition of the Indian auto industry is sadly the iconic and one of the oldest car brands in India – Fiat.
Fiat’s case is very different from the other unsuccessful global auto makers in India. While many other global auto brands couldn’t establish their name in the Indian mass market, the Italian auto major enjoyed a long association and fan following in the country. Fiat was always a well-known and well respected brand name in India with no dearth of aficionados. Hence, when Fiat is all ready to bid farewell to the Indian car market, it does come as a shocker.
Fiat is certainly bidding adieu to the booming car market of India, and the reason is of course very poor sales. Despite, its name and fame the Italian Fiat brand of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) has not been able to draw attention of the buyers for quite some time. And now, FCA India has decided to give up on Fiat and concentrate solely on further flourishing the Jeep brand in the country.
Fiat car sales have almost come to a standstill and the primary reason behind this is aging models. The Fiat Punto and Linea come with Fiat’s solid built quality with superb engines. Nevertheless, these capable cars offer old school interiors and have feature lists that can’t compete with the new rivals in the market.
The Linea is close to a decade-old car. Fiat tried hard to keep its appeal fresh with repeated updates, but its sales kept plummeting. Fiat also introduced the Abarth brand with its hot hatch appeal for the modern Indian, but that too couldn’t perk up the sales chart.
The trouble to Fiat is that it couldn’t keep with the fast changing car market of India. The Indian car buyers’ taste and preferences have changed immensely in the last decade, and while top selling car makers like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have very aptly adopted to this change, Fiat simply couldn’t keep up with the pace. If anyone can recall the Fiat Palio – it was a huge success, but over the years it faded into oblivion, and the same happened with the Linea.
The advent of an armada of new cars and increasing competition took a major toll on Fiat sales, and the company’s limited dealership network and other after-sales service issues made matters worse.
Despite failing car sales, Fiat’s excellent 1.3 diesel engine continued to be one of the most popular and widely sold engines in India. In fact, most of the Maruti Suzuki cars, and cars from other Indian automakers are still powered by this Fiat sourced diesel motor. However, the Fiat 1.3 oil burner’s days are also coming to an end.
The new BSVI emission norms will hit India in 2020, and that would mark the end of this capable Fiat diesel engine. As car makers are all preparing to shift to BSVI compliant cars already, Fiat’s engine business is also facing the same fate as its cars.
With BSVI norms hitting the final nail in Fiat’s coffin in India, we would bid farewell to this iconic brand, probably forever. Fiat has been an integral part of India’s automobile history, and the brand will live on in nostalgia.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An adventurer at heart and introvert by nature, I love to travel, click nature's beauty and beautiful machines on wheels. Art, literature and poetry are also close to my heart.