Car Manufacturing company Stellantis considering to relaunch Fiat in India

Stellantis, the world’s third largest carmaker by volume, is considering re-introducing Fiat and a clutch of other marquee brands, including the Alfa Romeo, into the Indian market even as its immediate priority is to establish Jeep and Citroen brands firmly. Citroen will launch the C3 Aircross SUV then introduce another model early next year on the C-cubed platform. Billy Hayes, senior vice president of India and Asia Pacific Region, Stellantis, stated that while launching new models from Jeep and Citroen will top the company's agenda, other brands are also under consideration.

“There’s still a lot of love for Fiat, and we are still supporting Fiat customers. It’s not just Fiat, we are considering other brands, such as Alfa Romeo, concurrently. While Jeep and Citroen top our priority, discussions never stop around other brands. We need to figure out what's most appropriate for this market as it evolves,” Hayes. While there are no firm plans, questions on how Fiat would fit into the market and how it should be re-launched often surface during discussions, he added.

The erstwhile Fiat Chrysler Automobile India (as it was called before it became part of Stellantis) stopped making Fiat cars in India amid low sales and increasing competition from rival brands. Globally, Fiat, which is one among the 14 brands overseen by Stellantis, outsold them all in the first half of the current calendar year with 645,000 cars globally, a 10% increase year-on-year. It now has half of its sales coming from outside Europe. The electric Fiat 500 is the No.1 selling hatch in the A-segment, said Hayes, adding that the model has been extremely successful in Japan and will now be introduced in Australia. For now, there’s a lot riding on the Aircross for Citroen’s India innings.

It's entering India’s mid-size SUV market with the model later this month. A late entrant into the competitive car market, Stellantis expects the Aircross, which will rival the Hyundai Creta, Suzuki Grand Vitara, and Kia Seltos, among other models, to be a springboard for its India operations and give a halo to all its existing models here. Citroen will announce the prices of the Aircross in September and commence deliveries in October. Positioned as an SUV that is “tough from outside and caring inside.

The French carmaker is looking to make a dent in a segment that has emerged as a sweet spot for most car makers in India. Citroen expects the midsize SUV market in India to jump from 366,000 units to 612,000 units by the end of this decade, said Saurabh Vatsa, brand head- Citroen India. Even as the Aircross is a late entrant in the segment, its class-leading and segment-first features—be it the imposing front style, high-ground clearance, or five and seven seating configurations, will hold it in good stead, claims Vatsa.