FIAT reschedules launch of 'JEEP' to 2015
Chennai: Auto maker Fiat Chrysler has deferred its plans to introduce global brand JEEP in the domestic market this year due to poor market conditions, according to a top company official.
"No. We have deferred plans for launching JEEP in 2014. We want to see the market conditions. Next couple of months we will be making some announcements," Fiat Chrysler Automobiles President and Managing Director Nagesh Basavanhalli told reporters here.
Fiat Group Automobiles India, subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, retails Punto Evo, Linea models.
The company had planned to introduce JEEP brand in India in 2013 but deferred it due to sluggish economic growth then.
Noting that the company was going ahead with its plan of introducing 12 products by 2018, he said, next year it would launch the 'Fiat Abarth 500' as a completely built unit in the domestic market.
"We are going to start with Abart as CBU (completely built unit). May be later we will begin localising it...," he said.
Basavanhalli and senior company officials were here to launch the upgraded variant of hatchback Punto, the Punto Evo produced from the company's manufacturing facility in Pune.
The petrol variant Punto Evo is priced between Rs 4.67 lakh to Rs 6.80 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai) while diesel model costs Rs 5.40 lakh for the base variant while top variant is priced at Rs 7.35 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai).
Declining to reveal figures on how much units of Punto were sold in the domestic market since its launch, Fiat Chrysler India Operations, Regional Manager (Sales), Salil Narang said the company was selling about 350 units of Punto in southern region per month while sales of Linea were around 100 units.
With the launch of Punto Evo, the company would phase out the earlier Punto variant, he said.
On expansion plans, Basavanhalli said the company would increase the dealership to 150 by end of current financial year from the existing 116 in the country.