Fiat Evaluating Options of a New CBU Launch in India

Fiat is currently evaluating their options of launching a new car in the market through the CBU route. They are also getting ready for the launch of a small car in the market by next year.

Fiat, which operates in India through their JV with Tata Motors, had recently restructured their board in India, replacing two directors.

The CEO and President of Fiat India, Rajeev Kapoor, said that they are different opportunities and ways of introducing a model in this market, one of which is through CBUs. All these routes are open to them, and they are still in the process of evaluation. Kapoor, however, did not provide any further information like the model details and the time of its launch.

The company is currently developing a small car built specifically for the Indian auto market, at their R&D hub in Turin, Italy, following inputs from their operations in India.

Kapoor further added that there are still developing their small car. They had made an announcement earlier that they plan to launch the model in 2012. The precise details and timings will be available after the product is ready for launch.

In Jan 2010 at the Auto Expo, the company said that they would be launching a small car developed specifically for this market, with localisation of almost 80 to 85%. This car would be manufactured at their facility in Ranjangaon in Maharashtra. According to Kapoor, the car is smaller or similar than the current Palio hatchback.

They also restructured their board by replacing two directors. The board of 10 members participates equally from Tata Motors and Fiat. Part of the rearrangement saw Harald Jakob Wester and Giovanni Bartoli moving back to the company headquarters in Italy. Replacing them as new directors of the company were Giovanni Sella and Ezio Barra. Another alternate director, Silvia Blina was also appointed for Alfredo Altavilla. The other 2 directors on board include Lorenzo Sistino and Stefan Ketter.

Kapoor said that this was routine restructuring, and there was nothing serious in it. A spokesperson for the company said that this was the first time that they have replaced two directors since launching the JV in 2007. According to the official, restructuring happens on regular basis. Only one of the directors present on board has been replaced just once.

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