Fiat studying Indian market to introduce commercial vehicles

12/01/2013 - 17:35 | Fiat,   | Anjan Ravi

Fresh from announcing its plans to launch the Jeep and Abarth brands in India, Italian car maker Fiat SpA, is now considering opportunities to enter the fast-growing light commercial vehicle segment in the Indian market, Business Standard reports.

Fiat commercial vehicles model range

[Strada, Qubo, Doblo, Scudo and Ducato are the constituents of the current Fiat Professional range]

"We are studying opportunities in the LCV segment. A final decision has not been made yet, but we are looking at how to bring products from Fiat Professional at competitive price points to the Indian market," said Enrico Atanasio, Managing Director, Fiat Group Automobiles India Pvt Ltd.

While the slowdown in the domestic economy and a ban on mining lowered demand for medium and heavy commercial vehicles, sales of LCVs rose 15.61 per cent to 378,509 units between April and December, driven by need for products for last mile transportation.

Tata has been riding on the success of the Ace and recently sold the one-millionth Tata Ace on November 8th. Mahindra, Force Motors and Piaggio have entered this segment in the last few years.

Looking at the commercial vehicle portfolio of Fiat, a model smaller and a lot cheaper than the Strada has to be developed if there is interest in volumes from the sub 1.5-tonne segment.

The Doblo can compete with the likes of the Nissan Evalia and the Ashok Leyland Stile, while the Ducato can take aim at the Force Traveller. Meeting price targets is a daunting task as many rivals are designed and put together on a shoe-string budget, are based on outdated platforms and tooling, and cater only to the Indian market and don't have to meet international safety or emission standards.

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