Fiat 500- 41 of them sold in India
Fiat India has revealed that they have sold in the market 41 units of Fiat 500 since its launch in India.
The largest Italian Automobile group - FIAT (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino), began selling the cute, little 500 (also known as Cinquecentto) in India a few months back.
The Fiat 500 is a fully imported (CBU) model and comes in two variants - Lounge and Sports, both costing almost Rs.15lacs.
In parts of Europe, Fiat is considered to be one of the most reputed brands. The Fiat 500 turned it around for the company with models like the Linea and Grande Punto backing the 500 up and generating the essential funds for them to continue in this business independently (GM almost acquired Fiat at that point of time)
The Fiat 500 is more of a toy than a car
In India, things are not similar. Fiat is struggling to find its footing after it's Palio and Sienna customers were left in the dark with poor service backup embracing non-availability of spares. The JV with Tata appears to have fixed that problem, which appears to have plugged one hole.
But what Fiat needs to concentrate on, is marketing the Linea and Grande Punto aggressively and few years down the line, manufacture India specific cars and trucks.
The Fiat 500 is more of a toy or a tool than a means of transportation. It was brought over here to attract customers to Fiat showrooms. Celebrities would adore it and would buy such a car for city driving. It makes the celebrity inside the car look less fancy. That's the kind of car, the Fiat 500 is.
I think selling 41 units of it is impressive for this costly hatch which has served it's purpose by appearing on glossy pages of magazines and wall posters of teenagers showing India what rest of the world sees when someone says 'Fiat'.
Fiat Palio theme car based on the Fiat 500?
Fiat could have used the Fiat 500 to sell the Palio Stile. Are we crazy? No, not at all.
The 500 created the buzz. What Fiat could have done is used the similar paint schemes, stickers, seats and possibly a body kit on the Palio. A Fiat 500 theme car. They could have made a nice broucher talking about the similarities- the same Multijet engine, the same Fiat DNA.
A Special edition Fiat Palio would have gone well with the customers. We absolutely think so.
It's not too late Fiat. There are going to be many people who will walk into Tata showrooms to see the Linea. If you can release a special edition Fiat Palio based on the 500, getting rid of the accumulating stock would be a lot easier. Take a leaf out of Maruti's book. Look at what they offer for Zen Estilo customers looking for more panache.