Italian carmaker Fiat said on Friday that it plans to more-than double its market-share above the 1-percent mark, as well as sell over 25,000 units this year, by ramping up its distribution network and launching new models.
"We sold slightly more than 10,000 (in 2012), but it was a year of transition. In some regions, we were not present at all. We wish to have 1 percent of the market which is estimated to touch 2.6 million units this year. Our objective is to sell 25,000 units," Fiat India managing director Enrico Atanasio told PTI.
Citing Fiat's market-share across various regions it operates in like Latin America (18 percent), Europe (close to 10 percent), North America (15 percent, including Chrysler), Atanasio said, "Can I be at 1 percent? I would be the lowest in the world. You cannot be the lowest in a market which today is the seventh largest in terms of size worldwide."
He said the company which called off its sales and marketing partnership with Tata Motors in 2012, will launch two luxury SUV models 'Wrangler' and 'Grand Cherokee' in the domestic market this year under the Jeep brand, besides a premium hatchback 'Abath', towards the end of the year.
The Jeep brand will be fully imported, while the 'Abath' will be manufactured locally at the Ranjangaon plant near Pune, Atanasio said. Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the first exclusive dealership in Mumbai, he said that the next few weeks will see a massive wave of inaugurations to take the total number of dealerships to 65 by March-end and 100 by the end of the year.
Explaining the reason for calling off the alliance with the Tatas, Atanasio said that though the partnership was a good one, there was a need to take the brand to the next level. He also pointed out the benefits Fiat derived through its erstwhile partner and said that at least 30 of its dealerships are from Tata Motors, where the dealers expanded to include a Fiat showroom as well.
Asked about the impact of the recent policy movements on the diesel front, which is the Fiat's portfolio's major focus, Atanasio said that diesel was "unstoppable" given its benefits. "A few customers will move to petrol, but it is not a concern, since diesel would still comprise more than 50 percent of new sales," he said.
"The Pune plant has an installed capacity for 1,30,000 units per year which can be expanded to 2,00,000 units," he said, adding the Tatas also plan to use the facility as an export hub. In 2012, Fiat exported a "few hundred units" to South Africa, Nepal and Sri Lanka from the plant, he said, stressing that going forward, it would focus on meeting domestic demand.
The company also has plans to launch its own entry-level SUV by 2015, he said, without giving any details.