REPORT: Fiat Caffé Technology Meet at Pune

If there is one brand that knows how to make its presence felt in the market, it has to be Fiat.  Right from the beginning of 2012, Fiat India has been working in a ‘sleeves rolled-up’ sort of fashion.

It has launched updated model’s, introduced Caffés, split-up with partner’s… the Italian car-maker has made sure it gets a regular front-page coverage. Keeping up with the trend, Fiat has now introduced a new theme, ‘Italian Technological Marvels’ at its Fiat Caffés. The initiative is for the brand to showcase a host of Italian engineering marvels over the next two months.

To kick-start the campaign, the company had organised a technology-meet at both of its Caffés in Pune and in New Delhi. At the event, we had a discussion regarding Fiat’s innovations and technological marvels with the top-officials from Fiat India. While Mr. Enrico Atanasio, Head-Commercial talked about Italy and its culture of inventions, Mr. Gupratap Boparai, Head – FIAT powertrain made a presentation on the Multijet technology. The focus of this meet was brand-building and for the media to interact with the officials.

Here are a few pointers from the press-conference held at the event:

Fiat has set a target of opening up to 100 independent dealerships by the first quarter of 2013.

Currently, Fiat has only 3 independent dealerships (including Caffés). The old-structure with Tata-dealerships will remain functional for the time-being.

 The Linea T-Jet will remain on sale without the MY2012 upgrades. “The sales figures do not justify the need for an upgrade. The T-Jet was already launched with significantly higher equipment levels,” said, Mr. Gurpratap Boparai, Head – FIAT powertrain.

Viaggio launch uncertain – “Investments in the D-Segment wouldn’t be economically feasible at the moment. CKD operations also won’t be suitable for the limited demand. Though, we obviously aren’t ruling it out,” said Boparai.

The Turkish Linea won’t make it to India anytime soon. The company feels the current car is competitive enough for the time being.

Fiat is currently analysing a number of cars from its global portfolio for an Indian launch. The Panda 4X4 is one of the main contenders.