Mike Manley, Chief Operating Officer for Asia and President and CEO – Jeep Brand was here in India on December 6th 2012 to announce that the Jeep brand will be launched in India officially. Fiat India will launch nine new or ‘significantly refreshed models’ under the Fiat and Jeep brands in the next few years including the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Jeep models will be imported as CBUs and should go on sale toward the end of 2013. Jeep vehicles will be sold through a Jeep dealer network that will piggyback on the service and parts support offered by an expanding Fiat dealer network.
“Our vision for India will revolve around a three-pronged strategy,” said Mike Manley. “First, introduction of new vehicles that will soon include the legendary Jeep brand. Second, the expansion of our independent dealer network and, finally, strong marketing initiatives that will continue to improve our awareness and brand perception in the market.”
IAB also reports that Jeep will launch a B-segment SUV in 2015 and a C-Segment SUV in 2016.
Manley also said that the dealer network will expand from the current shared TATA FIAT dealers to approximately 120 independent dealers by 2013. Part of the dealer experience will include Fiat Caffe, which is surprising considering no country has more than one Fiat Caffe.
Jeep vehicles will be distributed at launch in metropolitan cities through exclusive outlets utilizing the infrastructure created by the FIAT exclusive dealers.
IAB says that Fiat India will have a B-Segment SUV in its portfolio by 2014 (supposedly the 500X) and also bring home Abarth in 2013 in addition to four other launches in 2013.
“Initial interest from the investors has proved to be strong. Therefore, we will be able to establish 120 independent dealers by 2013,” said Enrico Atanasio, Managing Director of Fiat Group Automobiles India Private Limited. “We are optimistic about our prospect for growth in the Indian car market, which grew 12 percent in 2011 and is rapidly becoming one of the major markets in the world. With the launch of the Jeep brand, new Fiat products, an expanding dealer network and upcoming marketing initiatives, we will be in a strong position to capitalize on this growth.”