Fiat India to launch Abarth 500 (CBU) in 2014, new Abarth local content and assembly in 2015
Fiat India showcased Abarth 500 at the Delhi Auto Expo last month, and has already announced a launch sometime in 2014. In another discussion today, Mr. Nagesh Basavanhalli, President and Managing Director, FIAT Chrysler Automobiles India Operations, said the company looks forward to localising an Abarth here in Ranjangaon in 2015. There is no clarity on which model will be localised as developments are ongoing.
Abarth 500 is one of four new cars Fiat will launch in India in 2014. The others being the recently launched model year Fiat Linea, refreshed Fiat Punto, and new contemporary urban vehicle, Avventura (sub 4 metre). Abarth 500 will be made available in India through the Completely Built Unit (CBU) route, and a localised option later will certainly help make Abarth ore affordable in India.
The idea is to add local content while retaining Abarth power and performance DNA. The Abarth vehicle with localised content could also include an existing Fiat model which gets racing DNA, or an altogether new car. The former suggestion turns our thought to Abarth Grande Punto. The Fiat Grande Punto Sports 90 HP diesel hatchback with 93 PS peak power and 209 Nm torque runs on a 1.3 litre multijet diesel engine with a variable turbocharger. When launched in India, it came replete with chrome exhaust tip, chrome lining on dashboard and colour choices of black, white and red.
For Abarth sales, Fiat India will opt for a store in store option wherein chosen Fiat dealerships will allocate a corner to Abarth display and sales.
Mr. Basavanhalli said, “Pune is one of the key markets for FIAT New Linea and Abarth 500 because of its young demographic with high disposable income. Abarth 500 is an iconic car known for its racing performance and the flagship car of the Abarth brand worldwide. We have received positive reviews at the Delhi Auto Expo for our product line up in 2014.”