There is no doubt that the Abarth Punto and Avventura have been launched as niche cars rather than volume spinners but their presence in the portfolio was expected to have a positive rub-off on the regular variants of the hatchback and soft crossover.
However, Fiat India sales continue to be awfully low. The product refreshments over the past few years and introduction of Avventura didn’t improve things as expected. If at all the Abarth offerings (595 Competizione, Punto and Avventura) have a positive effect on the overall sales, it’s yet to be realized.
In November 2015, Fiat India managed to sell only 501 units of both Punto and Avventura models (including the go-faster Abarth versions). The ailing Linea sedan added another 105 units in a feeble attempt to keep things moving. So in total, the Italian automaker managed to sell a paltry 606 cars in the country last month.
It doesn’t take a talented industry analyst to observe that Fiat India badly needs new products and it needs them now. Several delays in launching the Jeep brand in the country is making things worse for FCA. For the future, the company has announced expansion of its Ranjangaon plant which is jointly owned by Tata Motors to accommodate the new Jeep C-SUV.
The new Jeep offering in question is expected to enter production sometime in 2017 as an export oriented model but it will be extremely challenging for FCA to sustain in India till that point if it doesn’t promptly revive its mainstream product portfolio.