Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles had a rejuvenating year. The conglomeration re-launched Maserati and Ferrari brands in India and acquainted the masses with affordable yet hot performance brand - Abarth. They ended the year with the introduction of Jeep brand online in the country yesterday! Still a lot of brands are missing, especially from the American counterpart - Chrysler, which can dent the sales of its rivals here. For the uninitiated, Fiat-Chrysler umbrella has - Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari, Lancia, Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck, Abarth and SRT along with a few component manufacturers like Magneti Marelli, etc.
Speaking of its two performance brands, Abarth was introduced in India with the launch of Abarth 595 Competizione. Soon Fiat added Abarth Punto and Fiat Avventura - powered by Abarth, while the SRT will also be available along with upcoming Grand Cherokee. Moreover, one of the most important component manufacturers in the clan - Magneti Marelli has a couple of manufacturing units within the country. Beside other components, Magneti Marelli produces AMTs (Automated-Manual Transmission) for Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors. Now, let us have a look at the brands that can shake our market.
Indian luxury hatchback segment has risen to new heights during the course of this year. This year, Volvo launched the V40 hatchback while BMW and Mercedes launched the facelifted versions of 1-Series and A-Class respectively. Alfa Romeo Giulietta which internationally competes with the hatchbacks mentioned above, can pickup in India with all its Italian charm and powerful petrol and diesel engines. The Giulietta also has an AWD option! Besides Giulietta, Alfa Romeo also has the Giulia performance sedan and exceptionally good Alfa Romeo 4C sports car.
Both these brands travel a long way back with India and have marked our history with cars manufactured by them whose presence can be seen throughout the pre and post-Independence period. As compared to Alfa Romeo, a lot of people in India know about Dodge and Chrysler. Dodge has more cars to offer as compared to Chrysler, vehicles like Dart, Journey (re-badged Fiat Freemont), Durango. These can compete with vehicles Toyota Corolla, Mahindra XUV500, Toyota Fortuner respectively in our market. Moreover, Dodge Challenger’s arch rival - Ford Mustang is expected to visit the 2016 Indian Auto Expo with a subsequent launch sometime next year. It would be great to see Challenger competing with Mustang on our soil!