Not satisfied to coast on profits from engine building, Fiat India is revisiting its India car-building and -marketing strategies to match the qualities offered by competitors’ products, President and Managing Director Kevin Flynn says.
Engineers with Suzuki and its Indian joint venture were tasked with developing a low-maintenance engine with high fuel efficiency, compliant with current and future emissions standards and able to fit in Suzuki’s full range of small cars.
Automakers argue shorter deadlines would force them into using untested or inadequately tested technologies that could lead to safety risks and reduce fuel efficiency. Meantime, the air in India’s cities is getting progressively dirtier.
Initial products to be assembled from kits on the 100,000-unit-capacity line are 5- and 7-seat SUVs being developed jointly by Tata and its Jaguar and Land Rover subsidiaries. Codenamed Q501 and Q502, the vehicles are due on the market in 2017.
With Indian sales having risen 12.9% year-over-year through May, according to WardsAuto data, VW is investing in production capacity and local sourcing with an eye toward expanding the domestic market.
The Creta and S-Cross join a segment whose top sellers currently are the Mahindra Scorpio and Ford EcoSport. Other compact SUVs on the Indian market include the Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano and Mazda CX-3.