February 19, 2011

Tata Motors reworks its Fiat distribution strategy

Admitting that its five-year old tie up with Italian car maker Fiat has not yielded desired results, auto major Tata Motors on Tuesday said it was redrawing its distribution plans to prop up sales of its Turin-based partner.

As part of the plan, Fiat will now have its own independent brand showroom to showcase products, even as its cars would continue to be sold through Tata Motors showrooms. The brand showrooms would give Fiat a distinct identity.

“We are looking at ways to improve the sales numbers. We are not where we want to be (of Fiat-branded cars). We are redrawing plans to boost its sales,” said R Ramakrishnan, vice-president, commercial-passenger car business unit, Tata Motors. “To improve the image, we plan to open image brand centres (for Fiat). To begin with, two centres will be opened in Delhi and Pune.”

For the April-January period of the current fiscal, Fiat India clocked a 14.6% decline in sales at 17,405 units against the year-ago period. In January, Fiat sold 2,174 units, against 2,215 units a year-ago. Tata Motors on the other hand sold 283,100 units in April-January 2010-11, a 28% jump over 2009-10, while the firm sold 34,688 units in January, up 11.6% over last year.

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