Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has temporarily stopped manufacturing the Avventura and the Abarth Punto models in order to prioritize the Jeep C-SUV. The Fiat India’s Ranjangaon plant is now busy accommodating the infrastructure to be prepared for the production of the new SUV.
The C-SUV is an important model for Jeep because it is collectively replacing the Liberty and the Compass models. Presently, the car is being developed at the Brazil plant and has been scheduled for a global debut at this year’s Sao Paulo Motor Show. The Ranjangaon facility will share the load of production with the Brazil plant.
The units produced at the Ranjangaon factory will be ready to go on sale by the end of next year, if not, definitely by the beginning of 2018. The suspension of production of the Avventura and Abarth Punto models is not going to take a toll on the market shares of Fiat India, because neither of the cars are selling huge numbers anyway. These two models are more like secondary support models as far as their significance in the market is concerned.
The only consequence of the decision is that the people who purchased these two suspended models will have an extended waiting period to invest some patience in. In the long run, the C-SUV is the more important model and will help the market shares for Jeep rise more than the Avventura and Abarth Punto cumulatively could.
The domestic market will be cooperating because the total number of these two suspended models is low enough to bring down the waiting period significantly once the production is resumed. The Avventura and Abarth Punto are both made to suit the Indian market needs perfectly, and they both use the 1.4 liter TJET turbo petrol engine which has a power output of 145PS.
The C-SUV debuting this November at Sao Paulo will be produced only at the Ranjangaon plant and the Pernambuco plant to begin with. The Indian plant will produce the RHS models and the Brazilian plant, the LHS models.
Fiat Chrysler Automobile has put a lot of faith in its Indian subsidiary as it has not only paused the production of two of its models, but also invested $280 million for the development of the plant so that it can accommodate all the necessary infrastructure required to successfully meet its high targets regarding the C-SUV and other upcoming models.
The C-SUV will look similar to the Grand Cherokee, and will cost something around INR 20 lac for the Indian market. The Indian spec model of the C-SUV will get both, diesel, as well as petrol engines. The diesel engine is likely to be the 2.0 liter MultiJet II unit.
The Abarth Punto, and Avventura have lesser attractive engine specs but will be available at almost half the price in the domestic market. Once all these models are manufactured and launched in the market for competition with the current segment leaders, the game will change for Fiat altogether.