Fiat Auto India has denied reports that it is re-launching its flagship compact car Cinquecento, popularly known as Fiat 500, in the next few months. Rather, it clarified that it is thinking of launching a fresh advertising blitz for the model, which competes with Volkswagen's iconic Beetle in the luxury small car segment.
In response to media reports, particularly in The Economic Times, which claimed that Fiat India is re-launching the 500 luxury hatchback in the Indian market, the official spokesperson of Fiat India categorically denied any such plans.
According to the spokesperson, ''Fiat 500 has helped us tremendously in our overall branding exercise because of significant road presence of the vehicle in India.
We have sold around 68 units of this model. Having said that, it is not at all true that we are re-launching this model. We may, however, roll out high-blitz marketing exercise to promote 500 heavily.''
The Italian carmaker had launched Cinquecento in 2008, creating the market for high-end hatchbacks that costs as much as premium sedans. But its marketing efforts failed to lift Cinquecento sales and only 68 units have been sold to date.
In contrast, Volkswagen exceeded its target by selling over 300 units of the Beetle since its launch last November, with over 100 units sold in the May-June period alone, despite its car being considerably more expensive than the Fiat 500.