labels: fiat india pvt, passenger cars, marketing - general, automotive
Palio heads for Bangladesh; Fiat India eyes SE Asian markets news
Our Corporate Bureau
20 May 2003

Mumbai: After giving Fiat India (www.fiat-india.com) one of its biggest winners in the Indian automobile industry, the Palio is now all set to script a new success story in Bangladesh. Fiat India has announced the Palio''s foray into Bangladesh, with the first export order of 20 Palios (1.2 version) that are scheduled for shipment from India by the end of this month.

In order to create further awareness and excitement around Fiat''s products in the Bangladesh market, both the Palio and the Siena will also be on display at the Motor Show in Dhaka (22-25 May 2003). Showcasing these two cars at the motor show is expected to give an impetus to future orders from Bangladesh.

"We have been receiving a significant number of queries from countries like Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore and Nepal for the export of the Fiat Palio. The first firm order for the supply of Palios to Bangladesh is an important milestone for the company. The company has already supplied over 70 Palios to Nepal, and has now also received enquiries for the 1.9 Diesel Palio. We are confident that customers in neighbouring South -East Asian markets will be delighted with the Palio experience," says Fiat India director (commercial) Ananda Mohan Gupta. "In India, our recently launched diesel models have also been well received and with our renewed commitment to after- sales service and customer care, we will continue to grow Fiat''s presence here too."

Fiat India commenced exports of the Uno to Bangladesh a few years ago when the Bangladesh government opened up imports and has since then exported 350 Unos to the country. The company''s recent focus has been on seeding the various target markets and increasing visibility for Fiat''s product portfolio. Towards this end, Fiat has exported a few numbers of the Palio, the Siena and an Adventure in November 2002 to Sri Lanka. In addition, the Patio and the Siena are all set to be showcased at the Jakarta Auto show (30 May-3 June 2003) in Indonesia, but even before that inquiries and orders for the Palio have been trickling in.

Fiat India has a large product portfolio spanning the B and C segments of the market. When the Palio was introduced in India (September 2001), Fiat had already attained 75-per cent localisation. It was on account of this high local content that the Palio was aggressively priced. Today, Fiat has achieved a level of 87-per cent localisation of the Palio and 80 per cent for the new Siena, making it competitive in other neighbouring markets also. This strategy of localisation offers major benefits in terms of ensuring consistent quality, reducing transportation time, and cost facilitating better service and overall equipping the system with a high degree of flexibility to respond to the emerging market needs.

One such emerging need is the interest shown by other markets for Fiat''s cars. Based on the response to the various models in terms of customer feedback and volume potential, Fiat India will chart out a firm export programme, for each of the identified markets. Fiat''s plans for the export of cars manufactured in India is guided by the principle of identifying ''right-hand drive markets, where Fiat does not already have an industrial presence'' and hence the focus on neighbouring South East Asian markets.

Till recently, Fiat India has only been concentrating on exporting components to other Fiat facilities worldwide. The company follows a system called World Material Flow (WMF) that integrates Fiat''s operations globally and offers every market the opportunity to become a global supplier depending on its ability to compete, taking into account price and quality requirements. Now, in addition to expanding the scope of component exports, Fiat India is also keen to grow the export potential of its cars.


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Palio heads for Bangladesh; Fiat India eyes SE Asian markets