While most Media vehicles publish this news story with a Sanju Style Question Mark, we go on a Nostalgic trip with the Fiat ..
Fiat cars have been around for a while now. They were amongst the first few to set up shop at India. In the Pre Maruti era, one had just two choices - Ambassador or Fiat and then Premier Padmini
Fiat struggled for several years now in India. They seemed contented miliking their cash cow the most popular 1.3 L Multijet Diesel engine, which the company supplied to Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors.
Unconfirmed reports say they plan to wind up as their Cash cow wont meet BS6 Emission norms without significant investments. its major customers viz Maruti and Tata have already gone long distance in preparing their BS6 Powertrans inhouse to save money. The current line up of Fiat wont be compliant to the upcoming safety rules which kick in starting April 2019 and Oct 2019 ie the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program ( BNVSAP). Fiat India finds it unviable to invest so much money to be 2019 ready. They feel they should focus on the Jeep Brand.
Fiat brand has been close to the hearts of most indians. A lot of us have grown with a Fiat or an Ambassador at Home.
Talking about The Premier Padmini. The Green arrow style indicators on either sides of the IP. The two red lights indicating Charging and Oil. The Deep Blue light Indicator at Top Centre of teh IP, for High Beam. the Steering mounted Gear Shift Lever. The Paddle style Accelerator. The bench front seats , later replaced by bucket ones. The Steel bumpers, the Smiling Moustache style PAL Logo .. all part of one's growing up and still the Ubiquitous Mumbai Kaali Peeli!
Around 2001, Fiat did try to resurrect with the Palio. They roped in Sachin Tendulkar as "Ambassador for Fiat" ; Spent lot of money. Got Sachin a Ferrari too , the Contentious one. Launched the Yellow Palio variant on his name, the S10 edition. However ineffective strategies , lack of Focus from Head Office, Wrong Selection of Dealer Partners, lack of support to Dealer Network led to a grim situation where we now hear about their winding up. We still hope its not true!
MotorUncle.com salutes the FIAT Brand. It shall always remain special to us. We dedicate a few pics from yesteryears and wish the team all the very best! And also please try if you can hold on for longer and take it as an opportunity to turn this around for good!