Fiat India, which recently called off distribution alliance with Tata Motors, is bullish on its prospects in the country, saying that within 12-18 months it will be able to stand on its own with around 100 exclusive sales and service centres in place.
The Italian auto major is also optimistic about boosting market share to 1-1.5 per cent within 36 months from the present 0.7 per cent.
"The process of transition should get completed over the next 12-18 months," Fiat India commercial head Enrico Atanasio told reporters at the launch of the company's second exclusive sales and service centre named Fiat Cafe in the city, where it also rolled out a limited edition of the Punto Sports.
The new model, launched over the weekend, is priced at Rs 7.36 lakh (ex-Delhi).
Stating that India and China are the two important markets in its Asia-Pacific strategy, Atanasio said, "Today we have just 0.7 per cent of the Indian market and we are not satisfied with this. In the next two to three years, we can grow to 1.5 per cent level." He added that in all the markets where Fiat has a factory, it has above 6 per cent market share.
On the dealerships, he said, "We estimate 80-100 dealers will be required (to begin with) in 55-66 cities to cover the market within 18 months to be on our own. The initial focus will be on the top 35 cities."
As per the new strategy, a Tata-Fiat dealer will be setting up one exclusive Fiat outlet as well.
Earlier this month, Fiat and Tatas ended their 5-year-old distribution alliance while retaining the manufacturing JV. Currently, Fiat brands are sold through 166 Fiat-Tata dealers across 126 cities.
Fiat now plans to set up new dealerships in addition to the ones which are being converted into exclusive Fiat dealerships, Atanasio said.
"The key objective (of going solo) is to move the brand to the next level. We need dedicated, committed dealers for our brand," he said.
He did not divulge the number of models in the pipeline.