Fiat's Indian Journey|Business Strategy|Case Study|Case Studies

Fiat's Indian Journey

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR020
Case Length : 7 Pages
Period : 1996 - 2002
Organization : Fiat India Limited, Premier Automobiles
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : Automobile & Automotive

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

Although Bianchi was optimistic, his skeptics far outnumbered his supporters. The reasons were not difficult to understand, as the company's five decade long existence in the Indian automobile market had only produced failures. In spite of having invested over Rs 30.1 billion since 1996 in the country, Fiat's market share in 2001 was only 1.3%.

Background Note

Credited as one of the founders of the European automobile industry, Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (FIAT) SpA was established in 1899 in Turin, Italy by a group of individual investors. FIAT's automobiles achieved instant popularity, not only in Italy, but also internationally.

Over the next century, FIAT consistently followed a two-pronged growth strategy: penetration of foreign markets and focus on innovation. The innovation strategy fuelled the company's diversification plans into agricultural and construction equipment, commercial vehicles, metallurgical products, components, production systems, aviation, publishing and communications and insurance.

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Some of the company's famous car models include the Balilla (1932), the Fiat 500 and the Topolino (1936), the Fiat 500 B two-door sedan and station wagon, the 10 B and 1500 D (1948), the 500 C, 1100 E and 1500 E (1949), the 1400 (1950), the 1100/103 sedan and the multipurpose 103 TV, Seicentos, Cinquecentos (mid 1950s), the 850, 128, 130, 127 and 126 (in the 1960s), Ritmo (1978), Uno (1983) and the Punto (1993).

FIAT also acquired the Autobianchi, Lancia, Alfa 164 and Alfa 156 brands over the years. The company also owned a host of popular brands in its other businesses. By 2001, with revenues around 57 billion Euro, FIAT emerged as one of the world's biggest industrial groups, operating in 61 countries with 1,063 companies involved in automobiles. The group ran 242 production facilities and 131 research centers, with almost half of them located outside Italy. As part of its globalization effort, FIAT entered India in 1951 through a technical collaboration with Premier Automobiles Limited (PAL) to manufacture the 'Fiat 500' car. PAL was one of India's first automobile manufacturing companies, established in 1944 by the Walchand Hirachand family...

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