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Fiat plans 16b yuan refueling in China
By Gong Zhengzheng
Updated: 2007-07-03 06:42

Italian industrial giant Fiat Group plans to spend more than 16 billion yuan in China in the years to 2010 to help it achieve a fivefold rise in annual sales revenue in the country.

The money will be put in sectors such as passenger cars, trucks, engines and spare parts, auto financing and tractors, said Douglas Schenk, CEO of Fiat (China) Business Co Ltd.

Schenk said the group expects to grow its China sales from more than $1 billion last year to $5.5 billion in 2010, including $3 billion for passenger cars, $1.5 billion for trucks, $600 million for engines and spare parts and $400 million for other businesses.

A visitor passes a Fiat poster at an exhibition in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province. Liu Jianmin

Fiat has invested $1.5 billion in China since it built its first plant locally in 1986.

Andrew Humberstone, chief representative of the group's largest division, Fiat Auto, said the firm will produce three car models - Fiat Linea, Grande Punto and Alfa Romeo 159 - in China in the coming years to boost sales.

The carmaker aims to sell 263,000 cars a year by 2010 from more than 30,000 units last year, Humberstone said.

"Growth potential in China's car market is phenomenal as most customers are first-time buyers," he said.

But Fiat Auto lags far behind many of its rivals in China in terms of sales, such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota and Hyundai.

It now runs a car venture with Nanjing Automobile Corp in the eastern city of Nanjing, making the Palio, Siena and Perla models.

Fiat Auto has reportedly reached an agreement with another Chinese carmaker, Chery Automobile Co, to assemble the Alfa Romeo 159 in the small eastern city of Wuhu.

Last October, Chery clinched a deal with Fiat Auto to supply 100,000 petrol engines to the latter for cars built both in China and abroad.

Iveco, Fiat Group's commercial vehicle division, is building a 40,000-unit heavy truck plant and a 100,000-unit diesel engine factory in the western city of Chongqing with China's top auto group SAIC Motor Corp and Hongyuan Motor Co, a local truck maker.

Iveco now has a partnership with Nanjing Automobile to make wagons.

Schenk said Fiat Group has also got the green light from the government to open an auto financing business in China. The group's China auto financing branch, based in Shanghai, will provide loans to Chinese buyers in the first half of next year, he said.

(China Daily 07/03/2007)
 

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Fiat to build first R&D center in Shanghai

Source: Shanghai Daily
Fiat Powertrain Technologies SpA announced yesterday it will invest 22 million euros (32.2 U.S. dollars million) to build its first Chinese research and development center in Shanghai.

The wholly-owned Fiat Powertrain Technology Shanghai R&D Co Ltd, located in Jiading District in west Shanghai, will focus on the development of engines, both gasoline and diesel, and transmissions for cars and commercial vehicles, the subsidiary of Italy's Fiat Group said yesterday. FPT Shanghai, covering a total of 37,000 square meters, will employ 100 engineers by the end of next year when it officially starts operation.

"Developing anti-pollution engines would be one of the top priorities for FPT Shanghai as environmental protection is emphasized by the state government," said Paolo Emanuele Ferrero, vice president of FPT, product engineering, at the ground-breaking ceremony for the center yesterday. FPT has established 12 R&D centers worldwide with a major coverage in Europe. The Shanghai center is the first in Asia, a step ahead for the company to fulfill its target to serve local demands.

"The new engineering center will not only be part of FPT's global network, but also allow us to join the steady growth in China's auto industry," Ferrero added. New engines and transmissions will be developed for Fiat's models in addition to supplying other car makers in China. Overseas car makers have been setting up R&D centers in China to meet the demand for eco-friendly and fuel efficient technologies.
 

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With a up-stepped emphasis on totally electric and hybrid technologies, for sure. Fiat is really stamping it's imprint on the Chinese automotive scene even more clearly with this new move.
 

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Fiat to introduce three models to Chinese market this year - from Gasgoo.com:

January 7, 2008 – Italian automaker Fiat plans to introduce three models in imported units to Chinese market in 2008, the company’s chief representative said.

"Fiat will strengthen its operation in Chinese market by importing more car models,” said Paolo Arpellino. “We are planning to introduce three models in 2008. These models include Grande Punto, Linea and Bravo.”

Fiat also plans to locally produce Linea and Grande Punto China in 2009, Arpellino said. The two models will be locally produced in Fiat’s joint venture with Chery, according to a Beijing News report.

"In the short term, Fiat will have to rely on importing new models to boost its operations in China,” said Duan Jianjun, Fiat’s chief China Business Officer. “However, in the long run, we will shift to local production business.”

In August last year, Fiat and Chery has signed a memorandum of understanding on a joint venture automaker. The joint venture project, scheduled to operate in 2009, will have an annual capacity of 175,000 units.

Linea will be the first Fiat models to be produced in the Fiat-Chery joint venture. The model will be equipped with a 1.4 liter engine. When imported to Chinese market, it will be priced at about RMB 200,000 ($27,400). The model will compete with Ford Focus, Peugeot 307, and Buick Excelle in Chinese market.

"The annual capacity of Linea and Grande Punto alone will exceed Nanjing Fiat’s capacity of 30,000 units,” Duan said, adding that “Alfa Romeo will also be locally produced in the joint venture plant in the future.”
 

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Fiat dealers in China have no cars to sell until summer 2008!

February 19, 2008 - Italian automaker Fiat SPA's sales network has dwindled to 55 dealers from over 100 dealers two years ago and the remaining dealers have no cars to sell before this summer when Fiat will introduce new imports.

"Fiat will hold a dealership meeting on February 20 to discuss our future cooperation with Fiat, but I bet there will be less than 55 dealers left in the end," said an unnamed manager of a Nanjing Fiat dealership in Beijing.

The merger deal between SAIC and Nanjing Auto late last year put an end to Nanjing Fiat, a joint venture between Nanjing Auto and Fiat. Currently, local-made Fiat cars have been sold out at the dealerships and these dealers have only imported cars to sell. Some dealers even have no cars to sell.

However, new imported Fiat cars won't arrive until this summer. Paolo Arpellino, the group's chief representative in China, said imported Grande Punto, Linea and Bravo would probably hit the market between late June and early July this year. Arpellino, who took the position last year, is responsible for Fiat’s business development and daily operations in China, including investments and new product launches.

"We may set up an independent sales company, or find a general selling agency in the Chinese market," said Zheng Xiaoli, spokesperson for Fiat China.


Fiat is possibly most famous for turning itself around, from being an ailing sick motoring company with a poor reputation for quality, into one of the best selling brands in Europe in less than ten years. If Fiat is so good at revitilizing itself, we would like to see how they are going to get out of this latest hole. After breaking up their joint venture cooperation with Nanjing Autos, and signing up with Chery, Fiat has found itself with no cars to sell to the Chinese markets in the time being.

To put another nail in Fiats China coffin, over 40 dealers have left the once 100 branch strong dealer network. Fiat China currently has 55 dealerships in China, but with nothing left to sell, and bills to pay, will any of the dealers stay on board? Possibly not. Currently many of the dealers have sold out their Fiat stock, some have imported Fiat models, and some have no stock. Imported Grande Punto, Linea and Bravo models are expected to go on the market in China by June/July 2008, which may be too late for many Fiat dealers.

The new Fiat boss for China, Mr. Arpellino, has broadcast a message on the Fiat Chinese website outlining Fiats plans for China in 2008, and asking current Fiat customers to rest at ease since the NAC/Fiat joint venture has ended.

However, the Fiat Linea is not expected to be made in China until 2009. Can Fiat China make up for lost ground in 09/10? We hope so. We always like to root for the underdog.
source: Gasgoo.com and China Car Times
 

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That means no Fiat 500's to sell, either, I suppose. Not good. The Chinese market should just eat up the European Car of the Year for 2007, the 500. Surely a big step backward in China for Fiat.
 

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Fiat to offer subsidies to Chinese dealers.

February 25, 2008 - Fiat Group China will offer subsidies to Chinese dealers who agree to stay with the automaker, the Italian automaker announced during a dealership conference in Suzhou last week.

Fiat dealers, who choose to stay with the company's new sales network, will be offered a certain amount of compensation, though the exact figure is unknown. Some 35 out of the 100 Fiat dealers in China are expected to stay with Fiat's new dealer network.

Fiat has named China Auto CAIEC Ltd, a subsidiary to China National Machinery Industry Corporation as its chief sales representative in China and that will help Fiat save a lot of troubles and cut off operation costs in Chinese market.

Fiat further promised that imported Grande Punto, Linea and Bravo models will go on the market in China by July this year, and its first locally produced model- Linea will be produced by Fiat-Chery joint venture by the third quarter next year.

The Italian automaker is facing a dilemma in China now. After breaking up with Nanjing Auto, Fiat has found itself with no cars to sell in the Chinese markets for the time being. The Italian automaker will have to rely on some imported models to maintain its presence in Chinese market.
source: Gasgoo.com
 

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SAIC has taken over the old Fiat plant and SVW is preparing it to produce the VW Santana 3000 there beginning in the second quarter of this year. Initial capacity is said to be 60,000.
 

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Martin, as Dragin wrote, the future of the Jiangning factory is the production of Santana's. I don't believe there will be any Fiat production anymore, neither as Fiat nor under Nanjing badge. We had the same thing years ago (1997) when Peugeot stopped the Guangzhou production. The 505 should stay in production under a new badge, named Tianyang. but there were never such car made.
 

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Imported Fiat models to hit China market in June.

May 19, 2008 - After the ending of its partnership with Nanjing Auto, the Italian carmaker Fiat will return to the Chinese market by selling its imported cars there. Many Fiat 4S stores in China are refurbished for resuming their business. Imported Linea and Bravo and Grande Punto models will go on the Chinese market starting June.

The Linea and Bravo cars, two models that were displayed at the 2008 Beijing auto show in April, will be available in China in June and they can be ordered now in the 4S stores with a deposit of 20,000 yuan ($2,860) for each unit. Grande Punto, a Fiat hatchback also released at the Beijing show, will go on sale in the Chinese market in late August this year.

Salesmen in a Nanjing-based Fiat 4S store have also revealed the prices of the six cars of the three Fiat models: 171,000 yuan for the comfort Linea, 186,000 yuan for the luxury Linea; 203,800 yuan for the comfort Bravo, 211,900 yuan for the sports Bravo; 148,800 yuan for the comfort Grande Punto, and 166,600 yuan for the luxury Grande Punto.

Designed by Fiat Style Centre, Fiat Linea (4560mm x 1730mm x 1490mm) will be offered with a 120 bhp 1.4T turbo engine capable of a peak speed of 200km/h. Fiat Bravo (4340mm x 1790mm x 1490mm) is powered by a 150 bhp 1.9L Multijet diesel engine. Grande Punto (4030mm x 1680mm x1490mm) will most likely be offered with a 1.2L or 1.4L gas / petrol engine and the 1.3L Multijet diesel engine.

source: Gasgoo.com
 

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Nanjing Fiat 4S stores to restart business.

May 27, 2008 - A few months after the joint venture was acquired by Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), some Nanjing Fiat's 4S stores are being redecorated to restart business. Fiat now speeds up its imported car business to extend its network in the Chinese market. Linea and Bravo of the Fiat brand will also go on sale in June in China following their debut at the 2008 Beijing auto show. And now the two models can be ordered in Fiat dealerships.

Grande Punto, another Fiat model, will come to China in late August. Besides, the price of the three Fiat models will be provided as follows:

Linea comfortable: 171,000 yuan ($24,604)
Linea Premium: 186,000 yuan
Bravo comfortable: 203,800 yuan
Bravo sporty: 211,900 yuan
Grande Punto comfortable: 148,800 yuan
Grande Punto Premium: 166,600 yuan

At present, Nanjing Fiat's 4S stores are well prepared for restarting Fiat business. According to a Fiat dealer, its original Fiat’s 4S store will be divided into two parts for two brands because Fiat cars are in short supply. The chief showroom is rebuilt for FAW Besturn, and a new Fiat showroom is to be built beside it. Managing two brands simultaneously will not only reduce the business risk but also cut down the loss of newly-built stores, the storekeeper said.

The Fiat facility with Nanjing Auto stopped producing Fiat cars earlier this year after the joint venture was 100% bought out by SAIC, the largest Chinese automaker based in Shanghai. The re-opened Fiat 4S stores in China will sell imported cars of the Fiat brand.
source: Gasgoo.com
 

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Fiat engine plant to separate from Fiat Group.

July 10, 2008 - Fiat’s sedan engine plant will be negotiating with Fiat Group for withdrawing from Fiat and planning to build an engine joint venture with its partners, said Shen Hui, president of Fiat (China) Powertrain Technologies (FPT), Beijing Youth reported yesterday.

The newspaper said the Fiat engine will not only supply China-produced Fiat models but also provide for both home-grown brands and rival models. “Now 70% of FPT products are sold inside the group and 30% for non-Fiat models around the globe, but the outside sales likely to be extended by some 50% in the future, Shen told the reporters.

Fiat will first produce its 1.4L series engines locally, the best-selling engines in the world, including a 1.4L T-jet engine used in imported Bravo cars in late July.

Fiat is boosting its joint venture in China by powerplant technology advantages. Besides engines, the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) is Fiat’s another leading technology. FPT is scheduled to start DCT production globally after 2009 and to produce DCT locally in China in 2011.

source: Gasgoo.com
 

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Imported Fiat models to sell in China in late August.

August 11, 2008 - Two imported Fiat models are expected to go on sale in China later this month, said a Fiat China insider last week, as cited by xinhuanet.com yesterday. If everything goes according to plan, this will bring the Italian automaker back to the Chinese auto market ten months after the ending of its partnership with Nanjing Auto.

The first batch of about 300 imported Fiat cars are going through customs formalities at Tianjian port and will go on sale first in Shenzhen on August 22, said the Chinese importer of Fiat vehicles. The first two imported Fiat models for sale in China are Linea and Bravo, and Grande Punto will go on sale in September. The three Fiat models will be priced at 148,800 yuan ($21,800) to 219,000 yuan in the China market.

Fiat has designated its first 26 dealerships, most located in and around the city of Nanjing, home to its former partner Nanjing Auto, and other eastern China's coastal cities. These stores are the refurbished Fiat outlets of the previous Nanjing-Fiat sales network. Fiat last December pulled out of its ailing passenger car joint venture with Nanjing Auto.

By selling imported Fiat cars in China, the Italian carmaker attempts to present itself in a brand-new image in this fast-growing market. If its imported vehicles sell well here, Fiat may consider making its cars locally with new Chinese partners.
source: Gasgoo.com
 

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August 21st, 2008 - Fiat have announced their new prices for their imported models that they will officially launch tonight at 7:30pm, the pricing of the models that they have is reasonable for imported models:

* Fiat Bravo: 200,380rmb for standard, sports model is 210,900rmb
* Fiat Linea: 170,100rmb for basic, Luxury 180,600rmb
* Fiat Grande Punto: 140,880rmb

In addition to announcing prices, Fiat have given each of the models above a Chinese name

* Fiat Bravo: 博悦
* Fiat Linea: 领雅

The Grande Punto is yet to be given a name, that name is expected to be given at a later date, but early indications are that it will be named 鹏拓.

Fiat are coming back into China since their Nanjing-Fiat JV disintergrated over poor sales performance, with both parties blaming each other for the break down in partnership. Fiat are now reportedly approaching Guangzhou Auto group with regards to starting production of new Fiat models for China, Fiat previously expressed that the imported models are only a short term plan, until they get domestic Chinese production up and running. Fiat have previously set up joint ventureships with Chery to produce the Alfa Romeo brand in China, but are currently lacking production facilities for their Fiat brands.

Although talks between Guangzhou and Fiat are in early stages, it seems that Fiat and Guangzhou have unofficially decided to enter into partnership together. Guangzhou lacks the sales capacity of northern automotive giants such as SAIC, and FAW, it does have an exceptional skill - making massive profits. Fiat wont be able to produce cars on the Honda lines in Guangzhou factories just yet, but Guangzhou is building a new factory which should be finished by 2009.

source: China Car Times
 

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It seems Fiat can't decide which Chinese company to cooperate with. Should that be Chery, Guangzhou or somebody third...

Fiat in Talks to Tie-Up with Guangzhou Auto.

Italian carmaker Fiat is set to restart its China sales network tomorrow, which will sell the imported Bravo and Linea models first. Meanwhile, the talks about locally making the two Fiat models in China are also going on quietly, and the potential Chinese partner this time is Guangzhou Auto Group, not Chery Auto who signed a memo of understanding with Fiat 13 months ago, said xinhuanet.com today.

"Guangzhou Auto is not a bad partner," said an insider familiar with Fiat. "Although its capacity and sales are smaller than those of FAW and SAIC, the profit-making capabilities of Guangzhou Auto are extraordinary." In addition, Guangzhou Auto also needs compact vehicle models to expand its product portfolio for larger market share, and Fiat's Bravo and Linea models can fill this gap in Guangzhou Auto's vehicle lineup.

Fiat also boasts the sophisticated technology of some core auto-parts such as engines and the emission control, which may as well help Guangzhou Auto create its own-brand vehicles. "The two sides are also discussing the possibility of OEM projects," said the sources, adding that Fiat has been in contact with Guangzhou Auto for about three months.

Paolo Arpellino, chief representative of Fiat's China office, has strictly controlled the details of the talks, but industry analysts said that it is impossible to make Fiat cars on the production lines of Guangzhou Honda or Guangzhou Toyota, and that the Linea is unlikely to be locally made in China by 2009 because construction of Guangzhou Auto's new manufacturing facility only kicked off in November 2007.

Source: TheAutoChannel.com.

Fiat targets collaboration with Changan.

The Fiat Group may seek to cooperate with Chang'an Motor Corp, the Chinese partner of Ford Motor and Suzuki Motor, China's auto website sohu.com said today.

The Italian automaker, through Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT), announced Tuesday to invest some 1.8 billion yuan (US$2.6 million) in production of the 100,000 engines in the Chongqing municipality of southwest China, where Changan is based. Seventy of the output will be exported.

Fiat may seek to cooperate with Changan after talks with Chery Auto reportedly disrupted. In August 2007, Fiat and Chery signed a memorandum of understanding to build a 50:50 passenger vehicle joint venture and an engine supply contract, but the talks began to stall in early 2008 when Fiat pulled out of Nanjing Auto. In the joint venture, Chery and Fiat had plans to locally produce Fiat Linea, Bravo and Grand Punto, but Fiat cannot satisfy Chery's desire for another model: Alfa Romeo.

Last night Fiat official started to sell the Linea, Bravo and Grand Punto models in China through import channels, with their Chinese name settled down as Boyue, Lingya and Pengduo in Pinyin.

From:Gasgoo.com

Ten months After cutting its cooperation with Nanjing Auto, Italian carmaker Fiat is set to restart its China sales network with the imported models first, according to Oriental Morning Post today.

Fiat (China) said the company launched the imported Linea and Bravo models into the Chinese market first last night. However, the dealership list released by Fiat didn’t include any dealers in one of the most important cities — Shanghai.

Current Fiat dealers for imported cars are mostly from the previous Nanjing Fiat network. But most of the former Fiat dealers had shifted to other businesses due to longtime money losing before Fiat withdrew from its Nanjing venture at the end of last year, including two original Fiat Shanghai dealers.

Also, Fiat lacks dealerships in Nanjing, where the Fiat brand already has some influence. The dealer list by Fiat shows that nearly 30% Fiat dealers are located in medium- and small-size cities.

Whether it can build a highly efficient sales network poses a big challenge for Fiat to regain its business in China, a source said.
 

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Fiat builds tech cooperation with Guangzhou Auto.

August 26, 2008 - Fiat SpA has agreed to establish technical cooperation relationship with Guangzhou Auto, the Beijing News reported today, citing a senior official of Fiat China.

Under the condition of anonymity, the official said Fiat may expand its technical cooperation to a full fledged scale in future considering Guanghzou Auto's marketing and profit-making capacities, but it all depends on the progress of Fiat's talks with Chery.

Paolo Arpellino, chief representative of Fiat's China office, confirmed that no other project such as building a JV was discussed other than the technical cooperation program for the time being.

He added that the present technical partnership will focus on developing Guangzhou Auto's own brand. No other details on the deal is available currently.

Fiat's talks with Chery were reportedly disrupted after the two sides differ on whether to locally build Alfa Romeo in China.

Last week Fiat agreed to build a 1.8 billion yuan ($263 million) engine plant in southwestern China's Chongqing municipality with annual capacity of 100,000 units.

According to the memorandum of understanding signed by the Italian carmaker, about 70 percent of the light diesel engines made at the facility will be exported.
source: Gasgoo.com
 
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