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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 determined to recover in China market.

Italian carmaker Fiat Auto has recently signed an agreement with China's Guangzhou Auto Group for technical cooperation. Meanwhile, Fiat Group has decided to invest 1.8 billion yuan ($263 million) to build a light diesel engine plant in Chongqing city. All this shows the determination of Fiat to maintain its presence and growth in the fast-growing China market.

"Our current cooperation with Guangzhou Auto is limited only to the technical level and our major mission is to help the Chinese carmaker develop its own-brand models," said Paolo Arpellino, chief representative of Fiat's China operations. Further cooperation between Fiat and Guangzhou Auto, such as setting up a joint venture or doing the OEM project, will need more talks and will also depend on the progress in Fiat's joint venture negotiations with another Chinese carmaker Chery Auto.

The light diesel engine project of Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) to be built in Chongqing will be the largest overseas auto-parts facility of Fiat. The project is planned to have investment of 1.8 billion yuan from Fiat and will produce 100,000 engines annually, 70% of which will be exported. The engines for export will have components supplied by SAIC Fiat Powertrain Hongyan Co, a joint venture between SAIC-Iveco Commercial Vehicle Company, Fiat Powertrain Technologies and Chongqing Municipality.

Previously, Fiat Group and SAIC had jointly invested 4.7 billion yuan to establish SAIC-Iveco Commercial Vehicle Company and SAIC Fiat Powertrain HongYan Company as joint ventures for making heavy trucks and engines.

Fiat terminated its joint venture with Nanjing Auto at the end of last year and its Nanjing facility was bought up by SAIC along with the Nanjing carmaker in early 2008.

Before it secures any new joint venture or OEM project in China, Fiat has re-entered China's passenger vehicle market by selling the imported Fiat cars. On August 21, Fiat launched its three imported models -- Bravo, Linea, and Grande Punto onto the Chinese market, with their prices ranged 148,800 yuan to 219,000 yuan.

The imports of Fiat models to China will consolidate the Italian carmaker presence and profit in this fast-growing market. And this will improve the Fiat brand image and help Fiat find new partners in this booming country. However, it will be a huge challenge for Fiat to locally produce its authentic Fiat cars as the imported ones in China to meet the needs of increasingly demanding Chinese customers.

To survive the fierce competition in the Chinese auto market, all global automakers must have three driving factors behind their success: strong local carmakers as their partners, introduction or local production of a series of vehicle models with precise market orientation, and competitive supply system in the country.

Fiat should learn lessons from its joint venture with Nanjing Auto. If its local production of the key auto-parts, among others, had been high, the venture might be still operating smoothly now. Plus, the powerful strength and support of their local partners will largely determine the success of global carmakers in China, as proven by the achievements of General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

Its choice of a strong and supportive partner in China will surely push Fiat into the fast lane to its recovery and growth in China. We believe that Fiat will be restored to its former glory on Chinese soil before long.
I think in Fiat they don't understand how important is chinese car market. If theyhave no security in their partner they will never produce nothing in china.

Now, some chinese carmaker are call to prove to Fiat their honesty. Only the future can say us what shuold happen..
Fiat's new Chinese ventures awaiting approval.

February 5, 2009 - Italian automaker Fiat has found new Chinese partners after its Nanjing fiasco . Its multiple tie-ups with Chery Auto, Guangzhou Auto and Changan Suzuki are awaiting the approval of China’s auto regulatory bodies, reported 21st Century Business Herald today. The joint venture applications may have results next month.

At the end of 2007, Fiat terminated its Chinese partnership with Nanjing Auto, which was soon acquired by China's auto giant SAIC. And in 2008, Fiat transferred some of its equipment and technologies to Zotye Auto, and imported several of its new models such as Linea and Grande Punto to China to keep its presence in the Chinese market while seeking new partners in the country.

Back in August 2007, Fiat and Chery signed an initial deal to form a joint venture that could start operation in 2009. But the two companies were divided on some detail on what models to make in the JV: Chery Auto hoped to make Fiat's Alfa Romeo model only, but Fiat required Chery to introduce more Fiat models. That hassle has delayed their final agreement at some cost.

In late 2008, Guangzhou Auto inked a formal pact with Fiat to develop its own-brand model on the Alfa Romeo platform. Guangzhou Auto has bought the technologies of Fiat's Alfa Romeo model, including its platform and power system.

The Linea and Grande Punto that are now sold in China as imported Fiat models, as well as the Palio that was previously made in Nanjing Fiat, may be produced in the coming Guangzhou Fiat venture. It’s unclear yet what Fiat models Chery will make.

Changan Suzuki will make Fiat's Sedici, a crossover model jointly developed by Fiat and Suzuki in Europe. Suzuki's European facility has OEM operations for Fiat, and the Japanese carmaker's Chinese venture said it could do the same job.
Fiat Marks 500 Launch in China with 100 “First Edition” Models

The first Fiat 500 to make its way into China was presented today in Shanghai by Fiat Group Executive Vice President for International Operations, Lorenzo Sistino.

To celebrate the launch, Fiat crafted a special version named 500 “First Edition” featuring bodywork graphics by five young Chinese designers. The special edition will be available in a limited run of just 100 numbered units ahead of the city car’s regular launch in China on September 15.

The 500 “First Edition” is based on the Lounge trim featuring a three-coat pearlescent white body color, red leather interior and special badges on the door pillars. It is equipped with the 1.4-liter MultiAir engine that delivers 101HP and is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

The normal 500 that arrives in China in September will feature the same engine and gearbox offering buyers a choice of three trim levels (Pop, Sport and Lounge), 12 body colours, 9 color-material combinations for the upholstery and two interior trims (black or ivory).

All who place an order for the Fiat 500 between July 12 and September 15 will automatically enter a draw with the winner being able to exchange his or her car with one of the 100 “First Edition” models.

Sistino said the 500 hatchback will be followed next year by the 500C convertible and the “500 by Gucci” version, while he also revealed that next year Fiat will launch a new saloon made in its Chinese plant in Changsha with its local partner GAC.

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It'll start out as a "niche" - mobile but the Chinese will no doubt eventually warm to the Fiat 500 and buy it up in large numbers, once they've driven it.
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