ITALY'S Fiat Group signed Friday a 'no holds barred' agreement with Tata Motors to share the latter's dealer network to sell Fiat cars in the country, and in return give the Indian auto giant access to its technology and marketing support abroad.
"Two big companies have come together looking at opportunities not confined to India but spreading to other places of the world," Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata said after signing the deal with Fiat Spa CEO Sergio Marchionne at the eighth Auto Expo in New Delhi.
The agreement, groundwork for which was being laid for some months now after the two companies signed an MoU, will see the beleaguered Fiat share Tata's dealer network, which encompasses the sale of Fiat branded cars through select outlets across India.
Tata termed the agreement as an "evolving relationship with no barriers and boundaries." Asked how it would help Tata Motors, he said it not only provided the company access to Fiat's technology, but could also see the companies sharing platforms in the coming time.
Commenting on the agreement, Marchionne said the joint Tata- Fiat team was doing an excellent job "and I am confident that our cooperation with Tata will further expand in the areas of product development, manufacturing and sourcing".
The Fiat CEO admitted that his company was facing tough times in India and said that the agreement with the Tatas was a "recognition of the fact that we do need to do work in this market."
"Tata Motors is the producer of valuable products in this market. We go forward with assistance and help of Tata Motors," he said.
The agreement will also see a "targeted selection" of Fiat cars and the Tata products range, along with service ad sale of spare parts, being available at Tata dealership network from March 2006.
The Fiat CEO said the deal with Tatas in no way affected the company's agreements with other automakers, including Ashok Leyland and Maruti.
Fiat unveiled the 'Grande Punto' and the 'Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione' at the Expo. It also displayed a 1.2-liter Palio NV Sport variant. On the other hand, Tata Motors unveiled its concept car 'X-over' (pronounced Crossover) and a long wheel-base version of the mid-size 'Indigo', among other vehicles.
Press Trust of India