By Adejuwon Osunnuyi
Nigeria’s official representative of Fiat Chrysler and authorized General Distributor of Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and RAM, Weststar Associates Limited has finalised plans to launch leading European brand, Fiat into the Nigeria’s automobile market.
The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Mirko Plath, made the announcement on Friday, during a Media parley with motoring journalists in Lagos.
According to Plath, the launch, which is expected to be witnessed by Nigeria’s President, Mohammadu Buhari would be held in May, 2017.
The DailyBells Nigeria reports that the decision to bring the Fiat brand into the Nigeria’s automobile market might not be unconnected with the company’s continuous faith in the Nigerian economy and desire to offer Nigerian auto consumers opportunity to own one of the best-selling brands in Europe.
Speaking during the parley, Plath said, “Although things were difficult last year, however, we are optimistic that 2017 shall be a better year. Come May, therefore, we shall be launching four models of Fiat brand into the Nigerian market.”
Automobile lovers might look forward to Fiat 2017 models which include Fiat 500 three-door Hatch, 500 Abarth and 500C Abarth.
Fiat 500 three-door hatchback and 500c convertible fall between a city car and subcompact. While the 500 Abarth and 500c Abarth are said to feature a serious dose of performance, thanks to the 160 hp 1.4 L turbocharged engine. Added to the brand line-up for the year 2017 is a four-door, five-passenger car, a much larger 500L.
Already being manufactured in South Africa are: Fiat 500 Hatch Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 500C, Fiat 500X, Fiat 500E, Fiat 124 Spider and Fiat 500L.
With the launch, Weststar’s market web is expected to be widen from luxury automobiles to medium , Mini and super-mini automobile segment, a move that would enable it to slice into the market being enjoyed by the likes of Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Toyota.
FIAT, which in Italian, translates to Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, is a brand of Fiat Italy SPA, the largest automobile manufacturer in Italy, and part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a name that was born following Fiat Group’s acquisition of 20% stake in US automaker, Chrysler LLC, in 2009, a deal which saw return of Fiat to North America after 25 years.
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