The new compact SUV could be a revised version of the Sedici which the Italian automaker sells in Europe. FIAT might introduce this car in the country with certain modification to suit Indian driving conditions. The Sedici is manufactured in Hungary by Suzuki Motors and is based on the well known SX4 platform. At present FIAT porfolio in India does not include a SUV apart from the Linea sedan and the Punto hatchback.
Now, the Sedici was first introduced in 2006 at the Geneva motor show and was developed in collaboration with Suzuki motors. The more eagle-eyed folks would recognize the similarities between the SX4 in India and the Sedici as the Sedici is a high riding hatchback version of the SX4. The original Sedici was the creation of world famous designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and comes with an optional all-wheel drive. The car can switched from 4×2 to 4×4 with the touch of a button.
FIAT might opt for the 1.3 litre oil burner for the India bound Sedici as the competition which could mainly come from Mahindra & Mahindra as well as Renault. Mahindra is also coming up with a mini Xylo by next year while Maruti Suzuki is working on the R III MPV. Renault will also be launching the Duster SUV which will be priced below Rs 10 lakh.
There is immense scope for a five-seat SUV in the market as there are very few vehicles that offer space for five at a reasonable cost. Hence, the upcoming cars like the FIAT Sedici and the Renault Duster could be very important for both these companies. More importantly for FIAT who’s losses for 2009-10 stood at Rs 290 Cr. Thus, the Sedici could revive FIAT from the worst of times and could be the game changer for the Italian automaker in India.