Suzuki, Fiat looking to strengthen ties?
Fiat may be looking to expand its alliance with Suzuki as it tries to expand its presence in India.
As Fiat's partnership with Tata fizzles out, industry analysts speculate that the Italian automaker may be looking to expand its relationship with Suzuki in order to make inroads into India, Asia's third-largest new car market.
Sales at Fiat and Tata's joint venture in India fell by 24 percent for the last fiscal year, and the two automakers also recently ended a deal that had allowed Fiat to sell vehicles at Tata dealerships for the past six years.
"Clearly, the Tata venture has not really worked out," said Ashvin Chotai, managing director at industry researcher Intelligence Automotive Asia. "Tata has too many things in its own ventures to worry about, especially after Jaguar Land Rover."
The diminishing of Fiat's relationship with Tata could mean an increased alliance with Suzuki, which currently accounts for 42 percent of the Indian market. Fiat would benefit from Suzuki's dealer network and expertise in the region, while Suzuki would gain increased access to Fiat's diesel motors and dealerships in developing markets, according to an Automotive News report.
Neither automaker has officially commented on the potential partnership, although they do have a history of collaboration: Fiat has supplied Suzuki with diesel motors since 2009, and the two companies jointly developed an SUV that hit the market in 2006.
However, Suzuki may be wary of further tie-ups after its partnership with Volkswagen failed spectacularly and is now being resolved in court.