In India, Tata Motors and Fiat announced an agreement Friday that will see the automakers share their dealer networks in India and Europe. Fiat currently ranks a weak 11th in the fast-growing Indian market, and the cost-conscious Italian automaker hopes an alliance with third-ranked Tata Motors will increase its market presence. Tata hopes to increase sales of its truck and bus models in Europe, where it has established a beachhead through its investment in Spanish bus manufacturer Hispano Carrocera.
Moving further north, Fiat announced last week an expanded agreement with Russian distributor Severstal Auto, who will now start production of Fiat's inexpensive Palio hatchback (pictured), Albea sedan and Doblo light truck. Severstal is carrying the entire cost of the joint venture, putting Fiat in a can't-lose situation in another fast growing market.