Fiat in India: Realigning the Joint Venture with Tata Motors




Case Details Case Introduction 1 Case Introduction 2 Case Excerpts

Abstract

The relationship between Italian automotive major Fiat SpA and India’s Tata Motors to tap the Indian market started with a distribution and service alliance in 2005. This later went on to become a 50:50 industrial Joint Venture (named Fiat India Automobiles Limited) in 2007. Both the companies agreed to a joint distribution network, a back-end support system, and co-manufacturing of products including engine and technology sharing at Fiat’s facility at Ranjangaon in Maharashtra.

While the industrial JV was yet to break even by 2012, the distribution arrangement too failed to live up to expectations and both Fiat and Tata Motors suffered losses. After witnessing a fall in the sales of Fiat branded cars and accumulating huge losses in the JV, Fiat announced that it would exit the joint-branded dealership agreement with Tata Motors. The company decided to go it alone after it sensed the step-motherly treatment faced by prospective Fiat car buyers at the Tata-Fiat showrooms. However, the break up of the JV was only at the dealership level.

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Issuess

The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Analyze the integration capabilities of Fiat in relation to its operations in India.
  • Understand various issues and challenges in strategic alliances, particularly in cross-border joint ventures.
  • Examine trends in the Indian automotive industry and the rationale for the alliance between Tata Motors and Fiat.
  • Examine what went wrong with the alliance and how the problems could have been averted.
  • Understand what actions the companies should take to salvage the industrial joint venture in light of the reverses in the alliance between them.
  • Discuss the strategies that Fiat could adopt to build its competitive position in India.

Contents
Introduction
Fiat
Tata Motors
Tata-Fiat Joint Venture
Rationale Of The Alliance
Teaming Up
Competition
Internal Issues
The JV Revival Efforts
Fiat Drives Alone
The Road Ahead
Exhibit

Keywords

Strategic alliance; Joint venture; International management; Strategic position; Strategic capabilities; Integration capabilities; Competition; Distribution strategy; Turnaround strategy; Indian passenger car market; Fiat; Tata Motors;

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