Weststar Associates, Nigeria’s official representative of Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and RAM has disclosed its intention to launch Fiat, one of European’s leading brand in Nigeria comes this May.
The company’s decision to launch the new brand, according to the Managing Director of Weststar, Mirko Plath, was motivated by Weststar Associates desire to offer Nigerian auto enthusiast the opportunity to own one of the best-selling brands in Europe.
Mr. Plath who did not revealed the exact models of Fiat to be unveiled in Nigeria however stated that Nigerians should expect about four models at the initial launch.
According to him, 2016 was a difficult year going by the economic indices, but expressed his optimism that 2017 will be better. He assured Nigerians of the quality, durability and ambience of the models when they eventually hit the Nigerian market in May.
From all indications, therefore, launch of Fiat models in Nigeria will widen Weststar’s market web 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.
Although information released on Friday about the Fiat launch was sketchy, during the launch in May, Weststar shall be expected to also answer questions regarding plans towards setting up Fiat manufacturing plant in Nigeria, a move that would enable the company to enjoy incentives provided via the Nigerian auto policy.
Fiat is one of the oldest automakers in the world having been founded in 1899 in Italy. It 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.
In Africa, the plant is located in South Africa, from which it commenced assembly of passenger cars in 1950, and full production in its Rosslyn plant from 1966.
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.