Kewalram Chanrai group plans FCA market comeback
The stage is now set for what is likely to be one of the most remarkable brand resurgences that, the Nigerian auto market has ever witnessed as Fiat and Jeep re-enter the competitive sedan, SUV and Pick-up segment with an array of current models.
With this development, both the Fiat and Jeep rated among the two world’s iconic brands will now be making a market comeback on the back of the country’s auto marketing giants, Kewalram Chanrai Group (KCG), which intends to leverage on its customer relationship and nationwide after-sales network to further endear the products to the hearts of the vehicle buying public.
But, ahead of a formal take-over announcement and re-launch, KCG is lining up the latest models of the brands’ offerings, in addition to investing hugely in sales and after-sales facilities, in order to ensure that customers have pleasant ownership experience henceforth.
According to Victor Eburajolo, group deputy managing director while speaking on the impending return of Fiat and Jeep, he disclosed that the KCG, has been meticulously planning towards ensuring that the vehicles have sure-footed penetration into the market when officially launched in the next few weeks.
KCG is also preparing vintage spots in its network for Jeep’s sister brand, Dodge, as well as Alfa Romeo and Maserati, from the side of Fiat.
Tipo, the 1.6 litre C-segment sedan marking its first 30 years of functionality, simplicity and personality, is the car leading Fiat’s come-back to Nigeria.
Boosting Tipo’s confidence is not just its six airbags and six-speed automatic transmission, but also the fact that, it is the car with the highest growth rate in Europe, and the choice of over 180,000 motorists in the Middle East and Africa region.
Tipo will be accompanied by its pick-up sibling, Fiat Fullback which is one of the first pick-ups in the world with an all-aluminium engine, which translates to lightweight and efficiency. The 2.4 litre pick-up will be available in 4×4, 4×2, single cabin and double cabin variants. It has up to 3100Kg towing capacity.
The coming of Fullback will certainly give existing competing Pick-up models something to worry about. This is because having been enhanced technologically; the Fullback pick-up has a good price-value reputation and boasts the smallest turning circle in the class at just under 12m.
Excitement also awaits lovers of the iconic Jeep brand, as Diamantidis confirmed that the latest models of the luxury SUV brand, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (3.6 V6) and SRT (6.4 v8); the all-new 3.6-V6 Wrangler Sahara trim levels: and 2.4-liter Compass Limited, are rearing to dare the competitors.
As the launch of the new brands beckons, Kewalram is also preparing spaces for the Dodge brand in the new showrooms and service centres, from where the 7-seater Durango driven by a 3.6 V6 engine, and Challenger Hellcat (with a 6.2 litre super-charged power-plant producing 700bhp).
Ebuarjolo is upbeat about the success of the brands that KCG is poised to unleash on the market, saying, hinting that Fiat’s Tipo has got more than what it takes to impress the Nigerian market with its beautiful design, safety features and roominess.
“Nigerians are very familiar with Jeep brand of unique suvs which are known across the world for their luxury, toughness, and remarkable off-road capability. The Wrangler, for instance, has an enviable reputation of being a go-anywhere do anything vehicle that can conquer any terrain.”
With many Italian brands already on board, it will not be a surprise if one more name pops up on the Group’s list: Ferrari. The world’s most powerful brand is currently building an SUV (or Ferrari utility vehicle, FUV).