Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that it will invest $150 million (Rs 1,110 crore) to set up a new Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad, Telangana. The new facility, FCA ICT India, is said to become the company’s largest digital hub outside of the company’s North America and EMEA – Europe, Middle East and Africa - operations.
- New Global Technology Hub to create around 1,000 jobs
- Focus on vehicle programs, artificial intelligence and more
- Chennai research and development centre to be expanded
FCA’s new Global Digital Hub
FCA says that the new centre will create around 1,000 “new cutting-edge technology jobs” by the end of 2021 with the company planning to increase hiring over the next two to three years. The global digital hub will serve as a “transformation and innovation engine” for FCA and will focus on building strategic competencies in niche technology areas such as connected vehicle programs, artificial intelligence, data accelerators, and cloud technologies, among others.
Commenting on the decision, Mamatha Chamarthi, CIO, FCA, North America and Asia Pacific said, “Our goal is to build an innovation powerhouse that harnesses the intelligence enabled by data to build exciting new products and services to deliver at the speed of our customers’ expectations. One of the key objectives of FCA ICT India is to digitalise every aspect of FCA’s automotive operations globally and within India, and to shift from legacy to digital through adoption of emerging technologies.”
The company says the availability of talent coupled with a culture of innovation and pro-business policies played a major role in FCA’s decision to set-up the facility in Hyderabad. The new centre will also expand FCA’s relationships with several ecosystem partners, including strategic partners, start-ups, digital accelerators and universities, to accelerate our innovation agenda.
FCA ICT to be technological backbone
“We are working closely with strategic technology partners to accelerate our talent and competency ramp-up at FCA ICT India,” said Karim Lalani, director and head of FCA ICT India.
“We foresee our global digital hub driving innovation in multiple areas, including customer safety, connected mobility and digital showroom experience,” he added.
The Global Digital Hub will expand FCA’s presence in Telangana. The company has a joint venture vehicle and powertrain manufacturing facility with Tata Motors in Ranjangaon, Maharashtra with engineering and product development operations located in Pune and Chennai.
“FCA ICT India will be our technology backbone that will not only help us develop products for future mobility but will also sharpen our efforts to enhance customer-centricity. This is a significant step forward in realizing our vision to make our Indian operations more capable to develop digitally-driven products and technologies locally for India and also for the world,” commented Partha Datta, president and MD, FCA India.
Datta also revealed that FCA was looking to expand its research and development centre in Chennai.
FCA’s plans for India
From the brands under the FCA banner, presently only Jeep and Maserati are present in India with FCA having pulled the plug on Fiat a while back.
Starting with Jeep, the carmaker is set to launch the recently revealed Jeep Compass facelift, next year. Also on the cards is a seven-seat SUV based on the Compass platform and two other SUVs with one likely to be the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Also in the works is a sub-four metre SUV expected to arrive in 2022.
Moving to Maserati, the Italian carmaker is expected to bring its MC20 supercar to India next year along with the performance-oriented Trofeo iterations of its models such as the Quattroporte and Ghibli.