Auto major Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on Wednesday said it will invest $150 million (around Rs 1,103 crore) to set up a global digital hub in Hyderabad to help the group develop new technologies to cater to its automotive operations across the globe.
The facility, which is FCA's largest digital hub outside of North America, would create nearly 1,000 jobs by the end of next year.
"While reviewing our strategy last year, we knew the next step for us to set up a global digital hub which would serve as transformation and innovation engine for Fiat Chrysler and drive global technology strategy and delivery experience through robust platform, technology and service centres of excellence," FCANorth America and Asia Pacific CIO Mamatha Chamarthi said at a virtual event.
In less than twelve months, the automaker has made this vision a reality, she added.
"It is my privilege to announce that FCA is committing $150 million in India towards the set-up and growth of the new global digital hub. This investment will help create nearly 1,000 new jobs by the end of 2021," Chamarthi said.
The digital hub would help to digitalise every aspect of Fiat Chrysler's automotive operations globally and within India, drive the shift from legacy technologies to digital and modernise the company's existing applications and product portfolio, she added.
The Hyderabad centre would operate as a fully integrated part of Fiat Chrysler's global team and attract best digital talent in India, Chamarthi said.
"It will focus on niche technology areas like connected vehicle services, date sciences, cloud services among others," she added.
In the digital era, data is the new currency and the company aims 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 customers' expectations, Chamarthi said.
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, she noted.
FCA has a major presence in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, with headquarters in Mumbai, and employs over 3,000 people in the country.
With the global digital hub, the automaker will be expanding its presence in Telangana.
The company has a joint venture vehicle and powertrain manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon in Maharashtra and its engineering and product development operations are located in Pune and Chennai.
“The $150 million investment to set up a Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad, Telangana, cements our continued commitment to India and our customers," FCA India president and managing director Partha Datta said.
FCA ICT India will be the company's technology backbone that will not only help it develop products for future mobility but will also sharpen efforts to enhance customer-centricity, he added.
"This is a significant step forward in realising our vision to make our Indian operations more capable to develop digitally-driven products and technologies locally for India and also for the world," Datta said.
FCA India manufactures Jeep Compass SUV in Ranjangaon and exports the model to 13 international right-hand drive markets, including Japan and Australia.
The company is now gearing up to launch a number of new and exciting products in 2021.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) designs, engineers, manufactures, distributes and sells vehicles under the Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram, SRT brands as well as luxury cars under the Maserati brands.
Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters