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|3rd April 2007, 21:23||#1|
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Fiat plans Punto and Linea in 2008
Fiat’s hatchback Grande Punto and sedan Linea were expected to be launched in India by mid-2008,said Stefan Ketter, senior vice-president, manufacturing, Fiat Group Automobiles. Both are mid-size cars. Fiat and Tata Motors, in an industrial joint venture for cars and engines, on Monday formally opened their Ranjangaon plant near Pune. The plant has a capacity to produce one lakh cars and two lakh engines every year for the Indian and foreign markets. Ketter said the Punto and the Linea would roll out from this plant. Fiat and Tata Motors will invest 50% each in the Rs 4,000-crore facility.
The Grande Punto— with 1.3-litre petrol and diesel engines—would compete with the Maruti Swift, the Indica, the Indica Xeta, the Getz Prime, the Aveo UV-A and Fiat’s own Palio. Linea is also likely to be powered by the Grande Punto’s 1.3 litre multi-jet engines. The Linea will compete with the Tatas’ Indigo, the Maruti’s Esteem, Mahindra-Renault’s Logan, the Chevrolet Aveo and the Hyundai Accent.
The Ranjangaon plant will manufacture engines for Tata Motors’ new-generation cars, but not for the planned Rs 1-lakh-car from the Tata stable.
Giovanni De Filippis, managing director, Fiat India, said the new alliance, would use new models and higher localisation levels to help record greater sales for Fiat.
“Ever since the Fiat-Tata alliance came into being, the Palio’s sales have doubled,” De Filippis said. Rajiv Dubey, president, car business unit, Tata Motors, added that 60% of the new sales of the Palio, including its Petra and Adventure versions, came from the Tata-Fiat joint dealership. The sales of these cars went up from 126 units a month last year to about 300 units. The company expects to double this in 2007.
Fiat plans mid-size blitz in 2008
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