Pune: Fiat India Automobiles (FIAL) has begun production of the C-plus segment offering Linea at the Tata Motors-Fiat facility at Ranjangaon. The first sedan has rolled off the assembly line to the hum of vedic chants and religious rituals.
The company is planning to launch the car commercially by the middle of next month.
Rajeev Kapoor, managing director and CEO, FIAL, said the car will be distributed by Tata-Fiat dealers but declined to reveal its pricing details.
The company is rolling out the Linea on a brand new platform. It is also the first all new Fiat model to be launched in India in seven years. It will come powered by either a 1248cc 16-valve multijet diesel (which powers the Tata Indica Vista) or the 1368cc, 16-valve FIRE petrol engine. Both engines will have the all new C510 5-speed gearbox. The Linea will be available in six variants, with both diesel (1.3 l) and petrol (1.4 l) engine options. The localisation content in the car at present is 55 per cent which will rise to 90 per cent by December 2009.
It is expected that by the time of launch the company would have 2000 units in all its dealers for immediate sale.
Kapoor said, ''The new car will help in the establishment of the Fiat brand in a new avatar.''
The company is increasing the number of sales from 60 to around 100 by the end of January 2009, and expects to sell 2,500 units a month a few months into commercial launch, he added.
The Ranjangaon plant near Pune was set up as a Rs4,000-crore 50:50 joint venture project between Tata Motors and Fiat. The plant has an installed capacity to produce 200,000 cars and 300,000 powertrains per annum.
The facility has been rolling out the Palio Stile for the last 6-7 months, plus also a few units of the first generation Tata Indica on a smaller line. It is expected that the Fiat Grande Punto as well as the next generation Tata Indigo would also roll off this very line shortly.
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