Ind Auto Ltd, manufacturer of Fiat vehicles in India, is extending its low-price strategy to mid-size cars. At the peak of the price war in the small car segment, after Telco launched the Indica in end-December 1998, Ind Auto slashed the prices of its Fiat Uno, making the standard petrol version, the cheapest car in the country.
Ind Auto has introduced its much-awaited Siena with an attractive ex-showroom tag of Rs 5.5 lakh for the petrol version. That makes Siena the second cheapest vehicle in the mid-size segment.
Siena's diesel version, priced at Rs 6.14 lakh, is the cheapest diesel vehicle in the segment. The deluxe variants of the petrol and diesel versions are also competitively priced - at Rs 5.74 lakh and Rs 6.14 lakh.
The competitive pricing, attractive features, the look, and Fiat's known quality standards, will give Siena's rivals Esteem (from Maruti), Cielo (Daewoo) and City (Honda) a hard time maintaining sales volumes. And there's more to come. Not from Ind Auto, but from other car makers.
The Accent from Hyundai, Corsa from General Motors, Fiesta from Ford, Nubira from Daewoo, and a bigger version of Telco's Indica -- are set to enter the market this year. Siena's base petrol version has the following features:
- 1,242-cc engine
- front and rear fog lights
- a third brake light
- central locking
- power windows
- six-speaker, CD-compatible steroe system
- rear window de-froster
- body coloured bumpers
The diesel version will have a 1,697-cc turbo diesel engine. The additional features of the deluxe versions are:
- climate control system
- heated rear window
- front and rear seat belts
- door mirrors adjustable from inside
- luggage compartment opening from inside
Ind-Auto has evolved a dealer-based booking system in which a dealer is allotted a certain number of vehicles and is allowed to accept bookings only to that extent. A minimum of Rs 1 lakh will have to be paid at the time of booking. The company plans to deliver 2,000 cars up to June 1999, and 7,000 by the end of the year.
Ind-Auto offers a warranty of one year and unlimited kilometres on mechanical components. In addition, there will be a two-year paint warranty and a five-year anti-perforation warranty on structural parts.