Fiat India Rajeev Kapur launches the 90hp Multijet diesel Grand Punto this week

Fiat India Rajeev Kapur launches the 90hp Multijet diesel Grand Punto this week

 

Fiat India Automobiles is working on a new small car for the local market. It has already conducted a feasibility study and wants a major share of the burgeoning small car sector.

The new model is still a couple of years or so away, though.

“The car would likely be introduced in India sometime in 2012,” Fiat India CEO Rajeev Kapur told just-auto on the sidelines of the launch of the Grande Punto with a new diesel engine.

The proposed new small car would be manufactured at Fiat’s Ranjangaon plant in Pune and compete in a segment which accounts for about 60% of the Indian car market.

The new car will be positioned below the successful Punto in India.

“The new small car would be priced below the Punto,” Kapur said. It would be designed simultaneoulsy in Turin & India and right hand versions would be exported.

“We will definitely look for right hand markets globally for exports,” Kapur said.

Fiat India currently manufactures Punto, Linea and Palio models at its Ranjangaon factory in Pune.

Kapur confirmed the lowest-selling model, the ageing Palio, would soon be axed from the Indian Fiat line.

Kapur also said Fiat India had no plans to revive the Uno.

The automaker sold around 23,000 units in total last year and would likely reach about 45,000 units in 2010 thanks to demand for the newer Punto and Linea models.

In the meantime, Fiat has added the 90hp Multijet diesel engine to the Grand Punto creating a new segment in the diesel hatchback segment - so far only up to 75hp was available locally.

“We have further broadened the platform by launching the Multijet 90hp engine,” Kapur said.

Fiat India Automobiles is a 50-50 joint venture between Fiat Group Automobiles  and Tata Motors which builds its Indica and Manza models there. Ranjangaon can make 200,000 cars and 300,000 engines as well as parts and accessories. It currently builds local variants of Fiat's Palio, Linea and Grande Punto.

About EUR650m has been spent on the plant to date.