Fiat do Brasil has started Doblò van production in its Betim plant, Minas Gerais state. The automaker will launch the new model at the end of November, writes Rogério Louro Alves.

Fiat is producing the Brazilian Doblò in both passenger and cargo van versions following an investment of about $US130 million in the Betim plant.

The Brazilian Doblò is offered with two petrol engines: an 80bhp 1.3-litre or a 106bhp 1.6-litre, both with 16-valve cylinder heads.

Fiat is launching the Doblò in Brazil to compete with the Argentinean-made Renault Kangoo and Citroën Berlingo/Peugeot Partner.

It expects to sell about 1,500 units a month with a sales mix of about 70 percent passenger and 30 percent Doblò Cargo versions.

The Betim plant also produces Fiat's Fiorino van and the Mille (a Uno-based model with one-litre engine), Palio, Brava and Marea passenger car ranges.