Fiat has started production of its Linea model in India, part of its joint venture with Tata Motors. The car will be assembled at its Ranjangaon plant located near Pune in Maharashtra.
The company said that its 200-acre facility now has a completely equipped body shop, assembly line, a paint shop which is to be commissioned shortly and a powertrain plant.
Linea is a C plus segment sedan which was launched internationally in May 2007 in Istanbul.
The launch of Linea will be followed by the Grande Punto, which will also be manufactured from the Ranjangaon facility.
A commercial launch for the mid-sized sedan is slated for next month
Fiat India Automobiles recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Maharashtra to enhance the capacities at the plant. Apart from manufacturing Fiat and Tata cars, the facility will also produce powertrain engines. When at full capacity, the plant will produce up to 200,000 cars, 300,000 engines and 300,000 parts & accessories.
Rajeev Kapoor, CEO, Fiat India Automobiles Ltd said: “The start of production of Linea is an important milestone for us and is a significant step in fulfilling the promise we had made to at the Auto Expo in New Delhi earlier this year. The plant has made progress as planned and all the facilities are set to move into top gear from hereon.”
He added that the company had also commenced exporing from the plant and would continue to do so to utilise the capacities at the plant.
Exports of the 1.2 Palio petrol have commenced to to South Africa and the company said it will also look at prospective right hand drive markets for the export of other products.
The products exported from the Ranjangaon plant will include versions of the Palio, Linea and Grande Punto.