New Delhi, Jan 9: In a bid to boost sales and revamp its brand image, Fiat India Automobiles Pvt Ltd (FIPL) today said it will launch its entire product line in the country which will include Grande Punto, Linea, Bravo and Fiat 500 this year.
The joint venture (JV) between Fiat and Tata will see 1.3 litre diesel engine for Punto and Linea being rolled out from the Ranjangaon plant. This will also include joint production of the Fiat power train engine. The 1.3 multijet is developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies. The same technology is used by Suzuki Corporation who has got the licence from Fiat for producing these engines. This engine is also used in Maruti Suzuki Swift.
While Linea and Punto will be assembled in India, Fiat will import the 500 and Bravo from Italy as CBUs. The company also intends to introduce a CNG car in the country by 2009. However, FIPL CEO Rajeev Kapoor declined to comment on prices for the four launches. ''Since the launch will be in the third quarter of the year, it is too early to comment on it,'' he said.
''We will be producing the Fiat models and some on the new versions of Tata models from the Ranjangaon plant,'' FIPL Chairman Ravi Kant said.
Located in Maharashtra, the Ranjangaon plant will manufacture passenger cars, engines and transmissions for the Indian and overseas markets.
Assembly of the new Fiat Palio at Ranjangaon has already commenced and the units will also produce 1.3 litre engine for the new Tata Indica.
The current capacity of of Ranjangaon will be 1,00,000 cars and 2,00,000 engines at an combined investment of Rs 4,000 crores.
Mr Ravi Kant added that Tata motors was also looking at Fiats help in launching its products overseas and did not rule out the possibility of jointly developing a car. Sales of Fiat has been been sluggish with sales of 2,413 units between April and December this year.
However, Fiat Powertrain CEO Alfredo Altavilla said the Joint Venture between the two, though announced two years back, has materialised with the signing of the contract three months back. The year 2008 will see Fiat commence the build-up of the re-establishment of its brand in India and has aggressively lines up its plan to do so.
''Changing the logo, import of Bravo and 500 are all consistent with our plans to ramp up sales in India,'' said Mr Altavilla. The company now plans to sell 70,000 units by 2010.
In past people have not been aware of our brand and the world over Fiat has undertaken aggressive marketing to create the brand awareness. We will be doing whatever it takes in terms of marketing in India, ha added.
Mr Altavilla said he believes Tata's strong brand image will help it consolidate market presence and the JV will help make after sales services more reliable.
Tata and fiat are also increasing its number of dealers across the country from the present 65 to around 100 dealers along with exclusive Fiat dealers.