Mumbai, Oct 29 (ANI): The Indian automobile company, Premier Automobile re-entered the passenger car segment after a hiatus of nine years with the launch of a compact sport utility vehicle, 'Rio' on Wednesday.
Priced around 525,000 rupees for a basic model, the vehicle has been placed between the mid-sized passenger car and larger utility vehicles.
Maitreya Doshi, Chairman and Managing Director, Premier Limited said the company aimed to regain position it had in the car segment decades ago.We are re-entering the passenger car market after nine years. We are very optimistic and keen to be where we have been before," said Doshi.
Premier had launched its popular car "Premier Padmini" in the 1950s in a partnership with Italy's Fiat.
The company has inked a five-year component and kit supply agreement with Chinese carmaker Zotye Group. Premier entered in an agreement with the Chinese firm in 2005, to assemble Rios in its Pune facility.
Doshi defended company's decision to use component and kit supply from a Chinese firm.
'This perception that Chinese is inferior quality is outdated. We have done a rigorous technical evaluation of the product and it is on par if not superior to all available Indian products. We have absolutely no doubt on the quality and the reliability. It is fully certified by the testing authorities etc," he said.
Premier's own BS-III certified 1489cc turbo diesel engine based on French firm, Peugeot technology would be fitted in the vehicle, making the percentage of localisation at around 25 percent.
Premier earlier known as Premier Automobiles Limited was founded by visionary industrialist Walchand Hirachand in 1944. The company rolled out its first car in 1948 in collaboration with Germany's Chrysler Corporation. (ANI)