Monday, 30th October 2017

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Fiat to upgrade Linea

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  • Published 2.11.09

New Delhi, Nov. 2: Italian car maker Fiat is planning to launch an advanced version of the mid-sized sedan Linea next year after it received a good response for the car.

Sources say Fiat will showcase the upgraded model at the auto expo scheduled to be held in January next year. The car is likely to be powered by either a 1.6-litre or a 1.9-litre diesel engine.

Fiat has sold about 10,000 units of the Linea since its launch in January this year. At present, the car has a 1.3-litre diesel and a 1.4-litre petrol engine. Fiat has also been able to sell 5,000 units of the Grande Punto so far.

The company plans to start exporting the Linea and the Punto; it has shipped 250 units to South Africa.

In the first phase, the company will cater to neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan and later consider venturing into markets such as New Zealand and Australia.

Sources say the Italian firm is also exploring options to manufacture light commercial vehicles in India with capacity to carry loads between 0.8 tonnes and 1.8 tonnes.

Silverio Bonfiglioli, chief operating officer of Fiat Group Automobiles International, said, “We have sufficient capacity to build light commercial vehicles in India. Our passenger car segment is growing at a good rate and, as the market develops for Fiat vehicles, we might think of manufacturing light commercial vehicles in India.”

Bonfiglioli said the new light commercial vehicle would meet the requirements of the domestic as well as international markets.

“The capacity of light commercial vehicles would be in the range of 0.8-1.8 tonnes. But all this will take a lot of time to start,” he said.

The Fiat group is also in the process of developing a small car for India. The car, priced between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 4 lakh, will be rolled out of the company’s manufacturing facility at Ranjangaon near Pune.

Suzuki forecast

Suzuki Motor today revised upwards its operating profit forecast for this year at 40 billion yen ($444.22 million), a four-fold increase from its previous target, buoyed by booming sales in India.

The revision comes despite the firm witnessing a 63.4 per cent decline in bottomline in the first half of this fiscal to 12.5 billion yen ($138.83 million) from 34.23 billion yen ($380.11 million) in the year-ago period because of weak sales. Suzuki had earlier forecast operating profit at 10 billion yen ($111.05 million).