Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fiat launches Grande Punto

A week after Honda entered the small car segment in the Indian market, Italian auto major Fiat Wednesday launched the globally available Grande Punto, its third small car offering in the country.

"The launch of Grande Punto marks a new milestone for Fiat in India as we bring the quintessentially Italian designs to Indian shores," Fiat India chief executive Rajeev Kapoor said.

The car, to be priced between Rs.3.11 lakh and Rs.6.11 lakh ex-showroom in Delhi, will be rolled out from the company's Ranjangaon plant in Maharashtra. It will come in four variants with three engine options - two petrol and one diesel.

Grande Punto, which follows Fiat's sedan launched in January, was first launched in the European market in 2005. India will be the third country after Italy and Brazil where it will be manufactured.

The car is sold in over 209 countries, creating a lot of scope for exports from the 200,000-unit capacity plant in Ranjangaon.

"We will start exporting soon but our priority is the domestic market," Fiat Italy's sales and marketing director Giorgio Gorelli said.

The company will also consider India as a global hub for its small cars at a future date.

It has set up a dedicated team in the capital to explore component exports from India, said Fiat's global chief operating officer Silvio Bonfiglioli.

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