A couple days back we told you that some of the leading car manufacturers, like Maruti Suzuki, General Motors, Hyundai and Toyota, are all gearing up to bring in more of their cars in LPG and CNG options. And now we have another car manufacturer added to the list. We are talking about Fiat India.
Fiat India has decided to contribute to the makings of a healthier environment by announcing its plans of launching CNG variant of its current hot property, Grande Punto. And though we do not have an official word on when the launch might happen, we speculate it to happen by early 2011. Earlier also there were speculations that the company was planning to start in CNG cars categories as well. And the same rumour got a base when the company showcased a concept of the same at the auto expo 2010.
“Yes, we are going to launch the CNG versions of the Punto in the first quarter of 2011 in the Indian market more than ever. We will exclaim the word, ‘Make CNG’, but not before two more models of our super successful Punto gets rolled out.”Mr. Tarun Khanna, head of marketing, Fiat India was heard as saying on different set of plans that the company has.
The official unveiling of the technical specifications of CNG Punto would take some time, but we bring you a basic idea of the new car anyways. The CNG variant of the Punto is expected to have a 1.2 liter engine, and price will be kept competitive by placing it in between its active and dynamic variants.
Some of the company sources have revealed that initially the company will launch the CNG Punto in the active variant only. And if it gets a nod from the demanding Indian consumers, Fiat will bring on the same in the dynamic variant too.
Additionally, Fiat India is also focusing on increasing its market share by launching a car smaller than the Punto. The new car, equipped with a 1.0 liter engine, would make it to the Indian roads in 2012.
Rajeev Kapoor, President and CEO, Fiat India, “Our new small car, smaller than the Punto and powered by a 1.0-litre engine, would hit in 2012 and we expect it to be a volume product for the company.”
And this small car would be a treat to the eyes as it will borrow quite a few design cues from the beautiful Grande Punto. The development of this small car is likely to be a joint effort by the company’s Italian and Indian engineers.
Chances are that this small car could be the 2012 Fiat Palio that we have been talking about for quite some time now. The new small car could be based on the new Fiat Uno’s platform.
All this planning is good, now only if Fiat could do something about its ailing after-sales services.