Fiat to start export of Grande Punto this month

Written by Kavitha Venkatraman | Updated: Nov 15 2009, 03:21am hrs
Fiat India Automobiles Ltd, which is a 50-50 industrial joint venture between Fiat Group Automobiles SpA and Tata Motors Ltd, will start export of its luxury hatchback Grande Punto this month. It will first introduce Punto in South African market where Fiat Linea has already made its foray and later look at other markets like Sri Lanka, Nepal and other Saarc nations.

The company is also planning to roll out two-three variants of both the Linea and the Punto after they are unveiled at the Auto expo in January 2010.

Speaking to FE, Rajeev Kapoor, president and chief executive officer of the company, said, Since its launch in June this year the Punto has earned a lot of attention in the domestic market. On an average we have sales of about 1,500 units per month. So far, we have sold 7,500 units of Punto in India. A new product takes anywhere between eight to 10 months to establish itself in a new market. In that sense the Punto is still establishing itself.

The company would target all right hand drive markets for the Punto and the Linea. Kapoor said, Before the launch of the Linea Fiat was selling only Palio and that too only small numbers, say, 400 units per month. The Linea has captured a 11%-12% share in its segment. As the markets have started growing signs of good growth, the numbers can only improve. said Kapoor.

Talking about the Bravo, he said, The launch has been put on hold primarily because of the market slowdown. Even today there is no space for this car. So we are waiting. In the next two-three months, if the overall market grows well and within that if the D and E segment also sees some growth then we can think of launching the car in India.