Fiat small for India launch in 2011

Who else is not yet on the Indian small car bandwagon? If this the way it goes, soon we would not be able to swing your hands without hitting a small car or two. Can’t blame the car companies, they are here to make money.

The latest to announce a small car launch is Fiat. Seems this is not going to come soon, though. 2011 is the target date for Fiat India. Others who have announced small cars are too planing their launches around that time. Toyota small car and the Honda small car are both going to offer some balls-out competition to the Hyundai i10s and the Maruti Suzuki Altos by then. And we would already have the Chevy Beat in 2010. It has become quite painful to remember who is going to launch when – my brain is suffering from a serious overdose of small car announcements this month.

Fiat’s small car for India is being designed in Turin. It will be positioned above the Fiat Palio – which itself is getting a facelift at the Auto Expo 2010 or sometime soon afterwards – and the Fiat Punto.

Times of India reported that a clay model of the proposed car has already been prepared. The story said that the engine of the small car would be between 700 to 1100 cc. No mention of whether it is going to be petrol or diesel. Fiat may have a winner on their hands if they can offer the car with a good design, right pricing and a little diesel. There is a lot of time to go, so this is a bit too early to speculate anyway. It won’t be a car which will belong to the ultra low cost segment (ULC) kicked off by the Tata Nano however. Not many seem to want to try their hand at that – other than Bajaj-Renault with their low cost  car and Ajanta Oreva Super electric car.

Price-wise, the car would be somewhere around the Rs 4-5 lakh mark. Again, lots of things might change by the time the car is launched – pricing of competitors’ small cars would obviously play a role, as well as inflation and any changes in government policy.

It was also announced that there would be a CNG variant of the Grande Punto on offer in 2011.

Fiat is expected to launch a more powerful version of the petrol Linea at the 2010 Auto Expo in New Delhi.