Fiat India is looking to induct the Linea Classic sedan into Kolkata’s taxi cab market. The Linea Classic was launched a year ago in India, as a low cost iteration meant to service the entry level C-Segment sedan market even as the facelifted Linea occupied the space vacated by the pre-facelift model.
The stripped down Linea Classic has already begun operating as a taxi in markets such as Delhi and Mumbai. With Kolkata on the radar, the Linea Classic now seeks to the replace the iconic Ambassador taxi, rubbing shoulders with rivals such as the Maruti Suzuki Dzire Tour and the Tata Indigo eCS.
The Linea has a slow selling C-Segment sedan despite the facelift and the lower priced Classic version. If Fiat manages to successfully convince Kolkata’s taxi drivers to abandon the Ambassadors for spanky new Linea sedans, the Italian automaker would have pulled a coup of sorts, in terms of sales volumes.
A month ago, Fiat won a large order for the Punto EVO hatchback from a Surat business house, which saw a record number of Punto EVO hatchbacks being delivered on a single day. This order also helped the Punto clock its best numbers in many months. Similar numbers could be expected from the Linea Classic if Fiat’s proposal to induct the sedan as a taxi in Kolkata is accepted by the West Bengal state government.
The Linea Classic Petrol starts at 5.89 lakh rupees, while the diesel powered version is priced at 6.86 lakh rupees. Fiat will have to reduce these prices significantly if it hopes to steal the thunder of cars such as the Tata Indigo eCS and the Maruti Dzire Tour, the likes of which have already begun operating in Kolkata’s taxi market, and with lower price points to boot.