AUTOSHOW - Fiat plans small car for India in 2012

 @ibtimes
on January 06 2010 1:16 PM

NEW DELHI - Fiat will unveil a small car by 2012 in India, where small cars constitute about three-quarters of all cars sold in the country, a senior company official said on Wednesday.

There is a lot of space in that segment and the opportunity in it will be exploited, Rajeev Kapoor, president and chief executive of Fiat India Automobiles, told reporters at the New Delhi auto show.

Toyota Motor Co and Honda Motor Co this week launched new compact cars to tap the fast-growing and price-sensitive Indian market, which is dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor.

Kapoor said Fiat would develop the small car overseas and position it below the Palio and Grande Punto compact cars it already sells in India.

Fiat aims to launch three variants of its existing models this year and a car that can use multiple fuels, and expects its India sales to double in 2010 from 23,000 units sold in in 2009, he said.

The Indian unit hopes to export 10 percent of its total sales in 2010 to countries such as South Africa, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.

The unit has a capacity to produce 160,000 cars but output has been at a fraction as the company is still in the process of ramping up sales.

We have the ability to expand it to 200,000 units if we need it, Kapoor said, when asked if the existing capacity would be able to meet the production demand of its planned small car.

He said capacity utilisation is expected to reach 80 percent by 2012. (Reporting by Janaki Krishnan; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)

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