Fiat India on Friday launched diesel versions of its compact car Palio and station wagon Adventure in a bid to achieve a nearly 31 per cent rise in sales at 42,000 cars this year.
The diesel Palio would be available in three variants - EL, ELX and ELX SP - which have been priced at Rs 419,500, Rs 449,500 and Rs 475,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) respectively while Adventure diesel has been priced at Rs 699,000, Fiat India chairman and managing director Alberto Montanari told a news conference in New Delhi.
The new cars would come fitted with 1900cc diesel engines and deliver 63 brake horse power.
Fiat India, a subsidiary of Italian carmaker Fiat Spa, presently produces the petrol Palio, mid-size car Siena, station wagon Siena Weekend and compact car Uno at its plant at Kurla in Mumbai.
The cars would be commercially available from March 17 across the country.
The Palio model is expected to contribute 90 per cent of the targetted sales, of which the new diesel variants would constitute 20-25 per cent.
Gupta said 2003 would be a year of stability and growth for the company and it would increase its dealership network to 78 from 67 at present, while the number of authorized service stations would rise to 120 from 100.
The company has also reduced prices of over 4,000 spare parts to make them more affordable, he said, adding that special retail finance schemes would be introduced to entice buyers.
The new Palio diesel, which comes fitted with a diesel adulteration device to check fuel adulteration, would compete with two other diesel compact cars -- Maruti Zen and Tata Indica.
The car has features like power steering, power windows, anti-lock braking system with electronic brake distribution as well as driver side air bag.
The Adventure model has features like rear wiper and washer, rear windshield defroster and electrically adjustable door mirrors.
Nearly 300,000 hatchback cars were sold in the country last year, of which 67,000 (22 per cent) comprised of diesel cars, which, Gupta said, was expected to increase with the launch of the new Fiat cars.