Fiat India Automobiles Private Limited (FIAPL), the joint venture between Fiat and Tata Motors, has targeted a high level of indigenisation of its new Linea by 2010, while the 1.3 litre petrol engine currently being manufactured at its facility in Ranjangaon would be completely built here by that year.
The engine known as variants of the FIRE engine currently has a 60 per cent localisation, and many Indian cars including the Maruti Swift, the Tata Indica Vista and the Fiat Linea sport it.
“We would have 90 per cent of the Linea indigenised by the year 2010,” said a FIAPL spokesperson. He did not comment on the engine.
Currently, a major portion of the Linea is imported, including critical portions of the engine block. Once the factory is fully operational and the Linea and the impending Grande Punto are rolling steadily off the assembly line, the engine would be totally manufactured in India.
FIAPL is planning a December launch for the Linea, which would compete head-on with Honda’s City and Suzuki’s SX4 sedan.
Indigenising a large part of the Linea as well as the engine would mean a significant saving in costs, said an analyst with a leading brokerage in Mumbai. This would leave FIAPL the option of lowering the prices according to the demand, he added.
The company inaugurated its engine plant, body shop and paint shop in Ranjangaon, near Ahmadnagar in Maharashtra last week.