Fiat cars to cease production in India; complete focus on the Jeep brand

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Fiat will soon discontinue Linea and Punto in the Indian markets, owing to poor sales. It will only focus on the development of the Jeep brand in India. The decision also comes because of the upcoming emission and safety norms. 

Fiat India has been performing quite low in the markets for a couple of years. It offers Linea sedan, Avventure Cross, Abarth Punto and Punto hatchback in India.

In their early primes, Linea and Punto were popular. Linea was a fun-to-drive sedan with a powerful engine underneath. Punto too came with the same powerful sedan and a promising comfortable ride.

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However, both the models are not garnering enough sales. In course of that, Fiat plans to discontinue both the models in India. Linea could go out of line in a few months. Hatchback might be on sale till the emission norms kick in by 2020.

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As of now, the Italian automaker plans to focus only on developing the Jeep brand in India. Jeep, on the other hand, has been performing quite well in the market, despite being a premium SUV over Rs 20 Lakhs.

Linea has been on sale since 2009 and it received a refreshment in 2015. In the very first 2-3 months of its launch, it managed sales of over 4600 units. By 2014-15, it was doing well in the market. With the launch of Ciaz, refreshed Honda City and Hyundai Verna, the demand for Linea decreased a bit.

The main reason for Linea’s discontinuation is because of the cost of upgrading it as per the upcoming emission norms and the safety norms are high. Despite investing in its development, the returns would not meet the desired levels.

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It also does not plan to upgrade the engines used in Linea and Punto, especially the 1.3 Litre Multijet diesel engine. It will upgrade the engines used in Jeep to BS-6 compliant ones.

If you look at the features, Fiat Linea has got it covered. It comes with features such as Electric ORVMs, Auto Headlamps, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Cruise Control, Remote Tail Gate open, 5-inch touchscreen infotainment with Navigation and Rear AC Vents.

Safety features onboard include Front and passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, Height adjustable front seatbelts and Front and Rear fog lamps. Safety features are not standard fitment across all variants.

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Linea gets 1.4 Litre Fire petrol, 1.4 Litre T-Jet and 1.3 Lire Multijet diesel engine. Punto uses 1.2 Litre Fire petrol and 1.3 Litre Multijet diesel engine. Both the models do not offer an automatic transmission, which is another down point.

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