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Fiat in talks with Premier to supply diesel engines


Auto maker Fiat India on Thursday said it is in talks with Pune-based Premier Ltd to supply diesel engines for its compact sports utility vehicle RiO.

"We are currently in talks with Premier to supply diesel engines. It will be the 1.3 litre multijet, 75 bhp engine which we are also supplying to Maruti Suzuki," Fiat India Automobiles CEO Rajeev Kapoor said on the sidelines of Hero Mindmine Summit here.



He, however, did not disclose details saying, "We are going to announce within a month about the number of engines and the duration of contract. This engine will be fitted in their compact SUV RiO."

Known mostly for the Premier Padmini car of yesteryears, Premier Ltd had set up joint ventures with Peugeot (France) and Fiat in the 90s but went solo in 2004. Premier re-entered the passenger vehicle segment with the launch compact SUV RiO in 2009.

In January, Fiat had also entered into a pact with Maruti Suzuki India to supply diesel engines to the country's largest carmaker. "The contract with Maruti is for three years under which we will supply one lakh units every year," Kapoor added. All engines to be supplied to Maruti and Premier will be produced at the company's Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra, he added.

Commenting on the company's plans to increase the number of exclusive showrooms as it looks to increase sales in India, Kapoor said, "At present there are two exclusive showrooms, which will be ramped up to 25 in 20 locations by the end of this year."

The exclusive showrooms will be opened by only those dealers which are currently operating joint showrooms with Tata Motors, he added.

"We will announce a detailed network and product strategy by the end of this month. After this year we will ramp the number of exclusive showrooms," Kapoor said, however adding that the joint outlets with Tata Motors would also remain "as these are the viable options in smaller towns".