Desperate to regain its position in the Indian car market, Italian carmaker Fiat on Tuesday launched new versions of its sedan Linea and hatchback Punto.

It would open 22 exclusive showrooms in 2012 to reduce its dependence on Tata Motors dealerships for sale of its cars.

Linea is available in petrol and diesel versions and priced between Rs.6.83 lakh and Rs.9.18 lakh. Punto will come in both fuel variants with price tags ranging from Rs.4.81 lakh to Rs.6.54 lakh for petrol cars and from Rs.5.48 lakh to Rs.6.71 lakh for diesel variants. Apart from completely refurbishing its interiors, the new versions come loaded with innovative safety and luxury features.

“We are launching the new models of Linea and Punto after feedback from customers…we have upgraded air-conditioning systems and improved ground clearance,” Fiat India Automobiles President and CEO Rajeev Kapoor told journalists here.

Pointing out that Fiat might also launch a new cheaper car positioned below Punto in India, he said: “To operate in the volume segment, we need a car which is below Punto. We are working on a plan to launch such a car in India...it will be an Italian car with India-specific features.”

Fiat also plans to open 22 exclusive showrooms for Fiat cars this year, mainly in big cities. At present, the Italian carmaker operates in India through a 50:50 partnership with Tata Motors.

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