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Fiat Linea Launched in Turkey

ISTANBUL, Turkey — On the heels of the not-so-successful Palio world-car project, Fiat gives it another try with a nice-looking Renault Logan rival, the Linea sedan. It has just gone on sale in Turkey.

Fiat LineaTo save costs, Linea was developed by Fiat's Turkish partner, Tofas, which will also produce the new sedan. At the launch ceremony, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed that the car is also planned to be built in Brazil, China, India and Russia. By 2009, a combined capacity of 280,000 units should be reached. The production target is far smaller than that for the Logan, but still should make the Linea profitable for Fiat.

Linea is 177 inches long and about 76 inches wide — so it is one size up from the Logan. It is also miles better-looking, with cues from the best-selling Grande Punto and the newly launched Bravo midsize hatch. So far, there are only two engine options available: a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and the ubiquitous 1.3-liter Multijet diesel, which propels a lot of different Fiat, Opel and Suzuki cars in Europe.

Fiat hopes to make 60,000 units per year in Turkey. Originally the Linea was only targeted at Central and Eastern European markets. However, the company has detected strong interest in the Linea from Finland, Germany, Greece and Portugal — not surprisingly, considering that automatic air-conditioning, Bluetooth wireless capability, rain and parking sensors, and many other high-ticket features are found on the low-end car.

© Source: insideline
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