The 1.3 litre diesel-powered SUV RiO is currently being assembled in Pune which will have a monthly capacity of 1,000 units. Earlier in May, Premier had signed a three-year contract with Fiat India to source diesel engines for the RiO, under which Fiat would supply 28,000 units of 1.3-L multi-jet diesel engines to Premier. The engine which delivers a 75 bhp also gives a very efficient mileage of 19 kmpl.
According to Premier Chairman and Managing Director Maitreya Doshi, “Premier has started deliveries of the compact SUV RiO through its dealers in select cities. The initial dealer response to the new version of the RiO with this amazing engine has been overwhelming.”
Premier was set up in 1944 and commenced commercial production in 1948 through a licence with Chrysler Corporation and subsequently with Fiat. By 1968, the company went fully local and remained the market leader until the mid-80s after which the country opened more doors for foreign players like Suzuki and others to set up shop. Premier came back again in limelight when in the 90s, it set up joint ventures with Peugeot of France and Fiat, but returned to being independent in 2004. The company has now decided to launch its products bearing its own name.
Premier has a sales and service network of 55 dealers that is being raised to 100 by December. It is also setting up 200 authorised service centres to service RiO. The car will be priced at Rs 6.7 lakh (ex-showroom Pune) and upwards.