Premier has launched the Rio compact SUV with a diesel engine sourced from Fiat. The compact SUV's latest variant is priced at Rs.6.7 lakhs and is available in all showroom from August 2.
The launch of the Premier Rio can be considered as a response to the growing response for SUVs in India.
The Premier Rio has always been a fringe player but the new Fiat engine is expected to provide it the much needed boost. The Premier Rio is currently the country's only compact SUV. It is available with a petrol and diesel engine. But its diesel engine was not compliant with BS IV standard and hence Premier could not sell it in metros.
The new 1.3-litre Fiat engine in the Premier Rio has been tuned to generate 72bhp and 183Nm of torque. The Premier Rio's mileage is claimed to be 19kmpl. With demand for diesel cars increasing, this could have been the best time of the diesel Rio's launch.
Premier is looking at improved sales of the Rio following the launch of the new variant. Premier currently as 55 dealers across the country and is planning to open many more during this year. The company is aiming to have 100 showrooms and 200 service outlets in India.
The Premier Rio is the cheapest SUV in India. It is available with a starting price of Rs.5.7 lakhs. However, Premier's low brand image and lack of a wide sales and service network meant it has not been able to penetrate deeply in the Indian car market. The arrival of the new Rio variant with Fiat engine could be the boost the Rio needed to become an established SUV in the market.