Fiat India will launch its new mid-size sedan Linea in December. The Linea was going to be launched in October but due to the poor sentiment prevailing in the market, Fiat has postponed the launch. Its second launch Grande Punto has also been pushed back and will now hit the market sometime next year instead of December.

“We are optimistic that the market will improve in the last quarter of this year. We have pushed back new launches as the series of government initiatives are likely to bear fruit and improve sentiment by then. So, we will launch our new cars at an appropriate time.”said Fiat India CEO Rajeev Kapoor.

Linea will be available in 1.3 multi-jet diesel engine and 1.4 FIRE petrol engine. It will roll out from Fiat’s newly established Ranjangaon plant in Maharashtra and will be in the price band of Rs 6-8 lakh. Grante Punto, another locally assembled model from the Fiat stable, was supposed to be launched in December and will now come in the first quarter of 2009. Next in line is its luxury hatchback Bravo, whose launch timing is yet to be finalised.

“We are operating jointly with Tata Motors. There has been a spate of launches, including Tata’s new cars. As our vehicles are jointly marketed with Tata Motors we want to space our launches and do not want to confuse customers with frequent roll-outs. Both these cars are volume products. We aim to clock sales of 2,000 Lineas every month, so a right market strategy is being pursued,” Mr Kapoor added.

Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have also pushed back their launches beyond the festive season. Maruti’s A-Star hatchback was slated to debut in October and will now be introduced on the 19th of this month while Hyundai’s premium hatchback i20 is expected to be launched in January next year.