Manufacturer aims to introduce new range of low-cost vehicles to Europe
23 December 2008

Fiat has made plans to launch a new line of low-cost cars in western Europe.

Two of the three models are reported to have been developed by Fiat and its Brazilian subsidiary. They had originally been scheduled to replace Fiat’s ageing Palio ‘world car’ and the Uno supermini, which is still made in modified form in Brazil.

Fiat has decided to restyle the cars for western European markets and launch them by 2010 under a new brand. They would be aimed at budget-conscious buyers at the tail end of the global recession.

Fiat could also launch a re-worked version of the Seicento city car in late 2011, sources within the industry have reported.

It will be notably light and is likely to be powered by a new super-frugal, two-cylinder engine.

The car will probably be aimed at the growing market for ultra-compact city cars, but will be much cheaper than either a Smart or Toyota IQ.

The company wants to become one of the main players in the European market for low-cost cars and is keen to launch a second brand name alongside Fiat.

Fiat thinks it can tap the same new market targeted by Renault with the Logan family. Analysts believe that increasingly stringent pollution legislation – some of which will control entry to European city centres – will force drivers who had previously bought secondhand cars into the budget new car market.

There’s no concrete news on prices at this early stage, but the new Seicento could be priced as low as £5500.

The three models are expected to be built in Fiat plants in either Poland, Serbia or Italy.

Join the debate


23 December 2008

In the past they have sold Uno, brazilian Uno, Duna (brazilian Uno estate) and Yugo Koral under the old Innocenti brand. But that sounds loser-ish. They also have Autobianchi, which was a premium brand of small cars. Reviving an old, discontinued brand may not be the best option; perhaps they will create a new brand like GM has done with Saturn (while killing Oldsmobile).

23 December 2008

....what a genius idea. Get cheap low cost cars to market at the end of a recession.

Anyone who thinks that we will have had enough of the cheap option in two years time is mad.

Me, i cant get enough of the overpriced retro, pastiche 500 at present.

23 December 2008

[quote jonfortwo]....what a genius idea. Get cheap low cost cars to market at the end of a recession.[/quote]

We'll probably be laughing at them in the same way we laugh at the moment at Audi and Porsche for bringing out 500bhp family estates or yet evermore outlandish variations on the Cayenne theme.

23 December 2008

[quote jonfortwo]....what a genius idea. Get cheap low cost cars to market at the end of a recession.[/quote]

Rather optimistic view jon? End of recession eh? I don't think we've seen the half of it yet.

Besides, cheap small cars will always have a place in the market, boom or bust. So what's the problem?>

23 December 2008

I'm hoping one result of the recession is a shift to small, light, premium cars. We're stuck with a retarded notion that fat=luxury, the sooner we can switch our perception away from that the better. It'll probably take a company other than Fiat (say BM or Gordon Murray) to enble that shift, but i personally think it can't come soon enough...

23 December 2008

Are you sure this is a recession? Could this not be a change? Has money been lost? Could it not have just moved around so the rich get richer? Think the service industry days of the UK since Thatcher are over, if there is going to be a future for the UK it is not going to be a plc or involve being a phone slacker, probably more likely involve something like making a tata nano at a Land Rover factory, and buying home manufatcured consumerables because that is all we will be able to afford if we carry on with the pound.

So I think Fiat maybe on to something, but don't quite see they need to create a new brand for it, could do with fixing their customer service reputation at the same time though.

23 December 2008

I wonder what the new brand will be? I hope that Autobianchi is resurrected.

...the band was playing Dixie: double-four time...

23 December 2008

Very good idea from Fiat. I absolutely adore the 500, and have always loved little Fiats. Looking forward to what they'll come out with.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

23 December 2008

They're creating a new brand to sell low cost cars? Why? To stop the FIAT brand being associated with small low cost cars? I think they're about 50 years too late.

24 December 2008

The Logan has been a great success for Renault even before the recession. Nobody knows how to make small cars like Fiat- in the last few years they've massively increased their market share in Europe. The Brits can keep their old blinkers on(as we see in a lot of the posts her) but the fact is that the British car industry is dead while the Italians are doing very nicely all things considered.


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