The Fiat Punto could morph into a larger version of the Panda because of intense competition, says design boss
Jim Holder
1 November 2013

The Fiat Punto is likely to be reinvented as part of the Panda family, due to increased competition in the supermini sector.

The Punto’s future has been uncertain for some time. Europe’s average supermini price of about £8000 has made it uneconomical to continue production in its current form when the model is replaced.

As a result, Fiat’s head of global design, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, has hinted that a more radical rethink is likely.

“At present, the only valid reason for having the Punto is market share,” he said. “To produce an all-new car when you can’t be sure you’ll get the revenues back is a very tough decision to make. 

“It may be that we have to think differently and create a vehicle that’s in line with our price expectations.”

Our Verdict

Fiat Punto

Decently spacious for a supermini, with a good range of engines, but the Punto's driving dynamics are less-than beguiling

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Comments
18

1 November 2013
[quote=Darren Moss]Europe’s average supermini price of about £8000 has made it uneconomical to continue production in its current form when the model is replaced.[/quote] Is this the first case of the 'Dacia effect'? I find it a slightly odd statement to make really, it's basically Fiat throwing it's hands up and saying the Punto will become the 'Panda coupé' (since they won't need to make a 5 door version) rather than getting someone in to design a new model. Considering it's age, the current Punto is still a great looking car. It's not really dated over the last 8/9 years.

1 November 2013
Oh Fiat, I cant believe you are still at the "thinking" stage? The Punto will be a decade old soon. The Punto was once the best selling car in Europe, how can they just give up on it? Given Fiat failing in the Bravo/Golf class, it is suicidal to say they also cant compete in the supermini class too? The Fiat Punto was the default supermini.

MrJ

1 November 2013
Sounds like Fiat management has lost it on forward planning. The Punto once owned the Euro market for this size, but Fiat seems to have all but ignored the car in recent years, apart from less pretty updates. Meantime, time and money is spent on blobs like the 500L.

1 November 2013
The Punto is outclassed, god knows what the Bravo is then. Just looked at the Fiat site and it says of the Bravo "The Fiat Bravo is one of the brand's sporty models " Ha Ha RIP Fiat

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

1 November 2013
This is very sad. As everyone has said, the Punto is one of the best looking small hatches, and once sold really well. How can a manufacturer can just 'give up' on such an important sector and still make money? The 500 will only remain cute and trendy for a while, and then they will be left with nothing. Strangely, good things seem to be happening in the US with Chrysler under Fiat control, but in Europe they dont seem to have a single idea

1 November 2013
Presumably Fiat have to factor in the discounting that always seems to apply to Punto models. The 500 seems to maintain its full retail price, while most dealers seem to have Punto models at heavily discounted prices. On Autotrader I saw a Twin-Air Punto model, on a 62 plate with delivery mileage at £8k. Configure one on Fiat's website and that's a 60% saving on new price. The 500 will probably have higher residuals, but the Punto is a lot of car for the money.

1 November 2013
I too am sad to hear that nothing seems to be in development. marchionne doesn't seem to understand that new products generate interest and sales. Fiat's currently sells dwindling amounts of Puntos at very discounted prices, all down to its age. A new car, on a new platform, with the latest tech not only generates sales, but also makes the brand look capable and appealing. Marchionne said only companies that sell 6m vehicles a year will be viable but with his current plan how is he ever going to achieve that. The punto shares a platform with the 500L and the Mito and I think there are other cars Fiat could create on this platform. Surely this would be viable. On another note, I think Fiat could go down the citroen route, and split its range into more up market offerings, such as the 500 range (DS competitors), and a more back to basics range, which the panda should fit into. I think a punto replacement should fit into the premium range and then have an Uno in the basics range.

1 November 2013
Doesn't make a great deal of sense. A 500L is a larger Panda, the 500L MPW being a giant Panda. The next Punto and MiTo look like a shared problem/opportunity, that of the missing Polo/Fiesta/Corsa/Mini competitors

1 November 2013
So it's not viable to produce a supermini - Clio, Fiesta, Corsa, C3, Yaris, 208, Polo, Fabia, Ibiza, Mazda2,.. They have retreated from every market size, where does it end? I have a soft spot for Fiat, my first car was a Series 1 Bravo, followed by a Marea, but I see nothing now or in the future that will interest me.

1 November 2013
I was thinking only the other day it's strange Fiat hasn't replaced the current Punto. I realise the market is diversifying and Fiat have done well with the 500 and Panda, but the Punto still has a very recognisable name and each of the three generations have been successful and well received in the past... it seems bizarre that they don't think a new one doesn't have a place in the current market. The middle-market (Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, Vauxhall/Opel, Honda etc.) seem to be in a proper muddle at the moment. They don't seem to know where the trends are...

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