Fiat will launch a new Panda in 2011 after CEO Sergio Marchionne lifted a 15 month spending freeze.
Marchionne’s spending freeze ran from October 2008 to December 2009 and saw the delay of the new Panda, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and a replacement for the Lancia Ypsilon.
In a telephone conference with financial analysts, Marchionne said launching any major new models last year in the middle of the global financial downturn would have been a “waste”.
“That's the reason why I think we intelligently postponed a number of our programs to make sure that it coincided with what I consider to be a structural recovery in demand in 2011 and later years,” he said.
Fiat’s investment in 2009 was 32 per cent lower than 2008’s. In 2008 it stood at 4.97 billion euro (£4.34bn) and will be 4.5bn (£3.93bn) this year.
The Alfa Giulietta will be launched at Geneva next month, a year later than originally planned. The Panda will be launched in 2011 tow years later than originally planned.
Marchionne has also revealed plans to extend Lancia’s European range by four models in 2011. Rebadged versions of Chrysler’s Sebring saloon and cabriolet, 300C and Voyager will all be added to the Lancia range.