By on March 30, 2012

Our intrepid Brazilian correspondent Marcelo got the hearts of Canuckistani readers racing after he leaked news of an expanded Fiat lineup for Canada. According to Senhor de Vasconcellos, Fiat will add new product in Canada, where 500 sales have been much stronger than the USA. The only question is what the mystery product will be, now that Fiat head Sergio Marchionne confirmed the new model at a Toronto event.

The Globe and Mail reported a whole slew of new products, stating

“Alfa Romeo cars are planned to return to Canada and North America in 2014, while the Fiat 500L five-door and all-electric Fiat 500 EV are scheduled to arrive at the end of this year, declared Fiat Group and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne on Monday.

There will also be another Fiat model coming by the end of next year or early 2014, without laying out specifics…”

Marcelo’s artcile named the next generation Punto and Panda will be heading to Canada, with the 500L’s late 2012 debut coming first. Next will be the Polish Italian-built Panda, followed by the next generation Punto, if the information is accurate. The 143.7 inch Panda is actually a little longer than the 500 (139.6 inches) and has 5-doors – by comparison, a 5-door Toyota Yaris is about 10 inches longer than the Panda. Nevertheless, Canadians in urban locales absolutely adore small cars, foreign cars and anything with a “premium” image, like the Mini and the Fiat 500. The Panda, if priced right, would be a good bridge between the 500 and the much larger, Mini Countryman-sized 500L. Even better would be the new Punto, which could give the Volkswagen Golf a good run for the money. Memo to Fiat – bring diesels here. Close to half of all VW’s sold here are TDIs. We will buy them.

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27 Comments on “Sergio Marchionne Confirms Third Fiat Model By 2014 – But Only For Canada...”


  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Dr. Phil, speaking to a group of US Fiat dealers: “How’s that working out for you?”

  • avatar

    Hello Derek.

    Ha! First one confirmed. Let’s see if the rest of my info pans out. It’ll be a good way to see if my sources know what the hell they’re going on about!

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Well, the EVs ought to tack on a few dozen to their annual volumes. But agreed on the diesels. Unlike many of the US states, diesel is actually cheaper than gas in Canada which adds to its efficiency advantage.

    • 0 avatar
      BunkerMan

      Diesel is currently 4c/L more here (Atlantic Canada) than regular unleaded. It’s been higher for months, since they changed the quality standard of the diesel fuel. Over the winter there was actually a 10c/L gap at one point.

      It still doesn’t change the fact that diesels are popular here, though.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        Not in Nova Scotia. Regular $1.439, diesel $1.369 today in Halifax.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        For United States residents:

        $1.439/liter converts to $5.45/US Gallon for regular unleaded

        $1.369/liter converts to $5.19/US Gallon for diesel

        It’s amazing that the US and Canadian dollars are essentially equivalent now. Also I just read that Canada is phasing out their penny and will eventually round up/down (up, duh!) prices to the nearest 5 cents – go Canada!

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    What might sell even better in this economy (hello Canadian housing bubble bust!) is the Punto Classic made at the old Zastava factory. Sells for about $7K in Serbia. Even with federalization costs it could be a hit at $8-9,000 here.

  • avatar
    400 N

    At last, some differentiation between the CAN / US market.

    Compacts, check
    hatchbacks, check
    diesel, check.

  • avatar
    Numbers_Matching

    It always amazes me how the Canadian carscape more resembles that of a second world country – especially in urban areas. It is really becoming different looking from what we have in the US. I think it also shocks Americans who frequently travel to Canada’s big cities for business.

    • 0 avatar
      leshnah

      Seems like you’ve never left the US… I’ve got a secret for you: big does not necessarily mean advanced. Driving a small car is not the same as saying “poor” or “primitive”… It says “I like good handling, decent fuel economy”. That “bigger is better, cheaper is better” rationale IS absolutely second or third worldish, while also being extremely “new rich”…

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        I’ve long suspected that weight and volume have often been added to U.S. market cars for no functional purpose, simply because bigger and heavier vehicles sell better.

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      Eastern Canada, that is.
      I do not see much difference crossing from the States into Western provinces, especially Alberta.

      • 0 avatar
        nrcote

        Acubra > Eastern Canada, that is. I do not see much difference crossing from the States into Western provinces, especially Alberta.
        ———-

        Alberta? Would you mean downtown Calgary, and Fort McMurray? In fall 2010, I flew to Edmonton then drove to Calgary towards Banff and BC. I thought everybody was driving full-size pick up trucks in Alberta (the things we’re told…), but didn’t see many. Loved the QE II Highway between Edmonton and Calgary, 250+ kilometers of pure bliss… not!

    • 0 avatar
      thirty-three

      Really? I get the opposite reaction when I visit the US. So many beaters! They make my car (a 19 year old Civic) look good. In Vancouver, there are lots and lots of late model cars. Audis, BMWs, Hondas, Toyotas, and more. Nearly all of the cars in the parking garage where I work are 2000 or newer, my car being the oldest.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        The US is a very diverse place. I live in a very wealthy area east of Seattle that is similar to Vancouver in that most everybody drives “new” cars (2000+).

        If I get away from the metro area 40-50 miles, I start seeing older cars including American minivans that are very rare sights in my own neighborhood.

        My ten-year-old cars are getting pretty long in the tooth now, so I’m going to start getting hassled by the local police soon (they profile anybody driving older cars).

    • 0 avatar
      Nostrathomas

      2nd world country? What a ridiculously ignorant statement. If that’s the case, the whole continent of Europe is 2nd world.

      People in Canada definitely have smaller cars, but I think in the end, it’s in their nature to be more practical and less concerned about trends and neighborly perceptions than in the US. Smaller cars in urban areas just make more sense no matter what the price. Easier to park, easier to maneuver. easier to live with.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Or, most of us unpractical Americans do not live in these urban areas you speak of. I have no desire to pay lots of taxes for the privilege of parking my tiny little car on a city street and carrying my groceries up to my 600 square foot Apartment that costs more per month in rent than 3 months of my Mortgage on a house 3 times as large complete with a driveway and a garage that can hold multiple great big American cars should I chose to purchase them.

        I have lived the city life and I don’t see any part of it that is particularly practical. And a Toyota Tercel was a practical small car. These Fiats and Minis are the very definition of Trendy. Im not saying that a big Caddy or an F-150 king ranch is practical, but if parking space is not an issue and someone spends a good chunk of time on a freeway (like the average American commuter), then how is a small car so much more practical than a roomier and more comfortable midsize that gets very close to the same MPG. Add a couple kids and a small car like those you speak of gets fairly unpractical.

      • 0 avatar
        Nostrathomas

        mkirk, considering the guy’s comment referenced urban areas, it seems to make sense to talk about cars in an urban context. Sure bigger cars have their place, but in urban settings were space is an issue, they just don’t make as much sense. Personally, I hate the Walmart mentality that we have sometimes….bigger is not better, it’s just bigger.

        Personally, urban setting or not, I always go for the smallest car that will still fit my needs… and nothing more. I don’t need a car that holds 5 people if I only ever need space for 2. I’d rather spend my money on quality, not on volume. But that’s just my 2nd world thinking I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      Buckshot

      If bigger always was better you americans should all be driving 6 meter+ chevrolet/ford/chryslers behemoths by now.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        No, bigger isn’t always better and smaller isn’t always smarter. I sort of split the difference to be honest. I have a 93 Land Cruiser I tow my camper with when I take the family camping. Not the best tow vehicle, but I do some primitive camping as well in areas that it takes some decent suspension articulation to get in to. A Jeep would get me there, but they can’t pull my pop trailer for the aforementioned camp outs.

        As to the Panda…Id look at an old school 4×4 one. The model they sold in the mid 90s with the external door hinges and what not.

        My commuter is a 90 Miata. Its getting tired though. I have a KLR650 that I also commute on sometimes. Obviously the urban life is not my cup of tea. Size is a factor but not the only factor. I typically buy really used cars and put some time into them so condition and lack of complexity is my deciding factor (a stack of service receipts, hand crank windows and manual steering on the Miata and Cloth Manual seats on the Cruiser).

        Anyway, yes, our tastes differ from most of the rest of the worlds markets. I have lived abroad (Italy) for some years and this country is vastly different (mainly in that we have a lot of land available). Thus it is no surprise our car tastes are different.

        I maintain also that things like car seat regulations effect our car purchases compared to the rest of the world. In Naples only the youngest were in car seats. In this country you have to keep kids in car seats for a long time. That and the fact they can’t ride up front means a family of 4 isn’t going to fit in many cars they will elsewhere. Add a third kid and you are really starting to look at a third row nowadays. Back in the day with bench seats you could roll a sedan with 3 kids.

        Anyway, not putting down anyones country, just trying to convey that we Americans have our reasons for desiring larger vehicles. Yes, some take it to an extreme but 4 dollar a gallon gas is making the stereotypical 1 guy driving his H2 to work alone a thing or the past.

        I am surprised that Canadians tastes aren’t closer to ours though, but admittedly I have not been to Canada. I lived 30 miles south at one point, but thats as close as I got (Though I am a Calgary Flames fan…a holdover from there days as the Atlanta Flames).

      • 0 avatar
        Nostrathomas

        All is forgiven mkirk. I’m a Flames fan too.

    • 0 avatar
      mpsrent

      Re: Numbers_Matching

      What an embarassment you are to your nation. How ignorant. The fact that some people elsewhere in the world have a more frugal outlook compared to your wasteful practices doesn”t make them “second world”.

  • avatar
    Lampredi

    “Next will be the Polish-built Panda”

    Fiat has actually moved production of the new generation Panda to its Italian plant in Pomigliano d’Arco near Naples, with the plant in Tychy, Poland taking over the production of the Panda-based Lancia Ypsilon instead (the previous generation Ypsilon was produced in the now closed Italian plant in Termini Imerese, Sicily) as well as continuing to build the Fiat 500 (*not* the 500L, which will be built in Serbia) and its cousin, the Ford Ka. I also think the previous generation Panda will still be built in Poland for a little while.

    So what does “the Polish-built Panda” mean in this context? That Fiat will start producing the current generation Panda in Poland for the Canadian market? Or that Fiat will export the previous generation Panda, launched in 2003 and still being built in Poland, to Canada (unlikely, since it’ll be more than 10 years old by 2014)? Or is it just a mistaken assumption about where the current Panda is built?

  • avatar
    claytori

    While there are lots of smaller cars here in Toronto, there are also plenty of high end exotics. In the past week I have seen two Lambroghinis and one Ferrari on the road in three separate places. I have visited many cities around the world, including LA, London, and Paris. I have never seen the density of expensive cars anywhere that I see here, at least not driven on the roads.

  • avatar

    Any talk of Canadian sales figures and the differences between the market here in and the market in the US inevitably gets skewed by the asymmetrical urban/rural divide. Something like 80% of Canadians live in cities, and for reasons of practicality (parking, fuel economy, etc.) those people do buy a lot of Fits and Golfs and Civics.

    At the same time, however, the fact remains that once you’re outside of the major cities, the Canadian market is almost identical to the US market. In my hometown in southwestern Ontario, the best selling vehicles (just hazarding a guess here, of course) would likely be the F150, Silverado/Sierra, Impala, Ford Fusion, and then maybe a Civic or Corolla. The cities aren’t representative of the way the rest of the country feels (or chooses to spend its money.)

  • avatar
    400 N

    Encouraging that Fiat is giving some preference to the Canadian market, allowing it to grow in some ways that are different from the US market. (Sergio Marchionne was brought up in Canada – nice that we get some recognition.)

    The Big 3, with some exceptions, have usually treated the local market as an extension of the US, even though local preferences were quite distinct. Smaller cars and hatchbacks have always sold better here. Even Honda has starved us of appropriate models – giving us the Ridgeline and the Odyssey, when we really wanted the Fit.

    PS In the classic definition – “first world” was NATO, “second world” represented the Soviet Union and its allies including China, “third world” were the non-aligned nations.

    • 0 avatar

      No kidding on Honda. They are so out of touch with the Canadian market. Most pre-2008 Accord buyers I know will not touch the current one because of its size, in fact they won’t even look at it.


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