By on August 17, 2012


I would like to take this opportunity, and also on behalf of Fiat, express my sincere gratitude to the American taxpayer.

Of course, Sergio Marchionne will never issue an announcement like that. But putting aside any political niceties, such a statement would not be too far-fetched. Fiat, in its struggle for world domination – ok, ok, its fight to remain relevant – has had some luck and some help. While still counting on Brazil to keep it afloat, even here it has not really broken into higher middle class people’s pockets. The Linea was deemed a success if it sold around 3.000 units a month. It sells about 800 (in a good month).  Now, Fiat is scrapping all plans again and reaching into its hat and pulling a Viaggio. Yes, that little lucky break known as Chrysler, has been so kind as to lend the mamaship its Dart.

Slated for production in 2013 at Fiat’s new Brazilian plant, the Viaggio stands a fighting chance to finally get at better-off folks ‘ purse-strings. Can you spot the differences?

Let the accusations of cynical badge engineering fly!

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32 Comments on “This Fiat Is A Dodge...”

  • avatar

    Looks like a Dart wearing the 200s jewelry. I was kind of hoping this would mean more work for the plant in Belvidere but you say this will be built in Brazil.

    • 0 avatar

      Naa Brazil doesn’t allow imports. It may be a great place with a booming economy but it is protective as hell. We had to build a plant there to sell there.

      • 0 avatar

        keeps us gainfully employed!

        It does mean though that we pay through the nose for everything. Case in point: this car. Cars in this category start off at around 30k USD

      • 0 avatar

        Obviously, there are things Brazilians could be doing more efficiently than duplicating the efforts of lower cost producers. The point of free trade is that specialization raises everyone’s standard of living as the cost of goods fall and they’re more accessible.

      • 0 avatar

        Well CJ, if we were just planting coffee and other stuff, as the schoolof comparative advantage would have us do, I’m betting there would be less than the almost 4 million brand new cars sold as agricultural workers don’t make as much money as industrial ones. Yes it’s inefficient but it’s a small price to pay. For instance, as of late, with almost full employment, though much more violent than other places, the general sensation of safety has grown. I think it’s the right medicine for now.

      • 0 avatar

        Ask the Chinese, Bangladeshis and others who are caught in the maw of the corporate capitalist system and ask them if “free trade” has improved their standard of living.

  • avatar

    The front end of the Viaggio is a much better design than that of the dart. It seems like the dart was probably rushed as Chrysler needed to meet the 40 mpg car deadline as part of the bail-out agreement and hence the dart is only half-baked. The next generation of fiatsler vehicles should show what they are capable of.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree the Viaggio has a nicer front end and from the pics, can’t see the rear, but going to assume that it’s back panel doesn’t resemble a Challenger’s.

      Disagree that the Dart looks rushed as opposed to the Viaggio. The Dodge looks as it should for the nameplate, the sporty version of what can also be sold as lxurious. Chrysler would do well selling it as the 200.

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        Too me the Dart just looks badly proportioned at the front. A bit to close to a design for 12 year olds. That FIAT on the other hand might have had a chance to talk its way into my driveway.

        Of course, doing it properly and just selling the Giulietta would have been best of all.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed with Dolorean. Think the Dodge looks sportier and the Viaggio more elegant. At the moment in Brazil rich sells better than sport. Brazilians are feeling rich right now.

  • avatar

    The Viaggio looks better (may be the colour choice and the chrome accents). I wonder if it would have had more appeal in Brazil if it were sold as a Chrysler – or even a Dodge. How about naming it the Dodge Polara to remember the good old times? My father had two of those. Now that I think of it…nah, not so good times to relate to…

  • avatar

    Gotta agree with every else. That Viaggio is a good looking car – reminds me of the XJ, kind of like how the new Taurus looks like an Aston.

  • avatar

    The Viaggio reminds me very much of a mini version of the current Taurus. Just connect the headlights to the grill.

  • avatar

    If the Viaggio is coming next year in Brazil where will this leave the Linea (which would get a facelift this year) and the Bravo?

    • 0 avatar


      The Linea will go on where it’s loved, though not in Brazil. Basically some markets in Eastern Europe and Turkey. Though not a bad car, the Linea was marketed wrong in Latin America. Fiat wanted it to compete with Corolla, Civic and the like. However, it was just too small. Guess the Dart/Viaggio is bigger and will be able to compete better. Size does matter.

      As to Bravo, no idea. Guess it’ll limp along until they develop a hatch version of Viaggio (if they do). Then, I guess it’d disappear silently.

      BTW, seems the facelift is ready. Mind that the Viaggio will probably debut in the second half of 2013. The Linea will stay in production, with new face, until then. Then, game over. At least in Brazil.

      • 0 avatar

        European press already published there’s a hatchback version of the Viaggio coming up to replace the Bravo. But I think its development has been halted alongside the next Punto’s.

  • avatar

    It’s not really cynical badge engineering if they’re sold in different markets.

    Now the Cimarron…

  • avatar

    Is badge engineering really a bad idea if the two (or more) of said models are not sold in the same market?

    Marchione’s strategy seems to be working out very well for him at the moment.

  • avatar

    The Dart is not much more than a wider, slightly stretched Alfa Romeo Giulietta, itself based on an evolution of the Fiat Bravo’s underpinings.

    It is almost 100% Fiat hardware right there.

  • avatar

    The Viaggio front end whispers conformity, the Dodge screams attitude. IMHO

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