This Fiat Is A Dodge
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!
It's not really cynical badge engineering if they're sold in different markets. Now the Cimarron...
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.
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.
The Viaggio front end whispers conformity, the Dodge screams attitude. IMHO