Fiat Looks To Buttress 500, Panda With Low-Cost Car

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
fiat looks to buttress 500 panda with low cost car

With the Fiat brand looking to move into the “premium small” space, where its 500 and Panda vehicles currently thrive, there will likely be an opportunity for a low-cost brand within the Fiat empire, and Sergio Marchionne is already investigating the possibility of a low-cost Fiat built outside of Europe, that would go head-to-head with Dacia and other similar products.

Unlike Renault-Nissan, Fiat cannot utilize any of its European capacity to build a car with an MSRP of 7,450 euros. Fiat is looking at facilities outside of Europe to see if building such a car is viable. According to Automotive News, Fiat has previously looked at low-cost cars, but scuttled plans due to uncertainties regarding profitability. But Fiat’s new upmarket shift would likely necessitate lower-end cars to fill the entry-level void in Fiat’s lineup.

Speaking to TTAC at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Fiat sources clarified their future product direction (which, contrary to prior reports, would not involved paring the model lineup down the just the Panda and 500) and tacitly admitted that the low-cost segment was one in which Fiat may enter in the future

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  • Vwgolf420 Vwgolf420 on Feb 06, 2013

    Revive the Plymouth name...

  • HerrKaLeun HerrKaLeun on Feb 06, 2013

    I really don't understand american car buyers... in Europe fiat is a bargain basement brand with losing sales. Only people that can't afford a different car or can't get financing would buy a Fiat. No one would aspire to buy a Fiat. Even on small European streets no one really wants a 500, it is more a necessity due to lack of money. But here in America they are able to sell the same crappy car almost as premium along with BMW mini prices. This must be power of marketing. Moving downmarket from Fiat? I thought Lancia and Alfa were the Fiat "premium" brands. This is like saying GM needs to have a brand to position below Daewoo because Daewoo moved upmarket to people who only live on food stamps and now they need a brand to cater to people who live 100% on welfare. (and I don't mean to offend anyone other than Fiat or GM)

    • See 3 previous
    • Xowee Xowee on Feb 07, 2013

      @Herrkaleun You have a strange a idea of what premium means. To you a 500 is overpriced, well thanks for your opinion but they sell lots of 500s in Europe at that price, so what does this mean to you? You want to compare Skoda to Fiat? Go ahead and check at which prices Skodas and Fiats are sold in Europe, it's not difficult to see that your opinions are just your own and are not shared by the majority of the consumers.

  • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Feb 07, 2013

    I think the ultra low cost brand will be for Europe only. Renault didn't launch Dacia in SAmerica to peddle the Logan family and I doubt Nissan will use Datsun here. Cars here are already pretty low cost (to build, not buy) and content and finishing is pretty weak. Also, at least in Brazil, people don't like new brands, specially those that don't hail from US-Europe-Japan and now Korea. Just see the difficulties of Lada and the Chinese in this country. Of course, if these future cars undercut current prices by half... As to US, if Datsun in its new form make it, it could be Plymouth could see the light of day again.

    • Xowee Xowee on Feb 07, 2013

      I agree, the idea would be to replicate the Dacia model. Cheaper models sold as Dacia in Europe and as Renault in developing countries. Thus I guess Uno, Palio and other future models could be sold under a new brand in Europe. Being produced in Brazil or maybe India.

  • TheEdSantosShow TheEdSantosShow on Feb 10, 2013

    Fiat UNO. Brazil. Where are my lire?