Fiat Kills Off a Truck That's Not Really a Fiat

fiat kills off a truck thats not really a fiat

Perhaps to its misfortune, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles does not sell a midsize pickup in the world’s biggest truck market, but buyers in certain overseas markets were able to get into a four-door, body-on-frame midsizer carrying the Fiat badge — the Fullback, more properly described as a rebadged Mitsubishi Triton/L200.

Note the word “were.” The Fiat Fullback is no more, according to FCA’s light commercial vehicles division. The discontinuation stems from the same problem Fiat faces in America: really bad sales.

Speaking to the UK’s Auto Express, Fiat Professional boss Richard Chamberlain, confirmed the pickup’s removal from the brand.

“A combination of factors has led to the Fullback no longer being on sale,” he said. “Low sales volumes and the forthcoming Euro 6 diesel emissions legislation meant it was no longer viable for Fiat Professional to offer the Fullback.”

The Mitsubishi-based Fullback went on sale in 2016 in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, positioned as a hasty competitor to popular midsizers like Ford’s Ranger and Nissan’s Navara. At the time, the midsize pickup segment was, like it is in the U.S., on the march, and the newcomers were all based on other existing pickups.

The Renault Alaskan? It’s a Nissan Navara underneath. Mercedes-Benz’s X-Class? Again, a Navara. So Fiat making use of Mitsubishi’s Triton/L200 made some sense. A 2.4-liter diesel four-cylinder powered Euro models.

Fast-forward two years from its introduction, and the Fullback could only boast a 3.3-percent European pickup market share. Data published by JATO Dynamics for the period of January to April 2018 shows the Fullback in second-last place, ahead only of the Alaskan (which only went on sale in spring of 2017). Not surprisingly, the Ranger took top honors with 26 percent of the continent’s pickup sales. In second place was the Toyota Hilux, a truck familiar to American TV viewers with a fondness for war coverage.

What’s notable about JATO’s data is that the X-Class, a vehicle both truckophiles and Benz aficionados would have good reason to avoid, took 4.5 percent of the market. The aging Volkswagen Amarok? 11 percent.

The Fullback probably won’t be missed. Meanwhile, North Americans wait patiently to see when FCA pulls the plug on the Fiat brand in that market.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 16 comments
  • Steve203 Steve203 on May 02, 2019

    Word is FCA has a "metric ton" pickup in development. It is supposed to be built in Saltillo, but Saltillo is still building Ram 1500s to fight the pickup market share war.

  • Guitar man Guitar man on May 02, 2019

    What do you think the Jeep Gladiator is ?

  • Skippity Noticeable as an Paseo. Maybe I'll see it differently live.
  • Tagbert I had this JX, though mine was a 5-speed in dark green. Got it when I lived in the mountains in Colorado. That was a fun little beast. Not super fast, but it could go just about anywhere. Put it into the low speed on the transfer case and that thing would just creep forward. The interior was not fancy but it held up well to lots of outdoor activities. I could hold lots of gear. Later when I moved away, it still proved useful. I was an unofficial “roadie” for my boyfriend and his band. Could get all their gear into it. The in-town gas mileage was around 25 mph which is pretty good. On the downside, the highway mileage was maybe 26 mph 😊.
  • Skippity I had a 308 in the 80's. Said Matchbox on the bottom.
  • ToolGuy When The Grand Tour covered the Manx way back in 2016, my first thought was "That would make an ideal EV candidate." Range is not an issue, lightweight, torquey, quiet and harmonious with nature (to the end user).Could I be a prophet??
  • BetterOne Not sure where you got your info from, Corey, but in North America the 2020 Cadenza continued on with the direct-injected 3.3L Lambda II V6. Apart from a larger infotainment screen, the 2020 was notably decontented from the prior model, too - no HUD or power rear sunshade, for example.
Next