Following up on the good news of sister Chrysler in America, Fiat do Brasil has some good news of their own to send embattled Turin’s way. As of March 20, the Uno has officially pushed ahead of the VW Gol and has taken the sales crown in Brazil. According to Brazilian car site webmotors.com.br, this is the first time the Uno has been ahead of the Gol for an extended period of time. Hitherto, the Uno had threatened VW’s pride and joy a month or another, then lagged behind.
But wait, there’s more!
According to Brazil’s Globo, Brazil’s baby darling, the new Uno, is outgrowing its baby shoes. Fiat must expand to keep up with the demand. The likely winner will be the northeastern state of Pernambuco. Fiat announced that it is in negotiations with that state’s government. Though the Italians denied that a factory was in the offing, what else should an automaker discuss with a state government? Police cars? It is a well known fact that Fiat needs more capacity. It is also well-known that Fiat and various state governments have been doing the habitual mating dance whenever a maker says it’s looking for a new place to call home. Next year will witness the beginning of operations at three new sites as Hyundai, Toyota and even Chinese Chery are busy building their new factories. The Big 4 (Fiat, VW, GM and Ford) in Brazil all have two factories, except for Fiat. Fiat only has one. Market conditions are now forcing the Italians to commit: Double-up or fold?
As reported earlier, Fiat’s new baby is quickly becoming Brazilians’ new darling. But that was perception. Now cold hard numbers are coming in, and believe it or not, the new Uno is being adopted at record rates. Widely-read Brazilian car site Webmotors cites numbers of the Brazilian Motor Vehicles Distribution Federation Fenabrave. According to the official count, the new Uno, launched but a week ago, is already creating havoc with Brazilian car sales rankings.
Got up bright and early this beautiful chilly morning. The sun is out and there are no clouds in the blue autumn sky. (Get used to it. It’s autumn in Brazil.) Reminds me again of some American friends, who say that a trip to Brazil is worth it just to see the sky. Anyway, the plan is to hit the dealer at opening time and check out all the hype surrounding the new Uno. As luck would have it…