This time they’re serious
Fiat, Chrysler and Alfa gear up for a revival Down Under
because of improved supply and our repositioning,’’ Campbell says.
‘‘ The brand has been hampered . . . by a lack of supply. But we have been told of new arrangements with Fiat in Italy to guarantee supply.
‘‘ We will introduce a sub$20,000 model of the 500 which will put it up against the Toyota Yaris and Mazda2 and change the way the public perceive Fiat.’’
The fuel-efficient two-cylinder Fiat 500 Twinair— priced from $22,000 by previous importer Ateco— will be the price leader.
The Fiat Fremont, a re-badged Dodge Journey people mover, is on the cards when the latter brand name is killed off.
‘‘ We have to be convinced that Fiat can deliver the volume we need to make a commitment to the Freemont,’’ Campbell says.
He refutes Carsguide’s suggestion that the Viaggio sedan, just launched in China, will be sold here. ‘‘ It’s not made — and there are no plans for it to be made— in right-hand drive.’’
But bringing in other models from China or India, where Fiat makes its compact sedans, is quite possible, though dependent on price and quality.
‘‘ We will look at anything in right-hand drive and that includes the Fiat Punto, Grand Punto, Panda and the Linea. We have the chance of getting the cars that are in the UK market. They’ll require some modification at the factory but it’s certainly possible.’’
The situation is, as ever, less clear with Alfa Romeo. Campbell has inherited the brand that has now only two models— the Giulietta and Mito— with weak sales.
‘‘ Alfa is where Jeep was a few years ago . . . a strong history but now with dormant sales,’’ he says. ‘‘ But changes are coming. The Alfa 4C coupe will come to Australia— I have agreed to about 100 a year— though pricing may be critical. It could sell for about $60,000.’’
Future look: More Chrysler sedans (above) will hit the Australian market while Fiat’s 500 (left) will be the brand’s flagshipdownunder