This time they’re se­ri­ous

Fiat, Chrysler and Alfa gear up for a re­vival Down Un­der

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

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

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