WHAT’S THE REASON FOR FIAT’S NEW APPROACH?
The rapid rise in the number of major cities introducing charges for combustion-engined cars is likely to lead to an increase in demand for electrified city cars. The challenge for car firms is that it’s already difficult to make money from small and cheap models.
But Fiat has managed to do just that with the 500 since relaunching that model, largely because buyers are prepared to pay a premium for its retro charms.
This explains why FCA has decided to focus the Fiat brand, in Europe at least, on electrified versions of the popular 500 and Panda cars, axing the lowervolume Punto entirely. By doubling down on retro design – including the relaunch of the 500 Giardiniera – the firm will focus on the more profitable premium city car market, where it will be better able to absorb the cost of electrified powertrains.
It’s a bold move for Fiat, effectively ending its run as a car brand that spanned the entire market. But it’s a more focused approach that could, if done well, bolster the venerable 500’s position.
Panda to join 500 in new push