Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley has suggested Fiat will drop its city cars and concentrate on profitable B-segment cars. The end of the Fiat 500?
If you want to buy a Fiat in the UK there isn’t a huge amount of choice, with the Fiat 500, Panda and Tipo. But, if FCA CEO Mike Manley has his way, you might not be able to buy a Fiat 500 for much longer.
At FCA’s earnings call this week, Manley said that we will soon see a shift at FCA away from city cars like the 500 in to high-volume, higher margin B-segment cars like the now defunct Fiat Punto.
It’s clear to see why FCA see this as the route forward, because it’s rapidly becoming impossible for car makers to deliver city cars profitably with increasingly stringent emissions regulations, and we’ve already seen Ford drop the KA, and it looks like VW will drop ICE versions of the Up! before too long.
But it’s only a bit over a year since Fiat declared that the 500 is the future of the company, with sales of the 500 seen as the ‘premium’ future and the Panda as the budget offering going forward.
But, especially with a merger with PSA in the offing, Fiat has perhaps decided that the future will be based on a premium electric Fiat 500, the bigger 500s like the 500X, and a replacement for the Punto which could now use PSA’s underpinnings.
That would mean the end of the Fiat 500 as an ICE car, and the Panda too, but could bring in a raft of new models based on cars like the Peugeot 208 and 2008 SUV to fill the gap left by the Punto. It could also see a PSA-based Alfa Romeo Mito.
No doubt we’ll learn more in the coming weeks and months.