The future of Fiat | The rebirth of Innocenti Elba
The CEO of Fiat, Sergio Marchionne a few days ago gave a speech around the future of the company in Italy and abroad. He also mentioned the launch in the near future of an unprecedented low cost brand. It remains to be seen whether there is still room for an economy brand able to cope on equal terms the success of Dacia, member of Renault which is considered the Romanian House of low-cost cars . In the words of Marchionne, a brand with these characteristics “must have production capacity outside of the European system“, in this way it will be possible to keep the selling price below the threshold of € 7,500. This will help the company get more fans and increase its brand profile as it would be perfect for car leasing and for people or small companies that don’t want to spend much on a city car.
The new Fiat Palio
Fiat Palio side view
Fiat Palio rear view
Among the most credible hypothesis seems to be that of the return of the historic brand Innocenti, which joined the Italian Group in 1990. At that time they were produced under the brand name of the House of Lambrate a series of cheap cars such as the Fiat Mille and Innocenti Elba. The first is the derivative of the Fiat Uno and the second from the Fiat Duna and both made in Brazil while the Innocenti Koral was produced in Serbia. The rebirth of the Innocenti brand could start at the Brazilian factories of Fiat, which could produce a series of models of Fiat origin, derived for example from Fiat Palio, the new one or the previous generation of the Panda, before being exported to the markets of the old continent.
The new Fiat UNO
Fiat UNO side view
Fiat UNO rear view
According to the CEO of the Lingotto, the engineers of the House are considering this type of project for at least 5 years, but until now the margins calculated were always negative. But now the competition is getting tougher, considering the next steps to the field from other manufacturers such as Renault-Nissan alliance which is ready to raise the Datsun brand and Talbot, or the Volkswagen Group able to attack the market with a project relating to a specific range of low cost cars which is considered an advanced stage of development. The market is changing as long as people and a small business car lease or companies can not afford expensive cars anymore due to worldwide financial crisis.
The old Fiat Innocenti
The launch of a possible low-cost brand also pushes the company to make Fiat branded cars more and more extravagant and trendy, along the lines of 500, 500L, and the future of the 500 X. According to Marchionne fact, in 2014 there will be room for a new version of Panda called X that will stand out for some typical characteristics of crossover, which is very popular in recent years.