Organizers of the Geneva Auto Show apologized to Fiat after its Web site published a bogus picture of the Italian carmaker’s 500X crossover. The image was eventually taken off the site after Fiat complained that it was not genuine. Fiat has prepped the 500X to replace the Sedici in its European lineup in 2014. Fiat said the 500X will not be unveiled at the Geneva auto show slated in March.
According to a spokesperson for the show, the image had been wrongly taken from the Internet. The spokesperson told Automotive News Europe that they pulled out the picture immediately and offered Fiat their sincere apologies.
The image in question is revealed to be an artist's impression of the 500X, based from an official picture of the Mazda CX-5 compact crossover. The artist's impression indicates a vehicle similar to a full-size styling model of the 500X that Fiat unveiled in Turin in July, when the Italian carmaker previewed the 500L small minivan.
Distinguishing the two vehicles is a groove in the lower part of the doors, which was not in the shown 500X in July. The 500X is slated to join other variants of 500 family in Europe, which already includes the 500 hatchback, a convertible, the 500L and sporty Abarth versions. Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne is expanding the 500 range to maximize capacity at its Italian plants as well as halt its losses in Europe by concentrating on high-margin cars.
Fiat will start producing the 500X in the fourth quarter of 2014 at its Melfi plant in Italy. Like the Sedici, the 500X has SUV and hatchback styling. The Sedici is produced alongside sister model Suzuki SX4 at the Japanese carmaker's plant in Hungary. In 2011, Fiat only sold 8,662 Sedicis in Europe, reflecting a 41 percent drop, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers.