Fiat not planning to expand the 500 lineup even more, going for Panda instead

Article by Christian A., on April 2, 2013

Fiat brand chief Gianluca Italia said that there’s a limit to how the company is expanding the 500 lineup. He is planning for the Panda range to have the same pace of growth as the 500. He explained that a limit is in place so that the “value and genes” of the core model isn’t being risked.

When asked whether Fiat is bound to lose some of the Fiat name’s allure by expanding in the same way as the Mini, Italia responded that it will be adding just a few models that leverage on the asset. He clarified also that Mini is a brand while 500 is not. Recently, Fiat has added the 500L five-seat MPV to the 500 line-up. This September, it will launch a seven-seat ‘XL’ version with two occasional use seats in the boot.

He revealed plans to build a new Italian-built small SUV named 500X while the company has scrapped plans for a 2014 launch. Italia said that the 500X will be its way of effectively handling the C-segment, replacing the Bravo. However, he said that there will be no additional models beyond what they’re planning. This means that there won’t be any coupe and roadster models.

It also suggests that the Panda’s expansion will have to meet the need for a Punto replacement. Italia said that there were plenty of prospects for the Panda to evolve. A model that’s slightly bigger than the existing car will be a good fit in the B-segment as a Punto replacement. Italia emphasized that we can expect that the Panda will always be “functional and accessible” no matter what they do with it.

The all-new Fiat Panda is turning out to be the golden boy of the brand’s 31-year history. The Panda has always been regarded as flexible and simple to use. It is a brand that is well-known for its strong emotional and rational value, a vehicle that has around 6.4 million units globally, and that has won 16 million drivers from different ages, nationalities, and backgrounds.

Panda is a best seller which has remarkably aided the indubitable leadership of Fiat in this segment: from the first 600 to the 500, the 126 to the first Panda, from the Cinqeucento to the Seicento, and from the second generation Panda in 2003 and the newly-released 500 launched in 2007. Fiat has always held the golden standard of the city-vehicle segment in Europe because of its unmatched proficiency developed in the continental municipalities.

The third generation of the Fiat Panda model evolves from this technical and human tradition. It develops of age and provides more merit in terms of technology, comfort, safety features, space, and functionality. It fuses the premier qualities of the first and second-generation vehicles. This intuitive car is perfect for those desiring to mix the practical handling of a city vehicle with the space and comfort of a five-door compact vehicle.

This is significantly improved by a trendy and well-balanced appearance which elevates the satisfying vibe of the Panda that by now has become a part of our memory like the other thing associated with Italian ingenuity, from the Fiat 500 to the Vespa Piaggio, Moka Bialetti and cubo by Bruno Munari. Extraordinary products that can neither be surmised by their mere look nor just delineate a good engineering exercise.

Instead, they are formidable creations, unprecedented in their design and idea that revolutionizes the common points of reference and comparison. When this happens, timeless masterpieces in the age of industry are born. The Fiat Panda holds such title.

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