Fiat has introduced the 500L, a new addition to the company's 500 range after the Abarth and Cabrio variants. According to brand boss Olivier Francois, the 500 range is all about design, coolness and simplicity. The L stands for 'large.' Francois added that providing the vehicle extra space "opens it up to a wider market."
The 500L embodies the Simply More philosophy that Fiat applies to the Multispace concept. The vehicle has been designed to have better external visibility as well as a large amount of internal light through the glazing which goes all around the vehicle. The glass roof is the biggest in its category. The cargo capacity has also been increased.
The 500L will be launched in Europe during the last quarter of 2012. Francois further stated that it will follow its smaller sibling across the Atlantic to the US market. The automaker has already acknowledged that it made mistakes during the launch of the 500 in the US, mainly by having insufficient number of dealers available.
However, things are improving, with Francois disclosing that the 500L will be introduced in the country next year. He also revealed that sales through the past three months of the original vehicle model have been "very encouraging." Fiat now has 140 dealers across the nation, Francois stated, adding that February was their best month so far in terms of sales.
The sales of the new Panda, which made its debut at the end of 2011, have also been good. An all-wheel-drive variant will be launched in July. Francois revealed that discussions on a sporty version of the vehicle is ongoing, adding that they have not made a decision whether it will be introduced as Abarth.
Francois recognized that the market in Europe is tough in terms of sales especially Italy and Spain. He also noted that there has been a slowdown in France although Germany and the UK are still performing well for the automaker. The small A and B segments are getting "very complicated" in terms of the ongoing price war between manufacturers.