Fiat wants to revive sales with its usual minicar strength image

The Italian manufacturer is reshaping its strategy to win back customers by returning to its roots and preparing to swarm the market with its usual strong point – the minicars. So, the 500 and Panda will be further expanded in the compact and subcompact segments.

The Fiat Panda and 500 are seen as expanding from a combined four minicar versions to 12 derivatives that cover the minicar, subcompact and compact segments. Fiat brand CEO Olivier Francois said the Panda family will be focused on budget-conscious customers while the 500 models will aim at buyers willing to pay extra to have a more premium product.

“The Fiat brand has two dimensions, Panda-500, functional-aspirational, left brain-right brain,” said Francois. “Every 500 model should have a strong style, as well as a coherent personality and features so it can properly fight in the premium part of each segment where it competes.”

The Panda will become a model family designed around functionality, ease of use and value for money, he said. The 500 family will allure customers looking for features associated with premium cars such as the striking design and good technical features.

Francois added that the strategy is mirrored by the changing buying habits of European customers who are going upmarket or down-market. Upscale buyers are now going for smaller premium cars from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz instead of opting for volume brands such as Fiat, Ford and Renault.

Via Automotive News Europe