Monday, December 17, 2007

Fiat to go micro in 2009 and green by 2012

In an interview last week with Automotive News Europe, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne mentioned that the company is hoping to sell its first microcar by 2009. It's a "true beauty," said Marchionne. We can speculate that it might look quite a bit like the concept microcar that Fiat presented to the world in 2005, pictured here. Perhaps they can call it the "Piccolo" (italian for small), but more likely it will end up being a variation on the Panda, their current (slightly ugly) almost-micro car.

Fiat has been having great success with its updated version of the Fiat 500, the Fiat Nuova 500; it's selling very briskly in Europe and is garnering many awards, including the prestigious EuroCarBody 2007 and the European Car of the Year 2008. It would appear that this success is giving Fiat confidence to go even smaller... Roughly 30 centimeters smaller to be precise (to get into the microcar category).

In the same interview, Marchionne asserted that "Fiat will be the carmaker with the lowest average emissions in 2012," and that they "do not need hybrids to get there." To all the hybrid devotees out there (yes, it almost seems like a religion these days), this must sound scandalous. But it's actually quite simple; going with increasingly smaller cars is likely the way they are going to achieve this goal. Perhaps he was reading my post from March...

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