Fiat’s CEO has said the model’s intention to develop into a worldwide chief within the small automotive phase because the trade strikes into the electrical automotive period.
Talking to Autocar, Fiat CEO Olivier François mentioned the corporate sees alternatives within the altering market, due to parts equivalent to its place within the Stellantis group, the transfer to electric cars, and the phase shrinking due to rivals just like the Ford Fiesta being killed off.
Learn extra concerning the Fiat 500
The newest a part of this plan is the brand new Abarth 500e, formally introduced yesterday and already confirmed for an Australian launch in late 2023.
With a 42kWh battery and 114kW/235Nm driving a front-axle electrical motor, the Abarth builds on the Fiat 500e which is powered by an 87kW electrical motor, and is about to reach in Australia earlier in 2023 than its quicker sibling.
Mr François mentioned regardless of challenges going through the mirco and small automotive segments, it’s promising for Fiat that Fiesta and the VW Polo gained’t be a problem within the small EV house.
“What we’re super-focused at doing is A, B, C [or micro, small, and medium segment] automobiles however with the proper engine, physique and know-how. The stuff the client will actually crave for in that second. So small automobiles, however with a wise bundle,” he mentioned.
“The truth that there isn’t a Fiesta in the way in which or Polo in the way in which is simply implausible, as a result of it’s actually the place we belong. It’s the place individuals anticipate us to be. We now have not executed a brand new Punto since 2013 or one thing like that, however in the event you ask European clients to call their prime B-segment manufacturers, Fiat is within the prime three.
“We have to personal the B-segment once more, and we have to preserve proudly owning the A-segment. We all know why the others are leaving, and I perceive: it is tougher.”
Mr François continues, telling Autocar the explanation Fiat is ready to preserve pushing by means of the challenges within the phase is the premium issue – the price of an electrical automotive doesn’t appear as excessive when the product itself is seen as high-end.
“The one super-profitable, simple approach to go electrical is to make it super-premium, since you embed the horribly excessive price of batteries into one thing that’s anyway costly,” he mentioned.
Fortunately for Fiat, it has the sources of the Stellantis group at its disposal and is ready to climate a few of the growth prices it won’t afford by itself. Mr François minces no phrases concerning the state of affairs Fiat can be in with out its father or mother firm.
“With out Stellantis, we might not be in good condition. The Fiat enterprise mannequin or Citroën enterprise mannequin relies on economics of scale. Whenever you set off the synergies, it’s like being a child at Christmas, as a result of every little thing turns into much less scary,” he mentioned.
Fiat has some robust competitors if it hopes to be the highest of the ladder for small electrical automobiles. Cupra’s new Born electrical hatchback, the Peugeot e-208, the Mini Electric and its eventual devoted EV substitute, in addition to cheaper fashions coming from China just like the GWM Ora Good Cat.
Most of those will come to Australia, too, although recognition will depend upon eventual pricing as electrical automobiles develop into extra mainstream.