Fiat wins removal of false 500X image from Geneva show site
TURIN -- Geneva auto show organizers apologized to Fiat after a fake image of the automaker's upcoming 500X crossover was published on the show's Web site. The picture was taken off the site after Fiat complained that the image was not genuine.
The 500X will replace the Sedici in the brand's European lineup in 2014. Fiat said the 500X will not debut at next month's Geneva show.
A show spokesperson said the image had been mistakenly pulled from the Internet. "We withdrew the picture immediately and offered Fiat our sincere apologies," the spokesperson told Automotive News Europe.
A Web search showed that the 500X image is an artist's impression created from an official picture of the Mazda CX-5 compact crossover.
The artist's impression showed a vehicle almost identical to a full-size styling model of the 500X that Fiat revealed in July in Turin when the company previewed the 500L small minivan. The only notable difference between the two vehicles is a groove in the lower part of the doors, which was not in the model shown in July.
The 500X will join other variants of 500 family in Europe, including the retro-styled 500 hatchback, a convertible, the 500L and sporty Abarth versions. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is expanding the 500 range to boost capacity usage at underperforming Italian factories and end losses in Europe by focusing on high-margin cars.
Fiat will begin 500X production in the fourth quarter of next year at its Melfi plant in Central Italy.
Like the Sedici, the 500X has SUV and hatchback styling. The Sedici is built alongside its sister model, the Suzuki SX4, at the Japanese automaker's factory in Hungary. Last year, Fiat Sedici sales in Europe declined 41 percent to 8,662 units, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers.
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