Roberto Testore, Managing Director, Fiat Auto
What are the advantages of the new Multipla's space frame technology
The main advantage is flexibility. It is easier to increase production. For instance, you don't need dies to make the interior part of the chassis. The extrusion machines are standard, so you don't need purpose-built production equipment. It is easier to shift from one model to another, from one chassis size to another. With traditional stamping technology, big parts are more difficult to make, dies take longer to make and are therefore more expensive. On the Multipla, for instance, the breakeven point is only 40,000 units and we think we will sell 50,000.
Will the technology be used for future Fiat models?
The Multipla is a life-size laboratory, not only for small-volume vehicles but also for large-volume. We are going to develop a new family of modular chassis. We have been very satisfied with the results from the space-frame technology and we'll make mass-volume models based on it. It will allow us to go beyond the concept of platform and to slash capital expenditures by roughly 30 percent compared with traditional stamping.
Does Fiat need to strengthen its medium and upper ranges to improve its product mix?
Clearly, we want to build a stronger image in the lower-medium to full-size segments.
Fiat no longer builds the Croma. Will you return to the segment?
Why not? If it happens, it will be through a functional car filled with new ideas.
Will there be an Alfa-Romeo minivan?
No. However, a big coupe is entirely feasible.