CAN THE Fiat Multipla possibly succeed? If it does, it will say plenty about the company's marketing powers. The Multipla may be an innovative vehicle, but its looks are not so easy on the eyes.
Still, modern plant and platform flexibility makes the new Fiat MPV a pretty good bet. Fiat can make the Multipla pay if it can find 50,000 buyers a year for this roomy, if not dreamy, six-seater.
Modern carmakers and their designers can afford to be bold - and that is good for the industry. It can keep consumers interested, even when there is an economic chill in the air.
Indeed, unusual shapes are becoming more acceptable, even in conservative Germany. Look at the Ford Ka, BMW's Z3 coupe, the Audi TT and the Smart. Don't laugh too hard at the Multipla. All carmakers may learn from it.