VENICE - Fiat Auto's presence in Europe's upper-medium segment is not strong - but help is on the way.
Next year, when Lancia Lybra production will peak, Fiat plans to sell 78,500 Fiat Mareas, 71,800 Lancia Lybras and 108,500 Alfa Romeo 156s.
'Then, from 2003, we will introduce a successor to the Fiat Croma,' said Roberto Testore, Fiat Auto's president and chief executive, at the Lybra launch here.
That car will be based on an all-new platform for the Fiat group. Its configuration is still being studied.
'It is likely to be a multifunctional platform applicable for various wheelbases,' said Duilio Falcino, product development chief for the Lybra.
He also said the Croma successor could be a larger car than the Marea, to compete directly with models such as the Volkswagen Passat.