GENEVA - Fiat says it will base almost all its cars on two platforms by 2004.
Both modular 'superplatforms' will exceed a million units a year, said Fiat Auto Managing Director Roberto Testore.
Fiat says its new modular platform technology will cut tooling costs by 30 percent, reduce time to market and increase product variety.
The modular platform uses a steel skeleton of variable thickness that is much cheaper and easier to produce than a traditional load-bearing platform. The approach also allows flexible wheelbase, length, track and width.
Fiat says the new technology will reduce its total number of platforms from the current seven to just two.
The small 'superplatform' will replace the 0 platform (Panda), A (Seicento), B (Punto and Barchetta; Lancia Y) and the 178 world car (Palio, Siena, Palio Weekend station wagon and Strada pickup).
The small 'superplatform' will be the basis for 1.75 million units a year, Testore said.
Fiat will build 1.1 million units off the medium 'superplatform' to consolidate its existing C and D platforms (Bravo and Brava, Marea and Coupe; Alfa Romeo 145-146, 156, Spider and GTV coupe; Lancia Delta and Lybra).
The first new car to use it will be the Bravo and Brava replacements in spring 2001.
The medium 'superplatform' will also be the basis of the Fiat Coupe successor and a new sporty Alfa, possibly with rear-wheel drive.
A traditional steel spaceframe that is not part of this new platform strategy will be used for the future variations of the Multipla.