TURIN -- Fiat's Abarth unit, which is on track to boost sales by 50 percent this year, plans to more than double its global dealership network as it expands its lineup, said Paolo Gagliardo, who heads the performance subbrand.
Abarth is on course to increase global sales to about 10,000 cars this year, Gagliardo told journalists here early this month, despite only offering tuned versions of the Fiat 500.
Next year Abarth will add a new model, Gagliardo said without being specific.
Abarth's head of marketing, Fabrizio Simoni, told Automotive News Europe the brand wants to offer versions of Fiat's 500X subcompact SUV and the new Fiat 124 Spider, but he declined to say when the models would launch.
“We want to keep growing and stabilize at a certain level,” Gagliardo said, without giving an estimate of what that level could be. He said the brand now has 300 Abarth sales points within existing Fiat dealerships and will expand that to 750, without giving a timeframe.
He said that Abarth sales were worth a lot both to dealerships and to parent company Fiat Chrysler. “It's a huge business opportunity. Our cars are premium-priced,” he said, adding that Abarth variants of the Fiat 500 start at 18,000 euros ($19,000) compared with a the 13,600 starting price for a base 500 variant in Italy. The numbers only grow from there. “You find new Abarths selling for up to 40,000 euro even 50,000 euros,” said Gagliardo, who declined to reveal Abarth's average profit margin.