MILAN — The Fiat brand in Europe will be reduced to a few models based around an electrified 500 lineup and the Panda, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executives said, while confirming the addition of a 500 Giardiniera wagon, the axing of the Punto subcompact and the withdrawal of the Tipo compact from European markets.
"The space for Fiat in Europe is going to be redefined in a more exclusive area," FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said during the unveiling of the company's business plan on Friday. He said he needed to cut products that lacked pricing power. "Given the EU (future emissions) regulations, it is very difficult for mass-market carmakers to be very profitable," Marchionne told analysts.
The 500 and Panda minicars are the two models in Europe "where Fiat can play best," Marchionne said.
Fiat dominates the minicar segment in Europe. The 500 was the region's top-selling minicar last year, with 190,389 units sold, according to JATO Dynamics data, followed by the Panda with sales of 187,682, both far ahead of the No. 3, the Volkswagen Up, which had sales of 98,929.
The 500 will get full-electric and mild hybrid powertrains, FCA’s CO2 reduction presentation on Friday showed. The 500L and 500X will get mild hybrid powertrains but no full-electric versions.
"Our plan is to focus the Fiat brand on products that are able to cover the cost of the new electrified technologies," Marchionne said. The full-electric 500 will give Fiat a car that will appeal to buyers in cities where access to internal combustion will be restricted, he said.
The new Giardiniera, whose powertrain lineup will include a full-electric version, revives a nameplate used for a Fiat miniwagon that was built into the 1970s.