Fiat puts all its eggs in one basket in a bid to crack multiple markets with its 500 model
Fiat seems to be committing itself to spinning all of its new models off the 500 brand name. In a recent statement the company said it sees no future in trying to sell conventional B- and C-segment hatchbacks in Europe, which would spell the death knell for the Punto and Bravo.
But the 500-based 500 L, due to be launched in Ireland in spring, is already spinning off derivatives, allowing Fiat to attack multiple market niches with one vehicle as a base-point.
The first such version is the rugged-looking 500 L Trekking, which was launched at the Los Angeles motor show last week. It’s basically a standard 500 L with bigger wheels, faux-4x4 bumpers and side panels, and an upgraded two-tone interior.
Next year will also see seven-seat 500 XL and proper 4x4 500 X versions as Fiat goes after the Mini MPV and compact SUV markets.
Will buyers be any more attracted to such cars than they would have been to a standard Punto? We’ll see.