A Hint of the Fiats Coming to America
The Ticker recently returned from a lovely vacation in Italy. We have several observations about Italy and its profound lack of large, well-iced diet soda fountain beverages, none of which are relevant to this audience.
However, the picture below is.
This is a photo we took of something you see all over Italy that you'll see popping up across the U.S. a little more than a year from now: A new Fiat.
As a condition of its emergence from bankruptcy, Fiat now owns 20 percent of Chrysler, a stake that could grow to 35 percent. Fiat makes small, fuel-sipping cars that Chrysler needs to reclaim some of the passenger car market. (Chrysler is fine in the truck market, thanks to Dodge.) The plan is to bring Fiats to the U.S.
This one is not one you'll see right away, but it helps you get the picture. This is one of Fiat's larger cars, a five-door sedan. If I remember correctly, it's the Fiat Bravo, and it's about the size of a Pontiac Vibe. I took the picture in the small town of Treviso, outside of Venice, but Italy is full of them.
The Fiat you'll first see is the awful cute Fiat 500, which you can see by clicking here.
A Chrysler spokesman told me today that the Fiat 500 is going to be the first Fiat in the U.S. but wouldn't say when it would appear, for competitive reasons. It will compete directly against other micro-cars, including the Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris, the Mini Cooper and, to a lesser degree, the Smart. It gets about 40 mpg on the highway and in the low 30s in the city.
And it goes zero to 60 in 9.3 seconds, which is not fast, but if you're sitting in something this size, anything seems fast.
In this preview, Consumer Guide predicts the Fiat 500 will sell for about $16,000.
August 4, 2009; 1:01 PM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Chrysler, Fiat, Honda, Toytoa
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Posted by: Dermitt | August 4, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse
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