Today, our partners over at TheCarConnection.com turned our attention to the Italian invasion. It almost makes one want to shout, “The Italians are coming, the Italians are coming!” This really is no joke though, as reported by Marty Padgett, The Fiat Group is set to unveil the new five year plan for the troubled Chrysler brand next week. You can read the details over at The Road Ahead, but what this could mean is a new competitor to the much talked about small car market (see Fiesta Party or Flop).
Abarth Fiat 500
Yes, Fiat has a trick up their sleeve and it is one small car with a big number—the Fiat 500. Now, I personally would LOVE to get my hands on a 500. They are so…well, Italian. The MINI Cooper, the closest and most similar competition, is the old staple of the performance and niche micro car market here in the States and has had a very long run so far with a loyal following. However, as Marty reports, Fiat could bring the Fiat 500 to the states to not only compete with the MINI Cooper, but also the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta and the future VW Polo.
The Fiat 500 comes in a Abarth trim package, which one could compare to something like the Cooper S on a MINI. Now it may be hard to debunk the grasp MINI and Honda have on their loyal consumers, but my hunch is that a Fiat 500 would call to those of us with quirky car tastes. I mean, who doesn’t love an Italian car? The problem as of late is you can’t really buy a good one with out having a six-figure price tag.
2009 fiat 500 convertible 500c 2 024
Bottom line—The Fiat Group has a lot of work to do to bring Chrysler back, especially given the new lows the company has it in the recent 2009 Consumer Guide Quality Report. That aside, Fiat could bring a new level of competition and become a new household name along with the luxury brand Alfa Romeo. When is the last time you were able to buy one of those easily on this side of the pond?
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