Company CEO Marchionne has outlined an electric future for the 500 range, but little else.
Fiat's 500 looks set to be following the example of Mini and spinning a whole range off one car, according to the latest five-year plan update from FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, but this leaves a big question unanswered about the Fiat brand itself – will it continue to exist?
There has been no mention of the future of the Fiat brand at the company's huge press event to update on strategic plans, but Marchionne has done some talking between the lines during his speech on the electrification strategy for Fiat.
What was once the formidable Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino powerhouse must be satisfied with a few slides without a real product plan, confirming the resizing in progress that was alluded to at the beginning of the year – the Punto and Tipo are set to be ditched, and there's no word yet on whether the Panda survives into a new generation.
There is some good news however – Fiat in the form of the 500 model will play an important role in the FCA group's electrification strategy. Thanks to the premium positioning of the 500, which costs around 10 percent more than the opposition on average will allow the Italian carmaker to absorb the high costs of going electric.
Marchionne announced plans for a 'Giardiniera' version of the 500, harking back to a 1960s Mini Clubman-style model that had a larger boot. This car will likely be a five-door version of the 500. Both the classic version and new Giardiniera will get EV models, but there's no word yet on the timescale of when the new cars will be introduced.
New features are also being planned for the larger members of the 500 family – the 500X and 500L are set to get hybrid powertrains.