Fiat is considering launching an entry-level brand for developing markets as it looks for opportunities to grow its manufacturing operations and increase profitability.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne admitted the success of Renault’s budget Dacia division and the impending relaunch of Datsun by Nissan in 2014 encouraged his team to analyse the potential of adding a low-cost brand to its portfolio.

“We are wondering if there is space for a low-cost brand such as Dacia in the Fiat world,” Marchionne told industry journal Automotive News Europe.

The Italian car maker has been pondering the introduction of a budget brand for more than five years, but the idea now appears to be gaining momentum as Marchionne plans to turn the Fiat brand into a more premium offering, starting with the Fiat 500 city car and the Panda compact SUV.

“We need to see if there is a space left below after the Fiat brand moves up,” he said.

Automotive News Europe suggests the launch of a budget brand from Fiat could see the return of the Innocenti name – an Italian brand purchased by Fiat in 1990.

Marchionne said any low-cost models would be built in developing markets as it was not financially viable to produce such vehicles in Europe.

  • Quivive

    The jkes on me. I always thought that Fiat was a budget brand, just overpriced in Australia.

  • Tex

    Hmmmmmmmm. I think it is a better idea to have the Fiat brand established, then look at budget brands.

    Focus on what you have first.

    • Daz

       Fiat is very well established in Europe and is doing very, very well in South America. Though they could possibly work harder in Aus and the US.

      As for a budget Brand, theyre currently a normal non-premium brand so there’s room for a budget brand underneath them.

    • Union

      They are talking internationally. Fiat is well established internationally regardless of its position in Australia. We would never see the “budget” brands here.

      • Tex

        I was more making reference to their models, none of which I would class to be superior to their competitors, aside from the Panda.

        Punto, Ritmo and 500 are little uninspiring.

        Alfa is in a similar issue; flogging the Guiletta and MiTo until new models launch.

        Hopefully the partnership with Chrysler can really see both brands prosper in the future!

  • LowRezFez

    Yeah, call it a Lada Riva!

  • Mike

    As if Fiat needed another brand to worry about, they have enough starved and unvalued brands already, that they should be concentrating on. 

  • Crazy n00b

    What’s the budget airline of the budget airlines? 

  • Aus_poppa

    People in Australia seem to have forgotten how big FIAT is in other countries, quite different from its minuscule Australian presence. 

    It makes over 2 million cars and trucks a year, producing not only in Italy, but Brazil (where it is market leader) Argentina, Serbia, Poland, Russia, India, and China. That is not counting Chrysler USA which includes Jeep and which makes over 1.5 million vehicles, including some – FIAT Fremont (Dodge Journey) and Lancia Thema (Chrysler300) which are made in US but branded FIAT/Lancia for the EU (but not the UK)

  • Ted

    Another brand for Aust – don’t we have enough brands already !!!

  • filippo

    In a way, Fiat is the budget brand. In Europe, Lancia is the luxury arm of Fiat.