The plans for an expanded Fiat line-up follow a switch of local importer from Ateco Automotive to the newly formed local subsidiary of FiatChrysler.
Ateco had shrunk the offering of local Fiats to only variants of the Fiat 500 city car, but FiatChrysler Australia says it has greater ambitions for the brand, along with premium stablemate Alfa Romeo that it also secured from Ateco.
"One of our major aims is to increase volume of Alfa Romeo and Fiat models, and one of the obvious ways is to broaden the product range," said FiatChrysler Australia spokeswoman Lenore Fletcher.
"There are a number of vehicles [by Fiat] that are appealing to the Australian market. Their smaller vehicles are very stylish, very fuel efficient … all the things that appeal to Australian new car buyers.
“We do see it as lots of possibilities. We have to select the vehicles firstly that are available in right-hand drive and then see if we can make a successful business case from that.”
FiatChrysler’s director of product planning, Alex Tam, has been to Fiat’s base in Turin recently to research prospective models for the Australian market.
The Fiat Panda (pictured above) is one of the models FiatChrysler Australia is considering, including a new AWD mini-SUV announced this week.
The Panda is one of Fiat’s cuter-looking small cars, and is offered with a range of engines in Europe including a 0.9-litre two-cylinder ‘Twinair’ petrol engine, 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre turbo diesel.
The Fiat Punto city car (pictured top) and Fiat’s rival for the likes of the Ford Focus and Mazda3, the Bravo (pictured below), could also make a return to Australia. They were sold by Ateco for a period before the importer decided to focus solely on the 500.
The 4065mm-long, three-door Punto has a broad engine line-up comprising the same engines as the Panda as well as a trio of 1.4-litre petrol engines that include a higher-power turbocharged version.
The five-door Fiat Bravo can be powered by the likes of a 1.4-litre petrol, two 1.6-litre turbo diesels and a more powerful 2.0-litre turbo diesel.
FiatChrysler Australia has already confirmed it is interested in a bigger variant of the 500 city car, the Fiat 500L that is the Italian brand's answer to the Mini Countryman and could reach Australia before the end of 2013.
Leaked patent images have suggested Fiat is also developing a seven-seater version called the Fiat 500XL.