Fiat has revealed its plans for a range centred around the premium-compact 500, which will sit alongside value-focused larger models in its line-up going forward.
"We will be present in the C-segment [Volkswagen Golf class] but not much more. All models will sit within 3.5 metres and 4.5m [long]. This is where Fiat will play," Olivier François, the CEO of Fiat, told Autocar in an interview.
The Fiat brand's latest plan centres around two key pillars: the 500 family of models, and "family transportation".
According to François, the Centoventi concept (above), unveiled at this year's Geneva motor show, has "looks [which] are very faithful to the next-generation Panda".
Due in 2021 and powered by internal-combustion engines, the regular Panda range will be followed by a pure-electric variant scheduled to appear in 2023.
Like the next-generation electric 500, the electric Panda will feature a modular battery system allowing drivers to purchase or rent extra driving range as required.
The largest model in Fiat's lineup (excluding its van-based models) is the Tipo. The sedan, hatch and wagon range is made in Turkey as part of a joint venture, and targets economy-minded buyers in the Golf and Focus class.
François reportedly wants the Tipo replaced by a new crossover to sit above the next-generation 500X.
Should the new crossover come to fruition, it will likely be Tipo-like with its sharp pricing and a strong focus on value.
124 Spider and others
The Fiat boss's statement the brand will have "no big cars, no premium cars, no sporty cars" in its future seems to cast the future of the 124 Spider into some doubt. The 124 Spider shares its platform, interior and production line with the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5.
While the company may keep the current car around until Mazda decides to build a next-generation model, a follow up to the 124 Spider looks to be receding into the distance.
For enthusiasts, the sales figures for both the 124 Spider and MX-5 make for painful reading.
In 2018 Fiat sold 7698 124 Spider convertibles in Europe, along with 3515 in the US and 153 in Australia. During the same period Mazda found 13,703 homes for the MX-5s on the Continent, as well as a further 8917 sales in the States and 835 Down Under.
With buyers abandoning large cars from non-premium brands, such as the Ford Mondeo and Opel Insignia, in droves, Fiat seems keen to leave this part of the market to its Alfa Romeo and Maserati marques.