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Fiat drives for core market with Stilo

Fiat UK managing director Jim Blades believes the new Stilo will establish the manufacturer in the C-sector as Punto has in the B-sector. Stilo reaches UK showrooms in February. “We now have to break into the mainstream with Stilo which is a flagbearer for us in terms of the new generation of Fiats,” said Mr Blades. “The Scottish show is important for us because we always do well in Scotland. The Fiat Group takes an 8% share of the Scottish market and that is a continuation of a steady growth here. We're up in all three divisions – Fiat, Alfa Romeo and commercial vehicles.” Fiat's UK market share is around 4.8%, comprising 4% for Fiat and less than 1% for Alfa Romeo. In Scotland Fiat accounts for 7% of the market with Alfa hovering around 0.6%. Much of the success is down to Punto, the second-highest selling car in Scotland behind the Renault Clio. Mr Blades believes Stilo has all the attributes to elevate itself into a similar position – the target is 30,000 sales across Britain next year. He said the Fiat dealership network would grow from around 180 dealers to 200 in the next 18 months to cope with the increase in demand. Alfa, up 80% in the UK, will increase from 80 to 100 outlets. “The C-sector accounts for about 38% of the UK market,” said Mr Blades. “In the medium to long term, as Stilo matures, we should take the same share as we do in the B-sector with Punto which is between 7-9%. “We have had a slowly growing position in the C-sector, first with Tipo and then Bravo/Brava which have done a decent job. Our mature and loyal dealer network is ready to move up a cog having made a substantial investment.” Mr Blades said more than 50% of UK C-sector registrations was dominated by the fleet sector where Fiat would implement a strategic plan to increase Stilo presence. “We have always been strong in retail, now we obviously have to start moving more strongly into corporate,” he said. “With the coming change to the way company car tax was levied, there was an opportunity to expand because people were ready for change.”

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