Fiat aims to grow its new car registrations to 70,000 units in 2015 as it continues to capitalise on the draw of its 500 sub-brand.
The Fiat brand in the UK is primarily driven by the 500, which accounts for around two thirds of volume, and that sub-brand has been carried over into the 500L compact MPV and now a crossover SUV, badged the 500X.
“The 500X needs to create another important pillar for the brand, so we don’t rely on one car,” said Elena Bernardelli, Fiat UK group marketing director.
In UK the Fiat 500 has been perceived as a fashion object, so the 500X has to carry on and enhance that perception but in a slightly more grown up segment, she said. The model’s aim is to keep linking Fiat with the design and cool attributes, but show it’s also about technological, robust, quality cars.
Bernardelli said the 500 has dramatically changed the Fiat customer base. Previously Fiat’s core was Punto, and it was bought by a young, mainstream audience, based on its price. With 500 the customer base is across age brackets, mainly female, and seeks lifestyle appeal and design. Finance offers are also helping with affordability.
“The customer approach to Fiat before was about having the best deal, now it’s about having the best designed car,” she said.