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Old 11-27-2008, 12:20 PM   #1
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Default Fiat planning to bring low-cost brand to Western Europe in 2010

Fiat, synonymous to many shoppers with inexpensive motoring, is apparently planning to introduce a low-cost brand in late 2010 for the Western European market.

Initially, Fiat had only planned to introduce the low-cost brand to emerging markets, like Brazil and Eastern Europe, but with the recent global economic downturn, the Italian automaker is apparently serious about bringing the low-cost cars to comparatively prosperous Western Europe.

Fiat hasnít released many details about the brand other than that it will arrive in Western European showrooms in 2010 as a 2011 model. The cars could be built in Italy, Poland or Serbia and would likely include a sedan - initially intended for sedan-friendly markets like South America - and a hatchback. Pricing would be lower than comparable Fiat models, which have moved marginally upscale.

Fiatís 500 was once the brandís cheap city car, but the latest generation is more of a lifestyle vehicle, so competition between the two would likely be small.

The Italian automaker is looking to capitalize on the phenomenal success French automaker Renault has had by bringing its Romanian-built Dacia brand to Western Europe. Renault took advantage of inexpensive Romanian labor to produce a sedan, hatchback and MPV, the least expensive of which starts below 8,000 euros.

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