From today Fiat Group’s World Blog will make a close analysis to each brand of this important car group. It will evaluate Fiat, Alfa, Lancia, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Maserati and Ferrari’s perspectives and its immediate and long term future. The analysis begins with Fiat brand, its global situation, its challenges and its future.Fiat models represent approximately 47% of total group sales*. Certainly it is the main brand of the group not only because of its importance in terms of units delivered but also because is more or less the most global name among its brand partners. Its presence can be found in several places around the world and significant differences among the countries it sells its models. Nevertheless it is really dependant of few markets and this makes its global position a bit unsecure as it has not spread its business in other important markets. Certainly Brazil and Italy are the core of its operations but it’s good to mention Turkey, Argentina and Poland as other markets where Fiat is well known. Brazil represents 44%* of its total sales (with Uno model as second best selling car of the country; represents 36% of its sales in Brazil). Then comes Italy that counts 21%, Turkey (JV with local Tofas) with 7% and Argentina with 5%*, these 2 markets being more important in terms of sales than Germany and France. In the other hand Fiat has still marginal market share in key markets as Russia, India and China, while in other countries such as a big part of Latinamerica and northern Europe its image is not the best.
In terms of model range it has developed it focusing on two markets: Italy and Europe, and Brazil and Mercosur. Europe’s one is made in Italy, Poland, Turkey and now in Serbia and Mexico but the number of models offered has declined in the last years. Fiat is very well recognized as doing small cars and therefore it is one of the few European car manufacturers to offer 2 models in this segment where it is the best selling car brand: the popular Panda and unique 500, both of them really appreciated by Europeans. In B segment they offer the Punto, which has been popular in Italy but not anymore in the rest of Europe as is getting really old (was launched in 2005). In C segment Fiat has failed with the beauty Bravo that has never got the attention from public not even in its native Italy. Then the presence in other segments is not important outside Italy. In South America there is more or less the same situation: small cars are the popular ones. Fiat Uno (launched in 2010) has a strong presence in Brazil and Argentina, as well as B segment Palio/Siena/Strada family (recently updated). But the presence in C segment is not really important.
This scenario must be taken into account when thinking of the brand’s future. Fiat must increase its presence in India, where small cars are extremely popular (and easily reach annual sales of 188.000 units). Also in China should increase its model range of sedans to go on sale along with the nice Viaggio and reach annual sales of at least 100.000 units. In Russia, where competition is tougher, they could sell aroung 57.000 units of local made products, most of them medium sedans. In Europe it should increase its model range in A and B segments offering a cheaper car than the Panda, a smaller than 500 (to become the Italian Smart) while in B segment offer more car body options for the Punto and increase the presence in small MPV segment with the coming 500L and also with revival of the great idea and ugly Multipla. Fiat must be recognized as the best small car manufacturer in Europe and Latin America and increase its market share in A and B segments, while focus on rebadged models for upper segments in other key markets.
In other words for coming years Fiat must be recognized as world’s best small car manufacturer with presence in Europe, Latinamerica, China, India, Russia and Africa, if it wants to keep its place as car industry key player, specially now that Chinese and Indians car manufacturers are becoming global.
* According to Fiat Group’s World Data base