Argentina: the new market for Italian Fiat Bravo

The beauty Fiat Bravo is getting ready for a new conquest. Although it has been on sale since 2007, the car has never had good sales figures not even in Italy. The lack of a 3 door version, Station wagon and more engine options, has made of it a complete flop for Fiat. Nowadays, tough times in Europe indicate that the model will soon disappear so European version of Fiat Viaggio will arrive. And sales figures confirm it: in 2010, 43.116 units were sold in Europe and one year later only 31.673*. During the first 6 months of 2012, only 9.611 units were sold. It means the C-Segment car from Fiat is losing market share as no other. Mainly because of the success of the Alfa Giulietta in Italy, and the good sales figures of Kia Cee’d/Hyundai i30 in Europe. This is certainly really bad news for Fiat as C-Segment is Europe’s second largest one and the car is not old at all. Besides it means less production levels for its plan of Cassino, that produces the trio Bravo/Giulietta/Delta.

Italian Fiat Bravo is expected to hit Argentinean market late 2012

One of the solutions for this over capacity problem is to open Italian factories to international markets, or those markets located outside Europe. Marchionne has said repeatedly that future of Italian production depends on its ability to export far away from European Union. But it will take a while to reach that goal as Europe is not really open to global markets and European products are not really competitive when they are exported abroad. Anyway they just began to do it and the Bravo is the chosen one. The place: Argentina, an emerging market that has reached sales figures above Spain  or Indonesia, and gets close to Australian market numbers. Almost 858.000 cars were sold over there in 2011, up a massive 29%. In 2012 things seem to stabilize but the country is now a big market for car sales and production. Fiat has one factory in Cordoba, where it produces the B-Segment sedan Siena for local consumption but also for exports to Brazil. It is one of the biggest of that country and the brand is well-known among buyers. Though it could be considered a closed market in terms of imports, Argentina is becoming not only big but also difficult when it is about competition with local manufacturers such as VW (where the Amarok was first produced), Renault and GM. Last year almost 42% of total sales were B-Segment cars, a bit more than Brazil’s percentage, while A-Segment is much smaller than Brazil’s. Only 9.5% of total sales were that kind of cars. It means the position of Fiat in Argentina is not as comfortable as it is in Brazil. It can be seen in its market share, around 10%-11%, far away from the 22%-23% it has in Brazil. Fiat had 33% of A-Segment in Argentina during 2011, 12% in B-Segment and only 1% of C-Segment***.

Current Fiat Bravo detail

It is why Fiat is now preparing the launch of Italian Fiat Bravo in Argentina. According to the latest official video of Fiat Argentina, the car will be available in late 2012 with two engines options: 1.4 Turbo 16V MultiAir with 140 hp and 1.6 Turbo MultiJet diesel with 120 hp. Among the features are the Stop/Start system, Xenon headlights, ABD, EBD, leather seats, Blue&Me system, double sunroof Skydome, parking sensors, and others. Prices are not yet published but it is expected that the car will be as expensive as its main competitors, Ford Focus, Renault Megane and Peugeot 308. So, as European sales of Bravo drop, it can find another market where it could have an interesting position among Compact cars in a market that is growing a lot. Good for Cassino plant.



*** FGW data


New versions for Ram, 500, Bravo, Linea and Giulietta

Ram 1500 Laramie Limited. Photo by

The ending week brings a lot of news related to the coming versions of Ram pickup, Fiat 500 and Bravo, and the first restyling of Fiat Linea. The offer of the bick truck from Ram will add a luxury version called Laramie Limited, featured with heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, to replace the Laramie Longhorn version. It will be Ram’s most expensive pickup and is part of the strategy of the brand to cover a the fast growing segment of luxury trucks. Chrysler has seen an opportunity among those clients that are not cowboys but want a big truck to use in the city.  In fact this kind of pickups are allowing Ram to rise the average price of its products. Last year, 13% of light -duty Ram pickups were sold for at least $40.000 (+9% compared to 2010), and among heavy-duty one, those pickups with prices above $50.000 represented 29% of total sales (+22%). In other words a new subsegment has born and Ram is ready to cover it. For the coming months, though, they should develop an exclusive model (not only an update of current model) in order to address more directly this kind of client. Last year, Ram sold around 315.000 units, 78% of them in the US, up 23% on 2010 figures,  double of growth that had its eternal rivals, Ford F-150 (+11%) and Chevrolet Silverado (+12%).

Fiat 500 Street MY 2013

Meanwhile in Italy Fiat has introduced the 500 Model Year 2013. Available in both body types, 3 door hatchback and cabrio, the car is now offered with 6 new colours and 2 new versions. The MY 2013 introduces the blue “Dipinto di blu”, the purple “Dolce”, gray “Colosseo”, red “Diva”, yellow “Sole” and Beige “Cappuccino”. They will be also available with 2 more interior options: Cioccolato/Avorio (Chocolate/Ivory) and Gray/Black. Lounge version is now possible to have with 14 axes rim of 15″. In terms of accessories, there are 2 more versions: the Street (Black Matt color, 16″ rims, spoiler, new seats, crome gearbox) starting at €13.750 for the 1.2. The other version is called Color Therapy, that according to Fiat, it develops the pop and coloured soul of the 500 through colours that had made this model so famous. MY 2013 does not mean any change in design, as Fiat is waiting for the first real facelift in the coming months in order to enhance in a better way the new rivals.

Fiat Bravo Sporting for Brazilian market

After some weeks of the presentation of Fiat Bravo MY 2013 for Brazilian market, they have showed the Sporting version. From next week Brazilians will be able to buy the Bravo with 17″ rims with new sporty touch outside and inside. It adds a red frame in the grill, a spoiler and a suspension 25mm lower than its ‘common’ brothers. Sky Dome roof is standard. Will be available with both gearbox, manual or Dualogic starting at R$58.140 (€23.000). Is then more expensive than Essence version R$53.140 (€21.000) and cheaper than Absolute (€24.600) and T-Jet versions (€26.200). The engine is 1.8 E-torQ and is only available with 4 different colors: yellow, white, red and green. Fiat , which is Brazil’s best selling carmaker, is trying to recover its market share in C-segment due to the fall of sales of its Bravo and Linea. During the first 5 months of 2012 they have sold 3.478 Bravos and 3.419 Lineas, far away from the leader of the segment, Toyota Corolla with 20.681 units sold so far.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sportiva

Alfa Romeo wants to keep the good results of its C-segment Giulietta. In April and May it was Italy’s best selling car in its segment surpassing VW Golf. After the arrival of entry level version of 1.4 T with 105 HP, now is turn for a more sporty version. The Supersportiva will arrive soon offering an interesting sporty package with 1.4 MultiAir 170 HP , 2.0 JTDM 140 HP or 2.0 JTDM 170 HP. It comes with 18″ rims (the same of QV version) with Brembo brakes, darken stop lights, matt external mirrors; sporty pedals, leather seats with red stitching, among others. A good way to keep shaking the market in a moment when all segment sales are droping. This year is expected to be really hard for Alfa Romeo’s sales figures as they just count on 2 models and Giulietta one is now having problems outside Europe with the arrival of new competitors. In Italy this car should take the comand of C-Segment sales, thanks to a wider range of versions and GPL options, now more appreciated by Italians. YTD sales figures indicate the Giulietta is just 2.951 units behind the Golf, but it seems this gap will reduce as the Giulietta was in May, for second month in a row, the best selling compact in Italy.

Fiat Linea 2013

Finally from Turkey arrives the last news. The Linea, Turkey’s  best selling car, has received its first facelift since it was introduced in 2007. The make up affects the outside and inside design and allows it to look much better and elegant. Now it comes with a rear spoiler and inside there is a new design for the steering wheel and redesigned instrument panel, and a new dashboard. Engines don’t change: 1.4 Fire with 77HP, 1.3 MultiJet 95 HP and 1.6 MultiJet 105 HP. Inside the whole dashboard and panel were changed and took from the Punto Evo but adding better looking materials. Fiat produces the Linea along with local producer, Tofas, and this year it has become country’s best selling cars beating its rivals from Renault, the Thalia and Fluence. Jan-Apr sales figures indicate that 8.710 units of this sedan (C-segment in Turkey) were delivered, up 13% in a whole market that drops 19%. Eventhough the good result, it is practically the unique successful model of the company as the Albea sedan (B-segment) is getting really old and its sales falling dramatically. Turkey is an important market that is expected to grow to interesting levels in the next years.

Fiat Linea interior

Source: Automotive News, FGA, Auto Esporte

Fiat Brazil updates the Bravo


Fiat Bravo. Photo by

Fiat Bravo. Photo by

After one year and half in the Brazilian market, the compact Bravo has received its first update in order to stop sales decrease of last months. This car, that has been positionated in an upper place of C segment (comparing to its European brother), has got a new automatic transmission called Dualogic Plus which offers several driving features such as the ‘Creeping’, in which the car detects when releases his foot from brake pedal and then automatically begins a slight displacement forward, without using the accelerator pedal (it helps when parking). Besides when using the feature Auto-Up Shift Abort, the car can switch to a higher gear in case of speed resumption, without loosing torque and power. Other features include Radio NAV with 6.5″ screen navigator.

Fiat Bravo. Photo by

Fiat Bravo. Photo by

The Bravo is one of Fiat’s offer in small ‘C’ segment in Brazil. So far they have sold (from Nov/10 to Apr/12) around 15.000 units, from which 11.827 were sold in 2011, a small number compared to other competitors like Toyota Corolla (2011: 53.147), Hyundai i30 (35.717), or Ford Focus (27.611)*. But things are not getting better for the beauty Bravo, available with 1.8 16V 132hp or T-Jet 16V 152hp. This year its sales have decreased 6% explained partly because of general fall of the whole Brazilian market (down 3%) but also because of arrival of better competitors: new generation of Honda Civic (+31%), Chevrolet Cruze (new model) and VW Jetta (+671%), all of them ‘C’ segment sedans and no Hatchback as the Bravo. Certainly Brazilians prefer large compacts and that’s why Fiat offers also the Linea as the sedan version of Bravo, but not even this sedan is gaining a position in the market. Therefore, Fiat Brazil, besides the update of Bravo and next facelift of Linea, should accelerate the arrival of new generation of these models and gain more market share (in 2011 was only of 6.1%) in this growing segment, that got a market share of 11.7% in 2011, the third largest one and even larger than small pickup segment (11.4%)**

Information from


** FGW data base