It’s been a long time since Fiat pranced to the top of the European market with a young and dynamic offering. The Italian brand has slipped down the bestseller rankings, and worse, the market has been particularly grim for the last few years. Blame it on Covid, which led to restrictions and then production halts around the world, starting with that of semiconductors.
In a European car market that fell by 14.1% in the first 6 months of 2022, Fiat in the EU fell by 27.2% (266,533 sales), ie the largest loss in the whole world Stellantis Group, of which the Turin brand is a member. Paradoxically, in France, Fiat is doing fairly well. If the market loses 15.31% from January to July 2022, the Italian coat of arms remains at -5.96%, increasing its penetration from 2.40% to 2.66%. This is the second-best performance in the Stellantis group, first going to… Alfa Romeo (+34.47%). But the biscione, benefiting from the arrival of the tonal, starts very, very low.
Fiat suffers from an incomplete and very aging range: the Punto, its former workhorse, has never been replaced, there are only two SUVs already old (the Panda Cross and the 500 X), while its model, the Tipo, is the most recent 2015… Except for the wonderful 500th! Thanks to what was launched in 2020, the Italian can play on the fringes as rarely in its history while benefiting from appreciable sales volumes. In fact, this is the third best-selling electric car in France with 8,922 units. And that despite a base price of 26,200 euros (excluding the state premium) compared to 17,190 euros for the hybrid. Fiat can say thank you to its battery-powered city car, its new cash cow!
Across all engines, the 500 is in 11th place with 17,537 units. Fiat has also largely electrified its models, from the Panda to the 500 X to the 500 and the Tipo. Of course, since this doesn’t directly benefit sales numbers, this must be driving up a hell of a lot of margins, especially in the case of the 500, which sells for more than half electric.
Like others, Fiat is using the supply crunch to bet on margins as its floor-price models have disappeared. Added to this is electrification, which has led to very significant price inflation: the Panda is a thing of the past at under 8,000 euros (now at least 12,590 euros). The Tipo, on the other hand, is no longer available for less than 20,990 euros. There was a time when it was offered for €11,000… Fiat gives it the appearance of an SUV and in turn exploits this to sell it for more. This policy of overvaluing cars is bearing fruit at Stellantis, which is posting record profits.
The future for Fiat? If he manages to quickly launch a new Punto (it’s in the tubes) and effectively renew his Panda (to be released in 2011), which incidentally remains his best-selling European, he doesn’t seem so gloomy. But Fiat will also have to equip itself with new SUVs, without which there seems to be no commercial salvation. It should be noted that FCA continues to dominate in Brazil with 23.6% of the market (193,287 cars) from January to July 2022, even if its 15.4% decline is greater than that of all brands (11.7%). .