28 November 2023

Fiat Italy : 2018-2022

Fiat enters the last five years of this series going back to 1997. In that year, Fiat held 33.1% of the Italian market but it was not realistic to think that the brand could retain that percentage of registrations as the passing of time has confirmed. 

The third generation of the Panda model (pic below the chart) has been around since 2011. It still looks quite fresh but margins at that end of the market are thin hence the length of time since a new model has been released. It will be replaced in 2024 by a rugged looking electric crossover. 

In 2020, the 500e was released and that has affected sales in a positive way. The 500X is steadily slipping and 500L is departing without a replacement in sight. The Tipo has fallen quite dramatically in recent times while the Punto and Qubo have been retired.  

Nearly 2 million sales for the total market since 2017 have shrunk to just over 1.3 million in 2022. Fiat's share of the Italian market over the same period has fallen from 20.4% to 13.6%. Therefore volume has over halved since '17 to just 179,000 units as a result of these two negatives combining. 

Fiat is now part of the Stellantis Group and it will be interesting to see what direction the brand now takes. Profit will be the main driver of decisions as it has to be in a capitalist world. It's still early days as far as Stellantis' involvement is concerned. 

For the first in the series, simply click here. Pictures: Netcarshow.

Fiat Italy : 2013-2017

With registrations in Italy at a low 1.3 million in 2013, things improved to the point of nearly two million in 2017. This was hugely important for Fiat and by that time, sales exceeded 400,000. 

The Panda series three arrived in 2011 but had no effect on sales but gradually things did improve. By 2017, this one model accounted for over a third of Fiat sales in Italy. The 500 and 500L were ticking along very consistently and the Tipo (pic above) taking over from the Bravo was an improvement in volume. 

The Punto was slowly on the way out but the 500X (pic below) made up for that although not a direct replacement. The Qubo was boxing along consistently and the Freemont disappeared quietly. 

Market share was holding up just over the 20% mark, matching the upward trend in registrations. Would that be a minimum level for Fiat in its home market?

For the final in the series, simply click here. Picture Source: Netcarshow.

Fiat Italy : 2008-2012

Registrations in Italy fell dramatically over this period. In 2008, they stood at 2,160,000 but by 2012, they had slumped to 1,400,000! The fall wasn't in one hit but from 2010 to 2012 it was -10%, -11% and -20%. At the end of that unit sales were at their lowest level in over 30 years. to add to that, the market share for Fiat has fallen to 21% by 2012, not quite the lowest ever but still well down historically. 

For a brand like Fiat that relies heavily on the home market, that was no doubt tough. Total registrations for the Fiat brand in Italy by 2012 were less than half what they had been just five years earlier. The model range that expanded several years prior was now being trimmed back.   

The Qubo arrived in 2008, a very small van converted into a passenger vehicle and it did OK. For 2011 out went the Sedici, Croma, Multipla and Seicento and in came the Freemont (pic below), a Dodge Journey for Europe. In 2012 the 500L (pic above) replaced the Idea but it was too soon for it to have much impact on the sales data featured in tthe chart below. 

For the fourth in the series, simply click here. Pics: Netcarshow.

27 November 2023

Fiat Italy : 2003-2007

Fiat hit an all time low in 2003 in regard to Italian market share, which was replicated the following year. The arrival of the Croma (pic below the chart) gave Fiat a car larger than its more successful smaller offerings but that didn't sell well. A second generation Panda lifted sales in 2005 and likewise a third generation Punto a year later. 

Then Fiat created a small MPV which was named the Idea. It sold quite well too so not a bad idea. The Fiat Sedici was a collaboration with Suzuki and was much the same as the SX4. It wasn't supposed to be a big selling model so did well for what was expected. 

The interesting-looking Multipla (pic above) got a major facelift to 'normalise' its appearance and 2005 sales perked up slightly as a result. The Stillo name was dropped after one generation, Fiat returning to the Bravo label in 2007.

The 500 was introduced in 2007, a retrostyled version of the 500 that ended production in 1975. The new 500 could be classed as a replacement for the Seicento but as both sold concurrently for some years, I decided not to merge sales figures. 

Total registrations in Italy hit a record 2.5 million units in 2007. Did that and all of this model activity have a positive effect on sales? Well, yes it did with total numbers exceeding 600,000 for the first time in six years and its market share was now close to 25%. Could this positive change of fortunes now be maintained? 

For the third in the series, simply click here. Photos: Netcarshow

26 November 2023

Fiat Italy : 1997-2002

I thought I'd do a series on Fiat in Italy, going back to 1997. The data is from various sources and is sufficiently accurate to use although sources from Italy can be slightly variable. With that in mind... 

Back in 1997, Fiat commanded a third of the Italian passenger car market. Going further back to 1974, it exceeded 50% but has never reached those dizzying heights but not a realistic penetration nowadays. 

Still, we are starting over twenty years later and 33% was a strong result. The Punto was king with 375,000 registrations or 15.7% of total sales. Impressive for a single model. However, sales were dropping rather quickly after that. The second generation did uplift declining sales in the year 2000 but perhaps not by as much as one might expect. The Panda, Cinquecento and Bravo/Brava were also solid performers, highlighting Fiat's strength in smaller cars.

Over the six years covered here, total registrations were very stable but Fiat was losing ground. The total sales per annum dropped from 793,400 to 511,700. All models were part of that decline but none more so than the Punto (pic above).  

The Cinquecento was replaced by the Seicento but that didn't have any impact of note. The Stilo (pic below) was designed to improve on the Bravo/Brava with only a marginally superior result. The 22.4% share in 2002 was a third down from just six years earlier.  

For the second in the series, simply click here. Photographs: Netcarshow.