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Innocenti or Autobianchi revival? 2 new, small Fiats coming for developing markets

4945 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  nadepalma
I thought this was interesting...would love to see the Innocenti name make a comeback.

Seems everyone wants a cheap World-Car to produce for the developing world and 3rd world countries. This would be a good segment for Fiat to exist in - and a 3rd brand could fit the bill; especially as Fiat seems to want to improve it's image around the world and would arguably want to "protect" its brand-revival.

And now that brands like Tata are planning on jumping in the fray, it makes it that much more attractive. We know Toyota is planning on playing here and GM has already said it was working on such a project.

Fiat already has a "world-car" range in the Palio class of cars (Palio, Weekend, Siena, etc) - but the lifespan of that range is coming to a close and Fiat is already looking at even cheaper vehicles for places like India.




AutoBlog said:
Fiat is toying with the idea of spinning off the car, currently dubbed the "new Uno", as a separate brand. Over the years Fiat has absorbed a wealth of Italian auto brands and, as it did with Abarth, could revive either the Innocenti or Autobianchi marques.

1972 Innocenti Mini 1.3

1963 Innocenti 950

1982 Innocenti Turbo De Tomaso
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I am afraid with Fiat's current hit-and-miss marketing (see: Alfa Romeo and Lancia), neither of the brands are in question, but rather some convulted solution of making something like "Gingo" a brand or sub-brand...
The larger model of the two is the "new Uno", the car that will replace the Palio as the world car and serve as Fiat's answer to Logan in Europe. The Palio itself is a largely rehashed Uno - though the new car will reportedly start off the old Punto platform, with bits borrowed from Panda.
Innocenti is an "alien" brand to Fiat - it was a license vehicle for British Leyland for most of its time, and then a sales channel for Daihatsu hardware, competing directly with Fiat. They bought it mostly to eradicate all competition in Italy, and relegated it to selling rebadged Yugo Korals, Milles and Elbas (the Elba being the second most reviled Fiat in Italy after its sedan sister, Fiat Duna). I don't think there is much value in the brand name, let alone sentiment in the Fiat Group to revive it...

Autobianchi was founded to provide a channel to sell premium small cars, as well as test field for novelty technical solutions (like transverse FWD, pioneered in the Autobianchi Primula). Today, the first function is taken over by Lancia, Alfa and Fiat, all to some extent (Ypsilon, Musa, 500, Junior/MiTo), and the second is a necessity and not only a luxury a large automaker can afford. I love the brand dearly, but it is hard to pronunce and, by now, rather obscure, not to mention its premise doesn't fit the decribed function. I would LOVE Autobianchi back, but I'd doubt Fiat would do that.

Still, I admire Fiat for what they did with the Palio-based range.
They sure took a leaf out of the 1950s book of American automotive design in that they facelifted the cars beyond reason, but they didn't fix the obvious crappiness of the interior :/
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