Fiat North America: ‘Ellezero’ Crossover on its way
Fiat wants to extend its business activities in the US and will also introduce the ‘Ellezero’ next to the 500. Fiat brand manager Olivier François made this statement in a press conference in Detroit. Although it is still unknown what the outcome will be, reliable voices related to the project expect it to be somewhere in the order of ‘500’ with an addition (‘SW’ or ‘Multipla’ for example). Fiat did not meet the initial sales target of the Fiat 500 (50,000), but according to the chief creative officer Fiat just got started, or to quote Sergio Marchionne during a press conference “this is just the end of the beginning.”
This new to be build Crossover is essentially for those who like the visual concept of the 500 but who prefer more space. The still unnamed ‘Ellezero’ (probably Multipla or 600) will be suited for five persons and will make its debut in Europe first. After introduction a seven-seater based on the same platform will quickly follow, bringing the US total to three. Fiat North America director Timothy Kuniskis commented Fiat’s core inspiration for these people carriers was the US market and will hopefully be the key to success there. With only the Fiat and Abarth 500 to sell, dealers can not wait to offer its customers more choice. The same happened with Mini when BMW decided to extend the range of cars based on the Mini.
Fiat expects to sell around 40,000 units in North America (including Canada) this year. The ‘Ellezero’ will arrive somewhere halfway 2012 at the 137 US dealerships, but that number will be increased to at least 150 by the end of this year. Fiat is currently active in 40 states around the country so there is still potential for the 500, 500C and Abarth versions alone. With the addition of Alfa Romeo in 2013, things can only get better.