Fiat ready to subject motoring world to 2012 Panda

March 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

According to reports coming out of Fiat the first examples of its next-generation Panda city car will roll off the production line in Italy this November. The third generation of the Panda is preparing to  make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September.

“We are on track in refurbishing Pomigliano, which will become a truly state-of-the-art plant when it begins production in November,” Fiat Group chief manufacturing officer Stefan Ketter said recently.

Originally the new Panda was to be built in the Tychy factory in Poland but last year Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne announced the change. As part of the company’s “Fabbrica Italia” (Italian factory) plan, Panda production was moved to Italy to help boost Fiat productivity from around 650,000 units in 2010 to approximately 1.4 million cars in 2014.

Fiat has invested around €800 million to build the new Panda in Pomigliano. It’s a huge investment for Fiat considering the Italian factory in 2010 only produced around 30,000 units of the Alfa Romeo 159 sedan and sports wagon, plus the final examples of the 147 hatchback and GT sports coupe. Continue reading “Fiat ready to subject motoring world to 2012 Panda” »

Fiat Panda commercial

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Time for your own car – Fiat Panda


Chrysler’s PT Cruiser to survive till 2010

June 23rd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Chrysler PT cruiser fq

Chrysler’s PT Cruiser is proving its resilience once again with another death-row reprieve. Apparently the PT has yet again escaped the gallow’s pole, and instead will soldier on in production until December 2010.

The move will reportedly keep Chrysler’s Toluca, Mexico plant running until the Fiat 500 and Panda arrive to fill the space. The two models will be built at the site beginning summer 2011, and the six or so months between the final demise of the PT and the beginning of the Fiat era will be required to retool the facility.

With the PT Cruiser possibly around for another year and a half, there is no choice but to continue to enjoy its retro charm. By now it’s an 11-year-old platform and a design that has changed little since its inception, the PT is almost a living, breathing classic car in its own right.

Fiat finds flattery offensive: Fiat sues Great Wall over Panda clone

July 24th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

gwperi

If the saying that ‘imitation is the greatest form of flattery’ is true then Fiat should feel very flattered at Great Wall’s homage to the Fiat Panda.

Fiat has won a case in Europe against Chinese automaker Great Wall (who will have cars in New Zealand soon) for copying the Fiat Panda design and selling it as the Great Wall Peri in China and planning to sell it in Europe.

The Turin court ordered Great Wall to pay 15,000 Euros (NZ$32,000) for the first Peri imported, and 50,000 Euros (NZ$105,000) for each unit that Great Wall bring in, effectively ending any chance that a Peri will ever been seen in Europe.

This is not the first time that a Chinese automaker has ‘borrowed’ designs from another company, as Honda had it’s CRV ripped-off and sold in China as something else a few years back. What may seem like a lack of imagination in car design on the part of the Chinese is actually more like the desire for record executives to have have hit after hit by using the same formula.