Last post on Aug 21, 2007 at 6:18 AM
You are in the Fiat
What is this discussion about?
#16 of 25 Here's the deal (Here's the deal)
Jan 21, 2007 (8:23 am)
Thanks for clarifying. Good, because many people, in the sun belt, for instance, and others who may own one or more AWD vehicles already, don't need or want AWD.
FWD usually has a 1-2 mpg advantage over AWD, so Suzuki will have to find additional ways to improve fuel economy to be competitive in this area. The recent Wall Street Journal report on the SX4 mentioned that it was geared somewhat low, for performance, so gearing is one variable that could be tweaked for better mileage. Of course, acceleration and responsiveness would suffer accordingly, so, not having driven the SX4, I'm not suggesting that higher gearing would be a good tradeoff. It seems to me, though, that the company that produced the Geo Metro and the Suzuki Swift is capable of figuring out how to deliver good fuel economy. We'll see.
#17 of 25 And to go along with that
Jan 21, 2007 (8:27 am)
the new Suzuki SX4 sedan in FWD will undoubtedly come in automatic and manual transmission choices. I'm wondering if the sedan could be built a tad lighter, without the AWD unit's weight, and produce mpg numbers like 26 city and 34 highway, eh? Suzuki may be able to sell more of them that way, though this SX4 sedan is nice looking, and I think they're gonna sell more than say, the Forenza, which looks to be simlar in size. I'm gonna take a close look at them when they arrive.
#18 of 25 Suzuki (continued)
Jan 21, 2007 (9:57 am)
Their bikes have been much more impressive than their cars, prompting the WSJ to suggest that their car designers and engineers should talk to their motorcycle counterparts. One thing that Suzuki cars seem to lack is an identity.
A significant positive is that, despite their low volume in North America, Suzuki's Canadian car plant is very efficient, helping their car business to be profitable.
Returning to Fiat, with the renewed emphasis on fuel economy, maybe Fiat's Panda and new Cinquecento models could make a go of it in the US. The latter will compete with the Smart in Europe. For a Fiat relaunch to succeed in North America, I think their cars would have to be positioned and marketed as smart, nicely appointed, fun-to-drive urban cars, priced above the price leaders.
#19 of 25 Why should they price them above
Jan 21, 2007 (6:28 pm)
the price leaders, being that they have the Fiat known history here in America? They don't exactly have a stellar performance record here.
Jan 21, 2007 (7:22 pm)
Fiat doesn't have a chance of being profitable in N. America if they go head to head with the major established companies. The margins are just too small. Maybe they couldn't be profitable here under any circumstances, but since their market share would be small, and they wouldn't enjoy economies of scale, their best shot would be by differentiating themselves so they could have wider margins.
Fiat owns Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Ferrari and Maserati, all premium brands, to one degree or another, with Alfa and Lancia being primarily mid range mass market. Ferrari and Maserati have the margins to be profitable here, and there are plans to relaunch Alfa, which has a better shot at being a profitable business case than a cheaper car.
#21 of 25 Re: Fiat [hpmctorque]
Feb 19, 2007 (8:52 am)
"Fiat doesn't have a chance of being profitable in N. America if they go head to head with the major established companies. The margins are just too small. Maybe they couldn't be profitable here under any circumstances, but since their market share would be small, and they wouldn't enjoy economies of scale, their best shot would be by differentiating themselves so they could have wider margins."
Agreed, and as discussed in another forum conversation, perhaps the way to go is licensing their products to another company. In this case, Chrysler if there is a divestiture from Daimler.
As to Alfa Romeo, I believe the intention is to sell cars through the existing North American Maserati dealerships.
#22 of 25 Re: New Fiat Grande Punto [chrisducati]
Feb 19, 2007 (9:10 am)
"Love it. I would buy one. I went to the Fiat website and there are lots of ways to option it out. Oh well. dream"
I drove a Grand Punto while in the U.K., albeit with the 1.2L engine. Good enough for urban environments, but definitely out of puff when on the highway.
The interior has a clean, simple and functional design (to some, maybe even bland). Some cheap plastic in some areas, but rarely in the areas you'd see at eye-level and/or regularly touch. Same could be said for some VW Golf/Rabbit cars, including the GTI.
Externally, a very handsome looking car at most angles. And the ride is a big improvement over the previous generation Punto. Bigger wheels make it look great, but the ride-quality would be compromised, but I expect it would be tolerable. Car I drove had steel wheels and covers.
#23 of 25 Re: Fiat [hpmctorque]
Aug 02, 2007 (6:58 am)
I rented a FIAT Grande Punto while I was in Italy last week.
I have to say that it had great handling, great pickup, and was a sharp looking car. Mine was the Diesel and I managed to hit 180 kph (111 mph) in it while driving down the Adriatic Coast.
The car got me out of trouble when some idiot sped up on my right and cut me off. For about 200 kilometers (120 miles) I had heavy winds blowing across the highway and the car still handled well at 120 kph (75 mph).
If Fiat sold in America, I would buy a Grand Punto. I wish that they sold one with AWD.
I drove a FIAT Panda around Florence for 2 days and while it's a great little city car, It didn't feel as stedy on the highway. I would, however buy a Panda in 100 hp version since that suspension seems more firm.
#24 of 25 Whew, that's a relief .........................
Aug 21, 2007 (4:13 am)
when I first glanced at the title, I thought that it said "Pinto".
#25 of 25 Whew, that's a relief (daysailer)
Aug 21, 2007 (6:18 am)
I don't think Ford is about to introduce a new Grande Pinto, but it would sure stimulate a lot of discussion on these boards.