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Neon returning as stopgap?

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by AdminDave, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Deckard_Cain

    Deckard_Cain Active Member

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    You make a very big misconception. The Pand does not sell more in Europe than the 500. It sells a lot more in Italy and its sales are located almost exclusively in Italy while 500 sells a LOT across Europe.
    The Panda would not succeed in the US because it suffers of the exact same problem as the Lancia Ypsilon, it is a national product. In 2015 73.5% of its sales were in Italy. In 2016 77.5% were in Italy.

    However, the next generation of the Panda could be used to make a Jeep even smaller than the Renegade. The Panda 4x4 as legendary offroad capabilities, thus making a Jeep with those characteristics would surprise a lot of people with its offroad skills and potentially make it a sales success just based on that.

    If they want to improve their reputation they need to build it from the ground up. It's an effort that may take 3 generations of models so pacience is necessary (something that the upper management of FCA clearly lacks).
    First, simple vehicles with low price points but reliable. Second generation, improve build quality, offer some special trims, keep reliability, make the design a bit more flashy and just slightly increase price. Third generation, release a true competitor to the stalwarts of the segment and price just slightly below them and offer as much or more equipment. It's an effort for 15 years at least and they want to find a merger (or acquisition) partner in 3 years at most so yeah good luck with that.

    As for the 500L, it has a confused identity. A mini-van is a rational product and they designed as aspirational/emotional. It damaged the 500 brand in the US and they should just end its sales there. It is tarnishing the Fiat brand now, even if they fixed the issues. They should simply remove it from the line-up and allow the dealers to focus on selling the 500, 500X and 124 which are all quirky and fun vehicles and they coiuld reposition the Fiat brand like that. If they brought a 500X Abarth it would be a great chance to make this shift in positioning.

    As for FCA filling up the Consumer Reports most regretted purchases, they got rid or are getting rid of the models that fill up that list: the Dart, the 200, the Compass and the Grand Caravan. As much as mopar fans over here are mourning the Dart and 200 axing, it's very clear that cars were tarnishing the FCA brands. And the Compass got a new generation so it will surely leave this list next year.
     
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  2. npaladin2000

    npaladin2000 LOAD "*",8,1

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    Bringing the Panda 4x4 over as a Jeep is an interesting idea. I wonder how well it would do here.
     
  3. TripleT

    TripleT Allpar Legacy

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    I don't think we will see the A sized jeep here.... I for one wish there was a Global standard that vehicle could meet so we are able to buy every think FC offers even if ordered.
     
  4. MJAB

    MJAB Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion Jeep should not sell a vehicle smaller than the Renegade in U.S.A. or in world market.
    In world markets Jeep is positioning itself as "premium brand".

    The italian automotive market, as for buyers aptitude towards vehicles, is more similar to the U.S.A. than other main european markets. For sure, for many different reasons, cars are different, but not what people look at while purchasing.

    What is missing in FCA lineup in Europe is a Panda like (or Tipo like) Dacia(/Renault) Duster size and function. Duster since the clients that purchase that car use them also outside paved roads.
    The italian success of the Fiat Freemont (= rearranged Dodge Journey with different powertrain, steering tune, suspensions, ...) is that was a vehicle that is functional and has price/valuw perceived as it is for a Fiat Panda buyer.

    Italy, outside main cities, would be full of pickups if the laws where not made to discourage purchase of pickups.
     
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  5. TripleT

    TripleT Allpar Legacy

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    I will respectfully disagree, the number of Jimnys I see in Europe and Asia ... shows that there is a market internationally of the Jeep A, without down rating it premium status. Size and Status is very much a NA attitude. A premium status A segment Jeep would work outside NA. But not at all here.
     
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  6. npaladin2000

    npaladin2000 LOAD "*",8,1

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    I think something smaller than the Renegade would sell well, provided it's primarily sold as an off-roader,where a short wheelbase is a big advantage. That could also serve as a base, very entry model. It would have to be handled carefully though.

    I'm not sure what GM's deal is with the Spark but apparently between that and the 500 there is at least some market for an A-segment vehicle here.
     
  7. MJAB

    MJAB Well-Known Member

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    I know very well the Suzuki Jimmy since my parents own one since three years that was bought to go where we have some olive trees (there is some offroad to do). Why not a Fiat Panda 4x4? Because there was not with automatic gearbox option needed for my father, that now is 80 years old (that paradoxally has never driven :) ).

    Where I live there are a lot of Jimny, Panda 4x4, Dacia Duster, Daihatsu Terios, Suzuki Vitara, Grand Vitara, Rav 4, ... and, in general, bigger 4x4 and 4x4 pickups.

    The big problem for a Jeep is that in smaller segment there are many vehicles that are already capable offroad and people use it also offroad, not because they like "off roading" but just to go to their small fields or return home.
    The prices of a Jimny is the same of a Fiat Panda 4x4 (the Panda is more more confortable and bigger inside but less offroader).

    It is not improbable that Suzuki will discontinue the Jimny, at least in Europe, but not in Asia or South America or other countries. So for a Jeep You need a vehicle at least capable as a Jimny, better if longer, around 4 /4.1 meter. On which platform/architecture ? Maybe develop one on a steel spaceframe to reduce costs and tooling and derive other vehicles (=> technology of Fiat Multiple) or male an alliance with Suzuki for a Jimny 2 architecture (like with Mazda for MX5)?

    The Suzuki Panda 4x4 already is in the market, it is the new Ignis. The top version pricelist for a mild hybrid version with gasoline engine is very aggressive at Euro 19,000 in Italy including taxes (same price range of a Jimny, Panda 4x4).
    [​IMG]
     
    #1067 MJAB, Jan 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  8. Deckard_Cain

    Deckard_Cain Active Member

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    Size is different than premium positioning. The Audi A1 and now the Audi Q2 are small vehicles but they don't stop being premium vehicles. I think making a small aspirational 4x4 Jeep of the size of a Panda would be a sales success in Europe and Latin America for example.

    The Panda 4x4 is at least as good in offroad capabilities as a Land Rover Defender!
    Ofcourse it would be a niche car, but a short wheelbase and light weight would make it capable of reaching some crazy places. Just market it in Moab and people would buy such a Jeep as a crazy offroad toy.



    As for Fiat, in Europe they have the Renegade and 500X in the subcompact segment above the Panda 4x4. They do need a compact crossover there besides the Compass but there's a Fiat compact SUV planned for the end of this year or beginning of 2018. Pardon me for the horrible text that I wrote in my previous reply. Didn't even correct for mistakes.
     
  9. patfromigh

    patfromigh Well-Known Member

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    The last I heard about about it, the rumor mill states that an A-segment Jeep is planned, but not for North American consumption. There are places globally where A-segment vehicles sell well, but the Fiat brand has little or no presence. This is where a Jeep model would fill in for the Panda with awd. The Renegade is probably the smallest Jeep for the the US and Canada.

    I believe the 500L is still salvageable for the USA market. They should offer the longer model with only two rows and sell Fiat through CDJ outlets. If that doesn't work, let the Brazilians restyle it. Sell the new vehicle as a Chrysler.
     
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