Fiat has active plans for India – it wants to tap as many lucrative segments that it can to get back in the game, be it a hot hatchback, a compact SUV and now a compact MPV to rival the Maruti Ertiga. Although Fiat India has not officially said anything about an MPV, it had been studying the market for an MPV based on the Fiat 500.
Globally too, the Fiat 500, which was once a cute little two-door hatchback has grown in length, first to a four door, five-seater in the form of the Fiat 500L, and now stretched by a further 7.9 inches to add a third row of seats in the form of the Fiat 500 XL.
Spy shots of the Fiat 500XL have been appearing on the Internet, with the latest coming in a couple of days ago of what appears to be a proper production model of the Fiat 500XL. The car will first be produced for the European market, reportedly by May end. Also read: Fiat 500X may come to India in 2013
This vehicle, if launched in India, could give the Maruti Ertiga a run for its money. Going by news reports of how Fiat is planning to base all its future vehicles on either the 500 platform or the Fiat Panda platform, it looks all the more likely that Fiat would now consider the 500XL for India and other emerging markets as well, where compact MPVs are in demand. Also read: 165 bhp Fiat Punto Abarth coming to India
The Fiat 500XL is expected to be powered by a 1.4 litre petrol engine or a 1.3 litre diesel engine. It would slot in perfectly in the Rs. 7 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh price segment in India too if Fiat brings it in (with full local assembly, unlike the pricey two-door Fiat 500 that was fully imported and hence cost twice as much). It will compete with not just the Maruti Ertiga, but also the upcoming Chevrolet Enjoy and future Honda Brio-based MPV that is likely to come into the market next year.
All we can say is, Fiat better get its act together in India as fast as it can, because patience even among die-hard Fiat fans is wearing thin. With just two products in the market right now, the Fiat Punto and Fiat Linea, Fiat still is seeing dwindling sales numbers. Later this year it plans to bring in its performance brand and also sister company Chrysler will launch the Jeep range of products, which should give Fiat some momentum. Also read:Jeep to enter India with Cherokee and Wrangler
Share your thoughts on this Fiat 500XL. Would you buy something like this?
Image courtesy: AutoEvolution.com