First Fiats/Alfas in the US

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Fiat said it will start building the 500 and the Panda in Mexico for the US market. (Panda becoming a Jeep) in 2011.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo will be built in the US alongside a small Dodge Hornet based on the same platform.

They also mentioned that the next Sebring (as well as the next Liberty and Caliber) will be based on Fiat’s C platform.
The current stunning looking Lancia Delta is based on the same platform.

I think 2011 is a long time. The current 2nd generation Panda came out in 2003. Maybe they mean to say the one will get in 2011 will be a 3rd generation, other wise Jeep will be getting an 8 year old design.

What do you think?
Good news?

Conversation 17 comments

  1. I have a hard time believing that the Panda will sell any better than the Compass (especially with the name Panda).

  2. Agreed w/ the Alfas. That the Hornet will be based on the MiTo and not a Chinese car is certainly encouraging. I dunno, maybe the Italians can pull this off.

  3. Who says the name will stay Panda? Jeesh people.

    Yes, anything — ANYTHING — is better than what Dodge/Chrysler have right now.

  4. I'm not sure the Panda in its current form will sell well as a Jeep when it comes over here. It doesn't have that "familial" Jeep look that the Compass, Liberty, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Commander & Wrangler all have, so unless it goes through a major redesign, i dunno…

  5. The Hornet originally came out in the '50's. It's time to move away from that ridiculous name and into the 21st century. Why plague a new beginning with a failed legacy? Hell, even Touareg sounds better.

  6. The MiTo is a great little car, drove it myself and loved it. It´s got a stunning presence on the road.

    I just wonder why they start with producing the smalles car in Alfa Romeos range? The US market is not known to favour smaller hachbacks. MAybe the Alfa Milano, 159 or the next gen 169 would be better choice, but I read somewhere that Fiats C-platform is more or less a variant of the underpinning of the Opel Insignia. So the next gen Sebring and Regal would share mechanics. 🙂

  7. What?, Build them in Mexico? I thought Obama-Wan's plan was to save the US car industry, not open the door to imports.

  8. People just forgot the first entrance of FIAT in USA. Their reliability was a mess. Instead of FIAT their were referred as ''Fix it again, Tony.''

    If you google ''FIAT reliability'' you will find that most reliability charts give them bad numbers.

    I know Chrysler cars sucked, but FIAT is just about looks, nothing more. As companies keep avoiding investment for resolving reliability problems, people will keep investing just in Toyota, and Honda.

  9. I dunno where you heard that Fiat's C-Evo platform is a variant of the Opel Insignia's underpinnings, but it's completely false.

    The C-Evo platform, as it's name implies, is an evolution of Fiat's very own C platform which debuted under the unloved Fiat Stilo in 2001. It's used with a torsion beam rear suspension, with two wheelbase lengths for the Fiat Bravo and Lancia Delta, and with multilink suspension and a shorter wheelbase for the forthcoming Alfa Romeo 149/Milano. It's entirely possible that the Sebring replacement could be based on the Lancia Delta's wheelbase, while employing the multilink rear suspension from the 149.

    The platforms in Fiat's range which are shared with GM are the Punto/MiTo (Gamma – shared with the Opel Corsa, mostly Fiat's own work), the Fiat Croma (Epsilon I – shared with the Opel Vectra and completely GM in origin) and the Alfa Romeo 159 (developed alongside Saab, probably more GM than Fiat).

  10. hard to get too excited about these utilitarian econo car-ettes. It reminds of when Target announced the new plastic shopping carts a few years back — does it really matter how old the design is? We're not exactly talking Jaguars and Chrysler 300's here are we?

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