Fiat is reportedly planning a complete model shake-up with a switch in segment for the Tipo and revival of the Punto as its replacement.
In an extensive report, Britain’s Auto Express states that the Tipo will become a crossover aimed at the likes of the Mazda CX-3, Nissan Qashqai and Toyota C-HR, while the Punto, which stayed in production until 2018 having also been called the Grande Punto, Punto Evo and then simply Punto without a prefix or suffix, will succeed it as rival for the Ford Fiesta, Opel Corsa, Mazda2, Peugeot 208, Toyota Yaris and Volkswagen Polo.
Explaining the switch, Fiat brand Head and Chief Marketing Officer, Olivier François, said while sales of the Tipo had been good in key markets, “it’s not an SUV”, adding that legitimacy exists for the brand to go the crossover/SUV route.
“Clearly the next generation of the Tipo must migrate into a more relevant space, which is SUV. So you can probably expect to see a Tipo product line – besides the Tipo, on top of the Tipo, or instead of the Tipo. But family transportation is probably more in the Qashqai bodystyle,” he said.
About the likely market position of the newcomer, François said the Tipo would be targeting offerings from Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen divisions Seat and Skoda where value-for-money is key.
“We belong there. Honestly, I wish we had something today. But it’s very important for us to feed that part of the Fiat range without too much delay,” he said.
While no further details pertaining to the Tipo was made, the British publication has claimed that the Punto could be one of the first models to benefit from Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) merger with the PSA Group, meaning it could well use the same EMP1 platform as the Corsa and 208.
In spite of declining to provide exact details, François admitted that while development had already started, “it would be premature to speak of this model”.