Four-door version of Fiat 500 coming to North AmericaMon, 19 Apr 2010 00:00:00 -0700
Fiat is bringing a four-door version of the 500 small car to North America, three company sources say. The vehicle will appear in Europe at the end of 2011. Timing for the United States is still uncertain. The Chrysler Group has not decided how many of its dealerships will sell Fiats.
Chrysler also may bring a subcompact sedan to North America from a factory Fiat owns in Serbia, sources say.
On Wednesday, April 21, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, and other executives will spell out Fiat's five-year plan here. The arrival in North America of the four-door 500 may or may not be announced, sources say, but it has been approved.
The four-door version of the Fiat 500 is code-named L0. The vehicle would be classified as a small minivan in Europe because it has a hatch in the rear and a high roof. In Europe it competes with other small minivans such as the Opel Meriva.
Fiat will build the vehicle for export at its Mirafiori plant in Turin on a longer and wider platform than the two-door 500. North American versions of the two-door 500 will be built at Chrysler's factory in Toluca, Mexico.
The four-door vehicle would be the fourth addition to the Fiat 500 lineup in North America.
-- Fiat will start making the 500 two-door in Toluca in the fourth quarter of this year.
-- In 2011 Fiat will begin selling the convertible version of the 500 in North America.
-- In 2012, Fiat will launch the performance version of the 500, marketed under the Abarth brand.
Chrysler is considering bringing a Fiat-engineered subcompact sedan from Serbia to North America under the Chrysler brand. The Chrysler brand product plan, unveiled in November, called for a Fiat-derived subcompact sedan to be imported in 2013. The vehicle would be built in Kragujevac, Serbia, where Serbian automaker Zastava Automobili once made the Yugo.
By Luca Ciferri- Automotive News