16 December 2011

Fiat Panda

Panda boosts Fiat's refurbished factory

16 December 2011 | Fiat's all new Panda will be launched in the UK in late February and will use Fiat's revolutionary two-cylinder TwinAir engine, as seen in the popular 500, for the first time. Four cylinder petrol and diesel engines will also be in the line-up which will be joined later by a 4x4 model and the promise of more variants further down the line.

Prices have yet to be announced, but at the international launch in Naples, Fiat said it was targeting a sub-€10,000 lead-in in all markets, placing it under £9,000 in the UK.


Dealers will also be looking to attract customers by offering test drives while giving their current model a check over. Across Europe a '100 squared' finance package will also be offered - €100 a month over 100 months although this has not been discussed for the UK yet.

Since the original Panda was launched in 1980, 6.4m models have been sold. The previous generation model was launched in 2003 and built at Tychy in Poland. The new model is going back to Italy and will be assembled at the newly-refurbished factory at Pomigliano near Naples.

In 2008, Pomigliano was struggling, under used and producing the ill-loved Alfa 159. Three years on it has been transformed, refurbished, re-tooled and re-trained. It now stands as a benchmark production facility not only for the Fiat Group, but alliance partner Chrysler as well.

Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne said: "It is our intention to help build a new industrial culture in the south of Italy and we have delivered on a promise to restructure the whole plant which is now the most modern in Italy and probably in Europe". The plant can build 300,000 cars a year and has the flexibility to build more than one model.

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