Let’s shift our focus to Fiat for a second
I stand to be corrected, but Fiat doesn’t exactly move a tonne of cars in SA. The Fiat 500 Abarth is pretty consistently one of the lowest-selling cars locally. Lamborghini probably sells more Aventadors every month. This is no reflection on the 500 itself, it’s a great little hatch and has had Ferrari and Maserati Special Editions, which is very cool. The Ferrari Edition was like R600 000 locally, that’s not so cool. You have a few variations if the 500, longer, fatter, more roof, less roof but the nostalgia of original doesn’t seem enough to get local buyers to pay the premium.
What else does Fiat/ Abarth have in their stable? Ah, not much. The 124 Abarth Spider has Marmite looks and we don’t mean Marmite on toast, we mean Marmite on tinned peaches.
This, in a very roundabout fashion, brings us to the car that makes zero sense.
Did you know that Fiat has a bakkie range called the Fullback?
From a single cab workhorse all the way through to a luxury double cab model. They pretty much go head to head with all the beloved Ranger and Hilux models. Good luck!
Didn’t know that? You haven’t seen one yet? Well, most Fiat dealerships themselves probably haven’t either. They’re more likely to get someone on the showroom floor looking to buy an Abarth 500. Chances are that they probably have someone rock up in an Aventador, looking to trade it in for an Abarth 500 than they do of selling a Fiat Fullback.
Whether it’s a good or bad car isn’t even in question. If you support the Bulls, you support the Bulls. If you drink Klipdrift, you drink Klipdrift. South African consumers and Protea Cricket selectors are some of the most loyal in the world. That’s what they like, so that’s who they’ll choose.
If the Bulls aren’t playing they may support say the Lions and only if they are playing the Aussies. If they don’t have Klippies, some KWV will do but I can’t image a situation where anyone would have to take a Fiat Fullback because there was no Ranger, Hilux, Isuzu, Triton, Amarok, Hardbody or BT-50s. The only thing that could shake things up is the Merc Bakkie, that’s a whole different kettle of fish.
We wish Fiat good luck, I personally like the car but this is a tough segment, maybe even the toughererest*
*Hilux campaign reference. Nailed it!