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FIAT Brazil Adds New S-Design Package To Cronos Sub-Compact Sedan:

FIAT Brazil Adds New S-Design Package To Cronos Sub-Compact Sedan:​

A Darker Tone For The Italian-Brazilian Sedan...​


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FIAT Brazil has pulled the covers off of its Fiat Cronos for the 2022 model year. While not much as changed, the Italian-Brazilian offering does come into the 2022 model year with a new trim level, the S-Design. The FIAT S-Design models add a dark tone to the vehicles in the lineup, much like the Ram Night Edition, Dodge Blacktop Edition, and Jeep® Altitude (S models elsewhere in the world).

 
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bill burke

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Call me dense, but I just don’t get it. Fiat has literally no product offerings in North America and has given up practically speaking in our market. Fiat Brazil is on fire, has many very modern and successful offerings and not one has found its way north as a Fiat and in the way of compact trucks, as a spin-off Ram. I am aware of arguments about protectionist tax codes in Brazil, but protectionism seems not to theoretically discourage exportation of product and additionally, I believe, Fiat has a robust business happening in other nations in South America. So what gives? From a global Stellantis perspective and from a North American Ram or even Chrysler perspective, this situation baffles me. Mopar Willy is clueless. Heck, the non-importation of Brazilian manufactured vehicle lines, currently absent from our market, seems a mystery to feabile minded souls like me. Can someone please help old Willy out here?
 

TripleT

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What don't understand Bill? Brazil is basically a closed market. Fiat is nearly the last man standing in that market. USA is not going to be a trade partner with a country that has massive importation taxes.
 

patfromigh

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The only Latin American vehicle that might be successful here is the Toro/Ram1000. All the others such as the Chronos, are tiny A-segment machines. The way to get by the Chicken Tax they could build the Toro in Mexico. Another way is to put a standard bed cover on it and call it a coupe express and it then becomes a lifestyle vehicle. To be perfectly honest, I don't want to see anymore SUSW based vehicles here until Auburn Hills deep sixes that 2.4 Tigershark.

I too am frustrated by the lack of a decent non-Jeep Crossover. The styling coming from Brazil is hot, some of that could have been applied to something built somewhere else to sell here.

It might be too late for something new anyways. It's now BEV or bust with the regulators in America. Small entry level vehicles with IC engines will gum up the works for the corporate fuel average. If I ran Stellantis, I would be looking at the Serbian manufacturing plant to produce an entry level BEV, one which would also be suitable for North America.I have to correct this, there are many conflicting reports on the Serbian operations. It might stay under Fiat control.
 
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bill burke

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The only Latin American vehicle that might be successful here is the Toro/Ram1000. All the others such as the Chronos, are tiny A-segment machines. The way to get by the Chicken Tax they could build the Toro in Mexico. Another way is to put a standard bed cover on it and call it a coupe express and it then becomes a lifestyle vehicle. To be perfectly honest, I don't want to see anymore SUSW based vehicles here until Auburn Hills deep sixes that 2.4 Tigershark.

I too am frustrated by the lack of a decent non-Jeep Crossover. The styling coming from Brazil is hot, some of that could have been applied to something built somewhere else to sell here.

It might be too late for something new anyways. It's now BEV or bust with the regulators in America. Small entry level vehicles with IC engines will gum up the works for the corporate fuel average. If I ran Stellantis, I would be looking at the Serbian manufacturing plant to produce an entry level BEV, one which would also be suitable for North America.I have to correct this, there are many conflicting reports on the Serbian operations. It might stay under Fiat control.
I’d buy into the Serbian proposal.
 

TripleT

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If Mopar is trying to fill the entry level market just allow Fiats to be sold at all CDJR in good standing and add the Tipo and Panda.... both fit the NA market better then the Brazilians
 

Mike201

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Call me dense, but I just don’t get it. Fiat has literally no product offerings in North America and has given up practically speaking in our market. Fiat Brazil is on fire, has many very modern and successful offerings and not one has found its way north as a Fiat and in the way of compact trucks, as a spin-off Ram. I am aware of arguments about protectionist tax codes in Brazil, but protectionism seems not to theoretically discourage exportation of product and additionally, I believe, Fiat has a robust business happening in other nations in South America. So what gives? From a global Stellantis perspective and from a North American Ram or even Chrysler perspective, this situation baffles me. Mopar Willy is clueless. Heck, the non-importation of Brazilian manufactured vehicle lines, currently absent from our market, seems a mystery to feabile minded souls like me. Can someone please help old Willy out here?
 

patfromigh

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If Mopar is trying to fill the entry level market just allow Fiats to be sold at all CDJR in good standing and add the Tipo and Panda.... both fit the NA market better then the Brazilians
Whoever is styling the Brazilian products should apply their skill to the Tipo wagon before selling it here. Nothing drastic needs to be done, just some trim details. I would like to see the new 500 imported here as well. There have been problems with the chip supply and the battery pipeline from Samsung. It might be awhile for enough production capacity to send some of the new 500's our way.

I have no rational argument to back this up, it is more of a gut feeling. I think a production Centoventi would be a hit in North America. Such a vehicle would be a hard sell in the sparse rural areas of the country, but it would be a slam dunk on both coasts and in any of the big city regions in middle America. The vehicle must have the Panda's utility value.

I don't know if the Fiat brand executives would want to build a Centoventi in Serbia. They might want it to be Italian. I still think Serbia is the best facility for an entry level product. A lot of parts suppliers for EVs have set up shop near there. The costs would certainly be more favorable.

If ran ran Fiat, I would replace the Euro Fiorino with a similar van built on the new 500e platform. ( I think it's called the STLA small now.) I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't working on something like that at the present moment because of the EU regulations. It should be outfitted for sale in America with windows in the sliding doors and a flip and fold seat. The windows in the panel behind the sliding doors should be left out. It should be trimmed and optioned strictly as a spartan passenger vehicle with cargo capability. Ford is under the gun for skirting the chicken tax with the earlier Transit Connect and Stellantis might be also for the Ram PMC. Let the customer deal with the back seat and avoid the legal headaches. I will deal with the Ram PMC in another thread.
 

Mike201

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Bill I hear you. When Fiat bought Chrysler, yes I said bought, they dropped the ball. They brought over the 500 then the bigger 500x. Cute car but not what Americans want or like. I believe if Fiat brought a sedan, like this or the Tipo, their sales would have been so much better. The Tipo, not only comes in the sedan, you have the hatchback wagon. After the Darts failure, the Tipo should have been brought here as a Dodge Neon. Why you may ask? What the Darts problem was, based on the auto news media, it was to big to be compact and to small to be a midsize. The Tipo/Neon (in Mexico) would have fit that compact arena we have been out of for years. Very poor planning and marketing on the Fiat side of this merg, oh, I mean buy out. Not only did they screw Chrysler and Dodge, they screwed themselves. I think the only way the 500 would have had a small chance would have rebadged it a Dodge Omni and placed a cross hair grill on it. Maybe. So far it seems to be working for their 2 vans!!
 

patfromigh

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The Dart failed because the sedan market segment imploded and the turbo four, DDCT combo was a debacle. Cars were then dropped to make room on the production lines for trucks and utilities. If you haven't noticed, Dodge's domestic rivals have dropped their small cars as well. The Asian brands continue to sell sedans, but only at risk to their bottom line.

Fiat saved what was left of the old Chrysler Corpse-aration, it's as simple as that. It was FCA that brought in the ZF technology. While the 9-speed automatic trans axle has been a constant source of trouble, the rear drive 8-speed has made the vehicles that use it class leaders. Now the 9-speed is fully matured in the minivans. FCA kept Auburn Hills on the leading edge of electrification with various projects and concepts. They avoided the pitfalls in retail sales of unprofitable EV technology until the time was right. Chrysler today has the Pacifica PHEV and Jeep offers the Wrangler 4Xe.

The automotive press still waits gleefully for the price of fuel to rise, thus killing the muscle cars, SUVs and trucks which the CDJR brands sell to eager customers. It won't happen because electrification is at hand. The econobox era is now over. Even the Fiat 500 has become a sophisticated city car. It will never sell in big numbers if Fiat imports it, but it will meet the needs of urban dwellers. The 500 can't be anything other than a Fiat, because it is an icon. The 500L tried to be one and failed, it should have followed the Panda's direction. Yes, Fiat did make mistakes, but it was with their own brand.
 

bill burke

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The Dart failed because the sedan market segment imploded and the turbo four, DDCT combo was a debacle. Cars were then dropped to make room on the production lines for trucks and utilities. If you haven't noticed, Dodge's domestic rivals have dropped their small cars as well. The Asian brands continue to sell sedans, but only at risk to their bottom line.

Fiat saved what was left of the old Chrysler Corpse-aration, it's as simple as that. It was FCA that brought in the ZF technology. While the 9-speed automatic trans axle has been a constant source of trouble, the rear drive 8-speed has made the vehicles that use it class leaders. Now the 9-speed is fully matured in the minivans. FCA kept Auburn Hills on the leading edge of electrification with various projects and concepts. They avoided the pitfalls in retail sales of unprofitable EV technology until the time was right. Chrysler today has the Pacifica PHEV and Jeep offers the Wrangler 4Xe.

The automotive press still waits gleefully for the price of fuel to rise, thus killing the muscle cars, SUVs and trucks which the CDJR brands sell to eager customers. It won't happen because electrification is at hand. The econobox era is now over. Even the Fiat 500 has become a sophisticated city car. It will never sell in big numbers if Fiat imports it, but it will meet the needs of urban dwellers. The 500 can't be anything other than a Fiat, because it is an icon. The 500L tried to be one and failed, it should have followed the Panda's direction. Yes, Fiat did make mistakes, but it was with their own brand.
Yes it was Fiat that dropped the ball, but I loved their early commercials. I attempted two points. First, Fiat Brazil has talent and resources that, in spite of protectionist closed market arguments, potentially can develope and manufacture product for the North American market. Second, Fiat, to survive in North America, needs more products and Brazil has a winning track record. I am not ready to give up on Fiat, not ready to give up on a compact and mid-size Ram pickup and not ready to cede Fiat, Dodge, Chrysler or Ram to foreign or domestic competition. Of course Peugeot etc. may have different or better options in the works, but I am sure a closed mind to speculation, not considering new things and surrender are not in those plans. It’s a new era and fresh eyes are needed and out of the box thinking should be encouraged. Electrification may have merit, but there is more to the future than a battery and a plug.
 

redriderbob

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If Mopar is trying to fill the entry level market just allow Fiats to be sold at all CDJR in good standing and add the Tipo and Panda.... both fit the NA market better then the Brazilians

I say get rid of the FIAT brand in North America altogether. The Fiat vehicles could and would have sold better if they were badged engineered.

  • 124 Spider - Would have made a great Dodge
  • 500X - Chrysler Crossover
  • 500L - Modern Day PT Cruiser
  • 500 - Chrysler Lovable city car,
  • 500 Abarth - Exciting Chrysler SRT entry product
 

patfromigh

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Stellantis recently told its fleet buyers the company is giving the Saltillo, MX production facility a major capacity increase. Saltillo is where the Ram ProMaster van is built. The full effect of this won't be felt until 2023. I can't help but wonder what is going on for Toluca. That facility no longer produces the Fiat 500 and Dodge Journey. The only product left is the Jeep Compass and a small chunk of that model's production went to Italy.

I would like to think we could see some new products from there come our way. If the Compass and Toro share a production line in Brazil, they should be able to share one in Mexico. That said, any products from there will be sold under one of the domestic brand names. The Fiat brand can survive here with just the 500 and a Centoventi.

The reason I bring up battery electric is because that makes the most sense for city cars like the 500. Consumers aren't going to run out and buy econo-box cars anymore when the fuel prices head skyward. Even right now the gas prices are rising, but with the chip shortage the manufacturers are concentrating on the more expensive vehicles. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a plugin hybrid hemi setup in a Ram 2500 in a few years. Instead of two vehicles in the driveway there could be one with two distinct driving modes.
 

patfromigh

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The Fiat vehicles could and would have sold better if they were badged engineered.
Many of the nails in Pontiac's coffin were badge engineered products.

The 124 would have made a great Dodge if it had a great Dodge engine. The 2.4 Muti-Air is NOT a great Dodge engine. The badge engineered 500X sold here is called the Jeep Compass. The Fiat 500X is offered here, but it doesn't sell, because it is trying to be a Jeep Compass.The 500L failed because it had the 1.4 turbo and the DDCT transmission. FCA changed the transmission, but kept the engine.

As I said previously, the Fiat 500 is an icon. Would Audi sell a badge engineered New Beetle? How well does the 1978 Challenger go over with the Dodge purists?

Has anyone else ever seen the final Hudson or Packard models?
 

Mopar392

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Problem with Fiat is perception and the reality didn’t help either.
People were told Fiat stands for “Fixed it again Tony” for its bad reliability and the actual reliability score and reports cemented this.
Stellantis should not introduce further companies in the US rather than growing the core ones first.
Chrysler could greatly benefit from using Fiat, Opel or DS models under its name.
 

TripleT

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Look Fiat never had a chance not because of all these excuses but because it dealer network was too Damn small. 200 vs 2000..... Nothing wrong with calling them Fiat if you can get one at the CDJR dealer.
 

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