Sergio Marchionne treads carefully with investments on the Punto successor

27/06/2012 - 08:37 | ,   | Shrawan Raja

Fiat Punto Sport grilleAccording to fresh reports on Italian websites and newspapers, the all-new Punto was scheduled to come out of the Fiat factory in 2013. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne called off the plan as the European crisis meant the cash flow had to be low at the moment.

This report contradicts a previous claims that the Fiat CEO was unhappy with the design proposals for the successor and asked designers to return with a better attempt. Technically speaking, both claims could be right.

As the European markets stumble, Fiat are postponing plans to launch new strategic models. Taking into the account the tough economic situation that lies ahead, Marchionne has put on hold an investment of 500 million euros in Europe.

To reduce investment, Fiat could tie up with a rival car company to develop the 2014 Fiat Punto. Project developers and technical officials could be engaged in talks with Mazda to develop the mini car. A final outcome of these talks is likely to be announced in the months ahead. It takes manufacturers 4 years to develop a car from scratch and about 2 years to build a car on an existing platform.

The Punto was facelifted for the second time last year and the Punto-based Linea was given a cosmetic makeover earlier this year that should keep it going for three more years.

There are reports that claim that Fiat has not decided if the next generation Bravo (that plies in a segment above Punto) has to be a hatchback or a crossover. The company is developing new models on the Fiat Viaggio platform including a crossover, that could turn into the next gen Bravo. Meanwhile Fiat engineers are testing the Viaggio in Turin hinting at a possibility of an European launch.

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