MotorChase readers have already been informed about a new A segment vehicle Fiat is preparing in Brazil. The X1H will be built over the 327 platform and will probably have a wheelbase shorter than 2.38 m. One of the big doubts about the new car is the name it is going to use. One possibility was Mille, the name of a version of the first generation Uno that has sold millions of units in the Brazilian market, but the Italian blog Passione Auto Italiane has come with an alternative: Topolino.
According to the blog, the new Topolino has been seen testing as a shortened Fiat Panda mule. In Brazil, the X1H already uses its final body and pieces. And the Panda uses another platform, called Mini, which also underpins the Fiat 500, the Lancia Ypsilon and the second generation of the Ford Ka. In other words, the cars may look very different, even if they adopt the same name. This is something we have already warned about the X6H and the next generation of the European Punto. But the car can also follow the steps of the Brazilian Fiat Idea and the Italian model of the car. They are very similar in appearence, but are built over different platforms.
While most of the automakers are trying to cut costs by using modular platforms and commonizing components and models in all its markets, such as One Ford, Fiat bets on the opposite way by making cars that are specific to the South American market, such as Uno, Palio, Siena and Grand Siena. It has worked until 2015, but GM will very likely be the best selling brand in Brazil this year. Fiat would better revise its strategy. Urgently.