Fiat Auto chief Herbert Demel has confirmed that the Fiat marque plans to move away from building only small cars and MPVs and launch a upper-medium segment car. Is this a wise move?

Fiat Auto chief Herbert Demel has confirmed that the Fiat marque plans to move away from building only small cars and MPVs and launch a upper-medium segment car. Is this a wise move?



Could a saloon help the embattled automotive branch of the Fiat Group out of its financial quagmire? What if General Motors seized control of the unit in the future (as has been speculated) - would it mean that the big Fiat would exchange friendly fire with other GM products such as the Saab 9-3 and Opel Vectra?

The new car is expected to be built on GM's Epsilon platform, shared by the 9-3 and Opel's Vectra and Signum, and is scheduled for launch in 2005.

In a separate speech at the show, GM vice chairman for product development Bob Lutz spoke about GM Europe's activities and its sharing of design and engineering expertise in "the development of flexible global vehicle architectures."

"Just take the Vectra, Vectra Wagon, Signum and Saab 9-3 as examples. They're all Epsilon-based, but offer meaningful differentiation in terms of design and dynamic characteristics."

General Motors used the opportunity to announce that a small sports car based on the Kappa platform would go into production for the Saturn brand in 2006.

"The future sports car will serve as a halo vehicle for Saturn", said Lutz. "It is the first vehicle of its type for the growing brand and showcases a dramatic new styling direction."

Original article from Car