Fiat’s Viaggio has been a failure and a success for the fledgling Guangzhou Fiat JV, in just two years they built a factory from a green field site and developed a new car especially for the Chinese market, on the downside that car is not just selling. Despite Fiat developing a network of 150 dealerships across major Chinese cities the Viaggio is selling at just 3000 units per month on average.
Why aren’t Chinese taking to Fiat? Perhaps they remember the horrors of the Nanjing-Fiat era, or perhaps its because the Viaggio is in a market with so much competition with greater advertising budgets and greater dealership networks. The first time buyer is more than likely to look at Volkswagen Sagitar or Lavida or Bora as their first vehicle owing to the overwhelming familiarity with the brand. Fiat are not letting their 150,000 vehicle per year factory go to waste, they are planning to send Jeep’s down the same production line and also this neat little Viaggio hatchback.
The Viaggio hatchback will be officially shown off at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November but it seems work on the car is well underway in Changsha where the factory is located. The new hatch will likely use the Viaggio’s sole 1.4T engine in 120bhp and 150bhp outputs to propel it along when mated to a manual or a dry clutch gearbox.
The Viaggio is of course the sister car to the North America only Dodge Dart, no word on a Dodge Dart hatch yet but Fiat are looking to get some serious mileage out of the Viaggio platform with plans to have it underpin a new MPV and SUV model alongside Viaggio based Jeeps which will also be made in Changsha.