We love the Fiat Panda here at Enzari, with it’s ‘it does what it says on the tin’ honesty making it a real favourite not only with us but across Europe, particularly in it’s home country of Italy where it is a top seller. Amongst the various models over the years the 4×4 version has gained quite a following, and many of the original Panda 4×4’s can still be found trekking the mountain regions of places like the Alps.
However it could be the loveable 4×4 Panda is about to be killed off. Fresh from the launch of the new Fiat 500X in which FCA decided a 4×4 – or AWD version as it was known – was not viable, in other words ‘we want customers to go for the Jeep brand for a AWD’, now it seems the same could be happening to the Panda, as Fiat Chrysler plans to introduce a new tiny Jeep targeted for European and South American markets, and when we say tiny we mean Fiat Panda size.
The new Baby Jeep is going to be made in the same factory that currently makes the Fiat Panda in Pomigliano, Italy, which is leading to rumours that the new Baby Jeep will share the same platform as the Fiat Panda 4×4, leading to the eventual dropping of the Panda model.
Much like FCA don’t want a 500X AWD to steal sales from it’s Jeep brand therefore they dropped the model, although they insist it was due to high cost involved in implementing an AWD 500X, it’s no secret that FCA see’s Jeep as a real cash cow for the car maker. After all when you think of 4×4’s two brands spring to mind, Land Rover and yes, Jeep, therefore it makes sense for FCA to push the brand forwards.
However we do hope it is not at the expense of the Fiat Panda 4×4, as the car has not only it’s own niche but a very loyal following backed up by a solid reputation – who can forget it beating a Land Rover off road with 5th Gear – we do get that FCA would not want in-house cannibalisation of sales with it’s brands, pitting themselves against each other, but in a big world we feel there is enough room for the little Fiat Panda 4×4 to coexist alongside any baby brother Jeep, we only hope FCA see it that way too… #pandapower