‘Stellantis links will awaken sleeping giant Fiat’

John McIlroy thinks there’s cause for optimism after talking to the Italian firm’s CEO

The best people in company, I’ve discovered, often tend to belie their age. And sure enough, when Fiat Chief Executive Officer Olivier François, mentioned to me throughout a current Zoom chat (me in a cluttered research in Berkshire, him in a swish-looking kitchen area in Milan) that he’s only just turned 60 years old, I needed to raise a brow.

Olivier is fizzing right now, and with excellent reason: Fiat’s all-electric 500 has actually been well obtained and also the business is practically to use the big potential for components and platform-sharing with its Stellantis team stablemates: Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall/Opel and also DS. Development prices for brand-new designs, he easily admits, can be cut by approximately 3 quarters, in some cases.

There was a key point in our conversation, as a matter of fact, when I provided what I believe is a UK-specific expression to describe Fiat’s current setting: resting giant. Truthfully, François can have complained this, not least due to the fact that his brand name scored the greatest international quantities of the whole Stellantis team in 2021. However rather, he seized it positively. “A sleeping titan? I love that,” he grinned. “That’s specifically my point of view. We have not even began awakening the titan.”

Fiat has actually belonged of European society, and many British driveways, for generations. My very own family had a series of them, consisting of Stradas as well as Regattas, and also I found out to drive in an Uno prior to discovering the grasp degrees of Puntos on the country roads near my home.

François’ strategy, as you can review overleaf, is to build on this brand name recognition with two clear columns of versions. They will be sold not at massively high prices, yet in impressive quantities, as well as with sensible revenue margins.

“We need to be stressed with harmonies,” he says. “If we do this, you will certainly have the adequate margin level of the mass-market brands of former PSA, incorporated with the biggest volume of Stellantis.” It makes sense to me, as well as we can’t wait to see the cars it supplies.