Fiat Australia has shown its Panda the door after less than two years on the local market.
Despite ‘squircles’ galore and keen pricing deals along the way combined with a choice of three engines and two transmissions, Fiat says the Panda simply hasn’t connected with local buyers.
Two elements were working against the Panda in Australia: local buyers are not greatly interested in the micro or ‘sub-light’ city-car class.
At the end of June, the micro segment in which the Panda is sold was down 31 percent year-to-date on sales figures from the same time last year - and last year’s figures were significantly down on 2013.
The Panda was also competing for sales against its longer-serving (in Australia) and arguably more-recognisable sibling: the Fiat 500.
Last month, the Fiat 500 found 283 buyers against 22 for the Panda, and only 577 Pandas have been registered in Australia since launch.
The 500 was second only to the Mitsubishi Mirage in the micro car class in June, with the pair commanding 57 percent of the local market to date in 2015.
So the Panda has to go, but Fiat is enthused about two models that will take its place on the showroom floor.
“With both the Fiat 500X and 124 to launch in Australia soon, we have been looking at the Fiat line-up in Australia to see what has been working and what hasn’t worked so well,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia CEO, Pat Dougherty said.
“The Panda is a hugely successful car globally for Fiat, but it hasn’t resonated with Australian buyers the way that we would have liked it to.”
Fiat’s Punto is also struggling in the slightly larger light car class with just 11 sales last month, but the carmaker has no plans to pull the Punto from sale in Australia at this stage.
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