Fiat’s light Punto hatch is the latest car to exit the Australian market.
Owing to poor sales, the Punto has failed to make the grade after being given a second tilt at winning favour from local buyers upon its reintroduction to Australia in 2013.
Fiat has been winding down the Punto’s participation in the local sales race for the last few months, and the sales figures show it – with just two Puntos chalked up on the board in August.
This compares to 56 for the same month last year, and sales for the Punto are understandably down nearly 79 percent year-to-date.
The move by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia to cull the Punto from its local range comes just six weeks after the carmaker declared the Panda’s days are also numbered.
With the deletion of the Punto and the Panda, Fiat’s range in Australia has now effectively been reduced to just two models.
The first is the Freemont SUV, while the second is the volume-seller in the micro-sized 500. The model range can be stretched to three offerings if you count the Abarth 500 performance variants as separate models (Fiat does).
With a two-pronged attack on the Australian new car market, Fiat’s sales were down 24.5 percent at the end of August compared to the same time last year.
But don’t think Fiat is preparing to wind up its operations in Australia, as the carmaker has two incoming models to replace the departing Punto and Panda that target new areas of the market.
Fiat’s compact 500X SUV is expected to arrive in Australia by the end of this year, which will be followed by the updated ‘regular’ 500 early next year.
Further down the line, the Mazda MX-5-based Fiat 124 roadster has also been confirmed for Australia, and an Abarth version might eventually make its way here as well.
Watch this space.
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