Fiat has just launched its all-new Tipo sedan, built in Turkey and called the Ægea in that market. It replaces the Linea in the South-European markets where compact sedans are still popular. A five-door and station wagon are due later to appeal to the more hatchback-oriented markets. The Tipo will be positioned as an entry-compact “rational / functional” model under Fiat’s dual strategy of functional / rational vs. emotional / aspirational models. That means it will have the size of a compact model but priced between subcompact and compact, like the Seat Toledo and Skoda Rapid. Its styling and features will be no-frills and it will be powered by a “old fashioned” naturally aspirated gasoline engines or turbocharged diesel engines.
For the last few decades, very attempt by Fiat at challenging the Volkswagen Golf and other compact segment leaders have failed miserably, with the Bravo/Brava, Stilo and then again the Bravo all remaining niche players, especially outside of their home market Italy. From that perspective I can understand why Fiat would try an alternative strategy by offering a no-nonsense car for a bargain price, undoubtedly looking at the success of Dacia, but also of the Citroën C4 Cactus, another no-frills compact model that has struck a chord with European buyers.
What do you guys think of this car? Is it the right product for Fiat at this moment? Will it be a success, especially after the hatchback and station wagon give the model some broader appeal?
And when considering Fiat is following the Dacia playbook, would this subsegment be interesting for Dacia as well? Recently, readers Losange and Goran have commented that Dacia would benefit from a larger sedan in between the compact and midsized segment, a bit like the Skoda Octavia.
Which size would suit Dacia better to fit above the Logan? A Tipo/Rapid-sized entry-compact model or an Octavia-sized entry-midsized model?
Keep in mind that for Dacia/Renault the model would need to be sold in other (mostly developing) markets as well, and mostly under the Renault brand, like in India, South America or Russia. So it shouldn’t cannibalize on existing Renault models in those markets, for example the Fluence.