Fiat is taking another stab at the automotive gold mine that is China. The Italian company will debut a new compact sedan at the Beijing Auto Show next month and will start making the car in China by July.
Called Viaggio, which means journey in Italian, the sedan is a rebadged C-segment Dodge Dart, which in turn is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. At At 4,670 mm long and 1,830 mm wide, the Viaggio is about the same size as a Ford Focus Sedan.
The Viaggio will also be the first model from Fiat’s 50:50 joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group. The Viaggio will be made at the partners’ new factory in the city of Changsha in Hunan. Fiat hopes the sedan will help boost sales in China to 300,000 units by 2014 from less than 1,500 units last year. Currently, Fiat only sells CBU imports.
The Viaggio will be powered by locally-built normally aspirated and turbocharged versions of Fiat’s 1.4L engine. There are also plans for a hatchback version, which could be exported back to Europe as a Bravo replacement, sources told Automotive News Europe.
Unlike some European rivals, Fiat hasn’t had much success in China. It had a loss-making JV with Nanjing Automotive that failed in 2007. Fiat then attempted to tie up with Chery, but it didn’t work out as well. Third time lucky perhaps?
Click here for more on the Dodge Dart, including a full gallery.