Fiat Punto Global Replacement In The Works
It could be based on a Peugeot-Citroën platform
Fiat boss confirms new Punto hatchback is under development.
FCA is in the process of a merger with French auto conglomerate Groupe PSA.
It could allow Fiat to base the new Punto on PSA’s smallest modular platform (CMP).
PSA will enter India with Citroën in early 2021 with a locally assembled mid-size SUV.
Citroën is expected to localise the CMP platform for its second offering.
The Fiat Punto has been absent from the European market since around 2018 but it was only officially discontinued in India in April 2020. Now, the Italian hatchback could return as a new one has been confirmed to be under development.
In a recent report, Fiat Automobiles’ chief executive Olivier François said, “It’s not a mystery. That project has been postponed continuously. Now it is under development. But it would be premature to speak of this model. We will have a B-sector[premium hatchback], for sure.”
The Punto’s resurrection could be the result of the upcoming merger between the Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and French conglomerate Groupe PSA. These two automotive giants have plenty of tech to share between them including new modular platforms.
The Groupe PSA’s recently developed Common Modular Platform (CMP), its smallest modular platform, could be the basis for a new Fiat Punto. It is the same platform that underpins the latest Peugeot 208 and Opel Corsa, peppy family hatchbacks available in the European markets. In terms of powertrains, the new-gen Fiat Punto based on the CMP platform could be offered in both EV and combustion-engine variants, just like the 2020 Peugeot 208 (pictured below).
Fiat could bring this new-gen Punto to India as well since Groupe PSA is poised to begin India operations too. PSA will enter India with the Citroën brand in early 2021 by launching the locally assembled C5 Aircross mid-size SUV to rival the recently launched Skoda Karoq. The following product from Citroën will also come in 2021 and will make its global debut in India with heavy localisation. This second product is expected to be based on the CMP platform as going forward, PSA plans to have limited modular platforms.
Jeep is the only active FCA brand in India at the moment but since Fiat has not packed up in its entirety, the Italian brand could revive itself. The new hatchback may not even carry on the Punto badge and could get a new name altogether. If launched, it could take on the likes of the next-gen Hyundai Elite i20, Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Tata Altroz, new Honda Jazz, next-gen Volkswagen Polo and upcoming rivals from Skoda, Kia and maybe Citroen too.