Next-gen Fiat X6H hatchback will replace the aging Punto, most likely under a new nameplate.
At present, Fiat India is selling four iteration of the popular Punto hatchback in our market. It is definitely one of the strongest nameplate of Fiat cars in India. But, the car will bid a farewell to the Brazilian market this month, as FCA ends its production at Brazil’s Betim plant, to make room for the the new hatchback derived from the Project X6H. The new car will enter production by March this year.
Some of Punto’s sister models like Linea sedan, Bravo, Idea, and Freemont are already out of production in Brazil from mid last year, as FCA is undertaking a major overhaul of its product line-up in that country. The ‘Project X6H’ is expected to spawn multiple models, including the X6S sedan and a pick-up, to fill the void in its stable. All those models will feature a stretched version of the company’s ‘Economy – 326′ platform that also underpins the out-going Punto.
The out-going third-generation Fiat Punto was launched in 2007 in the Brazilian market, one of the stronghold for the brand globally. The car featured a wide range of engine options of 1.4-litre, 1.6-litre, and 1.8-litre units, including turbo-charged T-jet and flex-fuel variants. Although the car did command healthy sales figures in these nine years, the Punto witnessed a declining trend over the last three years. A facelift in 2012 did not help either.
On a related note, FCA Brazil is recalling Punto and Linea (both Brazilian-spec) cars made between 2009 and 2012 for suspected rear axle shaft failure. According to sources, the edge of the rear axle shaft was detected with propensity to rupture, resulting in increased noise and vibration at speeds, misalignment of the steering wheel, and likelihood of tyres reaching out the plastic mud guards inside the wheel housing.
Next, would you like to read more on Fiat?
H/T Autos Segredos