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The Mercury Cars Guide : September 19th 2009
2--- Classifieds 62 300 400 carsguide.com.au Saturday, September 19, 2009 Fiat looks to upmarket liaison The survival of Fiat in Australia could depend on Maserati. Paul Gover reports from the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany BELLA BABY: The Fiat 500 Abarth Tributo Ferrari which made its debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany. It makes no sense to continue with the Punto and Ritmo if we lose money on every car we sell ' AN unlikely liaison be- tween the Italian brands Maserati and Fiat is being planned as a way to take Fiat upmarket down under and give the brand the momentum it needs to prevent a retreat from local showrooms. The deal will be set before the end of the year, if it goes ahead, with Fiat boss Neville Crichton desperate to change the fortunes of the Italian brand. ''It makes no sense to continue with the Punto and Ritmo if we lose money on every car we sell,'' Crichton said at the Frankfurt Motor Show. ''We need to take the brand upmarket. ''The 500 is working well, partic- ularly the Abarth versions; I think it could be a good match with Maserati.'' He believes Fiat might need to move away from its stand-alone dealership network and partner with Maserati to cut costs and also give a more aspirational rub-off to the brand. ''We're looking into it at the moment and I think the two brands would work well together,'' Crich- ton says. His company, Ateco Automotive, is the most broad-based importer in Australia with a portfolio that runs from Alfa, Fiat, Maserati and Ferrari to Citroen and Great Wall of China. But it has been suffering badly because of the global economy downturn and the showroom slide in Australia, although he says the second half of 2009 will be much better. ''We started trading profitably again in July; we've got things back under control and the strengthening of the dollar has helped,'' Crichton says. So far this year Fiat has only sold 1338 cars, slightly down on 1341 to the end of August in 2008, despite a broader range of vehicles. But Maserati has seen its sales cut from 162 in 2008 to 84 this year, with Ferrari also trailing 68 to 121 year-to-date for August. ''Things are starting to improve and the interest in the Ferrari F458 has been incredible. ''The new products from Masera- ti also look great,'' says Crichton. FIAT has already linked its baby 500 with Ferrari. A special edition of the cute little Italian baby car, called the Tributo Ferrari, is being produced by Fiat's high-performance Abarth division and is on the list for Australia. The car gets the 120kW turbo 1.4-litre engine first seen in the Abarth Esseesse version of the 500, bolted to a five-speed sequential manual gearbox with paddles be- hind the steering wheel. Fiat says the car can sprint to 100km/h in less than seven seconds with a top speed of 225km/h. But the real changes are to the way the car looks and sounds, with Ferrari-red bodywork topped by a GT stripe over the bonnet and roof, a deep-set spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels and red-painted brake cal- ipers --- and a dual-note exhaust which is quiet at idle but turns wicked once the engine is pushed beyond 3000 revs. www.thecarmart.com.au 6211 0566 14 Derwent Park Rd, Derwent Park David Strang 0404 724 986 Todd Jackson 0419 514 956 Rob Sylvester 0418 124 226 (Finance) Easy on-site finance available 14316Jono 95 Nissan Pathfinder ST 3.0lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, very clean, ideal for towing. $8995 01 Holden Vectra Series 2 2.2lt auto, p/s, a/c, alloys, 133,000kms, nice car, value at... $8995 94 Holden Rodeo F/tray 2.6lt manual, p/s, only 125,000kms, sunraysias. $7995 90 Honda Concerto 1.6lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, above average, small auto. $2995 96 Ford Festiva GLi 1.3lt, p/s, a/c, 121,000kms, todays special, be quick. $3995 00 Mitsubishi Magna Advance 3.5lt, p/s, a/c, electrics, 136,000kms, lovely condition. $5995 98 Ford EL XR6 Falcon 4.0lt, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, rare 5 speed manual. $8995 89 Ford Courier F/tray 2.6lt, 183,000kms, 4WD, tidy example. $4995 97 Kia Mentor GLX 1.5lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, 153,000kms, nice example. $4995 05 Hyundai Accent 1.6lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, 38,000kms, dual airbags. $9995 97 Hyundai Excel Sprint 1.5lt manual, clean throughout, ideal first car. $2995 01 Ford Courier F/tray 2.6lt manual, p/s, a/c, only 108,000kms, ideal for tradey. $9995 $6995 $9995 98 Hyundai Lantra Sportswagon 1.8lt, p/s, a/c, hard to find in auto. 01 Ford Laser GLXi 1.8lt manual, p/s, a/c, alloys, 143,000kms, full bodykit, stunning car. Specialising in cars... Under$10,000 www.thecarmart.com.au CHOICE OF 2
September 12th 2009
September 26th 2009