Fiat Viaggio Set to Charm Beijing Auto Show

Being an Italian company, Fiat has always rolled out cars with gorgeous exteriors. Their new car is all set to debut in the coming Auto Show at Beijing. Named 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.

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 toEuropeas a Bravo replacement.

At 4,670 mm long and 1,830 mm wide, the Viaggio is about the same size as a Ford Focus Sedan. Besides being aimed towards Europe, the model will also be launched in China too and it’s expected to be manufactured locally, at the Fiat Guangzhou Auto plant in the Changsha Economic Zone of Hunan province.

The facility will first make around 140,000 units of the Fiat Viaggio annually, but the figure will eventually rise to 250,000 vehicles. The new sedan will be having a starting price of $15,995 (expected).

Fiat has not yet succeeded to gain a strong foothold in the world’s largest auto market, which is expected to grow another 8 percent in 2012. Since the automaker’s joint venture with Nanjing Automotive failed in 2007, no Fiat models have been manufactured in China.

Fiat owns Alfa and has a 58.5% stake in Dodge parent Chrysler Group, which will begin production of the North American version of Dart next month at itsU.S.plant inIllinois.

Fiat is expecting this partnership to go better than its last two. In 2007, Fiat sold its share in its money-losing joint venture with Nanjing Automotive to China’s Shanghai Automotive.

Along with that, Fiat also tried to form a partnership with Chery Automotive in 2007, but that deal also collapsed. Currently, Fiat exports Bravo, Linea and Punto from Italy to China.