07.08.2007 MINICARGO BREAKS COVER AHEAD OF ITS AUTUMN DEBUT

Fiatís Turkish manufacturing and assembly division, Tofaş, is currently in the final development stages for their new small van, code-named the Minicargo, which is being developed in conjunction with French carmaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen. First undisguised photos have broken cover.

Tofaş will also produce the Minicargo on behalf of PSA with annual allocated capacity set as 165,000 units. More than 90 percent of this production will be exported under a long-term take or pay agreement. Two thirds of production is to be taken by PSA, whereas the remaining one third will be allocated to Fiat. The Minicargo is considered by Tofaş as a breakthrough in their history. An agreement was signed on 31 March 2005 between Fiat, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Tofaş to develop and produce the new LCV.

The Minicargo will be available in three versions. Alongside the load-lugging Cargo will also be a Combi and a Passenger Car version. The Minicargoís  FWD platform will be a new development, based on the Pandaís 'Small' architecture. The project is calculated to have an annual project revenue generation of circa 1.1 billion euros, whereas the investment budget stands at 350 million euros. A first in the local Turkish automotive industry is that the Minicargoís intellectual property rights are owned by Tofaş.

The styling of the Minicargo aims to be compact and functional. The front is characterised by a large bumper, with high-placed headlights ideal for practicality. The bumper also houses generous air intakes and high positioned mist lights. At the rear the doors are asymmetrical to ease roadside loading in LHD markets. Inside, the interior is functional and basic, with base models doing away with luxuries such as electric windows. Engines likely to be offered include the 1.2 8v (69 bhp) and 1.4 16v (100 bhp) petrol units, as well as the highly economical 1.3 Multijet 16v (75 bhp).
 

FIAT MINICARGO

The Minicargo will be available in three versions. Alongside the load-lugging Cargo will also be a Combi and a Passenger Car version.

FIAT MINICARGO

The styling of the Minicargo is compact and functional. The front is characterised by a large bumper, with high-placed headlights ideal for practicality.


Production of the Minicargo will start in November 2007, and an international launch is scheduled to take place at the BedrijfsautoRAI in Amsterdam at the end of October. Commercialisation of the Minicargo is planned for Q1 2008. Fiat could launch this car under the Fiorino badge, as per tradition for their small vans based on the 127 and Uno models. The Minicargo represents a totally new product segment in Fiatís current Professional (LCV) portfolio, and will be targeted at urban areas and expanding markets. Fiat aims to appeal to price conscious customers, with key markets being Italy, Spain, UK and Turkey. The Minicargo will be marketed under three brands: Fiat Professional, Peugeot and Citroen. The van and passenger car derivatives will compete head to head with the short wheelbase version of the future Renault Kangoo II (VUL0 & VPL0) which will be launched in Q2 2008.

Meanwhile, development on the second generation Fiat DoblÚ has started at Tofaş. A business case analysis on production of the next generation van has been successfully completed. Discussions and preparations on contractual terms are currently underway. The new DoblÚ will be launched at the end of 2009. Founded in 1968 as a joint venture by KoÁ Holding A.S. and Fiat Auto S.p.A., Tofaş is a jointly controlled company. Tofaş has its manufacturing and assembly plant in Bursa, whereas the head offices are located in Istanbul. By the end of 2007 Tofaş plans to employ 8,200 employees.


 

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