The Fiorino name has been reborn for Fiat's new light van which has been developed in conjunction with Tofaş in Turkey, and which is set to make its public debut tomorrow at the Transpotec Logitec trade fair in Milan. The third partner in the project is PSA Peugeot CitroŽn who will market the van as Bipper (Peugeot) and Nemo (CitroŽn). The Minicargo project is considered by Tofaş as a breakthrough in their history. An agreement was signed on 31 March 2005 between Fiat, PSA Peugeot CitroŽn and Tofaş to develop and produce the new LCV.

It has been a busy week for the new commercial vehicle, which has so far gone by the project codename 'Minicargo'. Yesterday it was presented to 600 Italian dealers and today PSA Chief Executive Christian Streiff and Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne will be at Bursa for the official inauguration of the new production line. Later in the week it will be shown to the international press and the public at Transpotec Logitec, the landmark event for South East Europe, recognised since 2004 by OICA, for national and foreign industrial and commercial vehicle manufacturers, for bodyworks, fittings and trailer manufacturing companies, in addition to companies operating in the accessories, logistics, intermodal and combined transport sectors. The last edition drew 800 exhibitors, 80,000 sector professionals and more than 300 journalists.

Now the Fiorino makes a welcome comeback. Fiorino has long been associated with Fiat's light vans, offering practicality and flexibility with affordability. The first Fiorino was launched exactly 30 years ago, based on the platform of the best-selling Fiat 127 hatchback. Three years later it was facelifted before an all-new version based on the Uno was launched in 1984. This model, which spawned combi and pick-up versions, is still in production in Brazil where it remains a popular option in the Latin American markets. The Fiorino was also built in Argentina and licensed by Fiat for production in Spain by SEAT. Meanwhile the CitroŽn Nemo derivative could be regarded as a successor to the French brand's C15, which was based on the Visa.

The name returns to adorn a new light commercial vehicle which will be built in Turkey by Fiat's joint venture partner, Tofaş. The project has been realised with PSA Peugeot-CitroŽn, building on a long-term relationship that already sees the two carmakers building the Scudo and Ducato through a dedicated joint venture. Initial production has been slated at 160,000 units, with two thirds of this being taken by PSA. Just 5 percent of production will be allocated for domestic consumption in Turkey. The Fiorinoís FWD platform is a new development, based on the Fiat Pandaís ĎSmallí architecture.

The Fiorino will be built at the Bursa factory in the North West of Turkey. 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. 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 series 2 Fiorino, which also spawned combi and pick-up versions, is still in production in Brazil today where it remains a popular van option in the Latin American markets.


The Fiorino name has been reborn for Fiat's new light van which has been developed in conjunction with Tofaş in Turkey, and which is set to make its public debut tomorrow at the Transpotec Logitec trade fair in Milan.


PSA Peugeot CitroŽn is a partner in the Minicargo project who and will market the van as Bipper (Peugeot, centre) and Nemo (CitroŽn, right).

This entry-level van will be positioned beneath the Fiat DoblÚ, Peugeot Partner and CitroŽn Berlingo. The Fiorino and PSA derivatives, in all their guises, 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.

The design team was given the task to combine a modern identity with functional and practical intentions. The latter is confirmed in the specifications, with the Fiat Fiorino measuring only 3860 mm in length whilst offering an impressive 2,5 m3 loading capacity (DoblÚ: 3,0 m2) with a maximum length of 1,5 metres. This loading capacity can be increased to 2,8 m3 by folding the passenger seat, creating a loading length of 2,5 metres. A sliding door on the right-hand side and dual opening doors at the rear give good access to this impressive carrying capacity. The loading sill is 53 cm high.

The Fiorino will offer all the ease of convenience, driving experience and comfort of a passenger car; and so the cabin features carefully thought out ergonomics and a strong list of options. Cabin stowage has been focused on and smaller details such as cupholders will feature. Its compact length will allow for easy parking manoeuvres to be carried out. Rear parking sensors and central locking also add to the list of equipment. Safety has been addressed with the inclusion of airbags and ABS.

Engines expected to be available 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). This latter unit will offer 4,5 l/100 km consumption and emit just 119 g/km of CO2 per litre.

The brand-new van will complete a modern and dynamic line-up for the Fiat Professional division, the new name for the light commercial vehicles arm of Fiat Group Automobiles. Along with the new Scudo and Ducato, as well as the Panda and Punto vans, and the recently facelifted DoblÚ (also built by Tofaş in Turkey), this unit is making a concerted push forward to increase sales. It is also thrusting its reach globally. Production of the Fiorino gets underway in November. It will arrive in the Italian showrooms in December, before reaching the other major European markets in early 2008.

Related articles

Fiat’s 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 with PSA

© 2007 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed