Dave Leggett | 2 October 2007
What's a 'Bipper'? A kid's toy, a variation on a bacon bap, military slang for a weapon of some sort, one of those soft cushions they sell in shopping centre stalls? A revolutionary plastic sandal design? A term used by surfer dudes? A name you might use for your neighbourhood dolphin if the name Flipper was already taken?
Okay, it's a vehicle name and I probably should know better than to poke fun. It's probably a word that has an obvious meaning to its target market. Like the Mazda Drongo van or Proton Jumbuck pickup. The Proton Jumbuck is a real one actually - it's named after what they call sheep Down Under.
Anyway, Bipper is a small van that will be made in Turkey under a Fiat/Tofas JV - but Fiat, Peugeot and Citroen will each get a version. The Fiat gets a proper Italian name - Fiorino. The Citroen version is Nemo (as in Captain or the lost clown fish from Finding Nemo? - either way kind of cool). And the Peugeot version is called Bipper.
Our Turkish correspondent is at the Job 1 ceremony in Bursa tomorrow, so we should know more soon. The three muskateers: Fiorino, Nemo and, ahem, Bipper.
But the Fiat/PSA collaboration on light commercial vehicles in Europe (Sevel) has worked extraordinarily well for both companies. Interesting to see the collaboration extending eastwards, with a local Turkish partner.
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