Fiat will have 20,000 new Sedici crossovers to sell next year and hopes to sell 5,000 of its Panda Cross four-by-four models, a Fiat spokesman told Reuters at a presentation of the cars.

The Sedici aims to compete with five-door hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf and Fiat wants to sell 12,000 in Italy and 8,000 in other major European markets, the spokesman told the news agency at the presentation. The car will be launched in Italy on 10 March next year, the report said.

The new model is part of Fiat’s joint development with Suzuki at the latter’s Esztergom plant in Hungary. The spokesman reportedly said the number of vehicles available to market was limited by capacity at the plant.

Fiat is assured of strong advance publicity: the Sedici will be the official car of the Winter Olympics in Turin, which run from 10 to 26 February, according to Reuters.

The report added that the Panda Cross, based on Fiat’s established Panda model, will be launched in December in Italy and then rolled out in other markets next year, with a price likely to be above EUR15,000 euros (US$17,670).

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