Blog: Dave LeggettGood sign for Fiat

Dave Leggett | 2 February 2007

I've just been reading a research note issued by Banca IMI which is pretty positive on the new Fiat Bravo - a crucial model for Fiat this year - that is about to hit the European market.

The note points out that the new model has been developed in double-quick time (just 18 months to market from design freeze, 30% quicker than Fiat has ever achieved before) and European launch timing is good with rival models at advanced stages in their model cycles - the long in the tooth Renault Megane, Citroen C4 and Peugeot 307 are key competitors in Italy. 

What should really encourage Fiat though is that the car has been getting a predominantly good press in Europe, suggesting that it can credibly build on the image boost provided by the success of Grande Punto. In the C-segment where Bravo sits, Fiat has historically struggled (Bravo's predecessor, Stilo, seen as lacklustre).

Fiat Auto earnings estimates for 2007 and 2008 have been revised upwards.

The note from Banca IMI is a good sign for Fiat at least (and Banca IMI's equities analyst isn't known for giving Fiat an easy ride). 

Marchionne seems to be the man who walks on water these days. Carlos Ghosn has been getting his feet wet lately (Nissan results).

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