A strong C-segment (aka compact) vehicle platform has long been critical to the success of any automaker doing business outside of the United States. Increasingly, the same is becoming true here. Vehicles like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and their derivatives are generally the highest volume sellers in the rest of the world. It's no secret that Fiat wants to be among the biggest players in the auto industry and it is launching its new global C-platform in Geneva next month under the new Alfa Romeo Giulieta.
Like Ford, which is planning up to two million C-cars a year, Fiat is also thinking big with a million of its own offerings in that class, including 700,000 Chrysler vehicles. The new platform is designed to be stronger than its predecessors without being any heavier. Over 90 percent of the structure is comprised of high and ultra-high strength steels. The modular structure is also designed to be built in different lengths and widths for a variety of vehicles.
The new platform will form the basis of the replacements for the PT Cruiser and Dodge Caliber from 2012 onwards.