Honda F1 website

JULY 15, 2004

Fiat needs more European penetration

The boss of Fiat Auto Herbert Demel says that the troubled Italian car company needs to make a bigger impression in Europe and not rely so heavily on Italian domestic sales. The company is adopting a new strategy to embrace more and more innovation and to sell more cars across Europe. The former Volkswagen executive is well-placed to know how best to make an impact on the European car buyers and this is probably likely to be linked to more sporting activities to support Alfa Romeo's involvement in the FIA European Touring Car Championship. This might mean a new Lancia programme in rallying or sports car racing or perhaps even a renewed Alfa Romeo involvement in the German touring car series. It is unlikely that the company would embark on an F1 programme, although this would probably be the best way to hit the right market, because Fiat Auto's sister company Ferrari is already integrally involved in the sport. It should be remembered however that back in the 1980s both companies were involved in competition in F1. Alfa Romeo-Ferrari rivalry dates back to the late 1940s when Enzo Ferrari began building cars to beat Alfa Romeo, having been fired as the racing boss of Alfa.