Icon of design and Italian know-how, the new Panda is the evolution of a successful model and destined to confirm Fiat’s position as undisputed leader in the city-car category.
For this reason, Fiat Group Automobiles has set its sights on ensuring top quality throughout the entire product development process and its engineering. Such a design could only be manufactured in an equally advanced factory, one redesigned with the same criteria.
This is why the new model is made in Pomigliano d’Arco, near Naples. The industrial area has been entirely refurbished for the event with new systems, particularly in the body-in-white and assembly sector, and an innovative “Quality Centre”. More than being simply the most advanced Fiat has, these new systems are also among the most advanced in the world.
The Giambattista Vico plant was brought to technological and organisational excellence in a record time of 12 months and with a total investment of Euro 800 million in both machinery and people, for whom to the present day 200 thousand hours of training have been put in.
The result is a car that represents the passion and the design and building ability of a brand born over a century ago. The heritage of Fiat is all this and more, combined with the commitment and professional pride of thousands of people – engineers, factory workers, executives – who have followed one another over the years in the factories and in the offices.
FIAT 31-year success story
The Panda went down in automotive history in 1980 when Fiat presented the first model at the Geneva Motor Show, the result of research started in 1976. With the Panda an idea was born, an idea which has generated another way of experiencing a car: simple, democratic, fun and at the same time revolutionary owing to its intuitive and brilliant solutions.
It was the first generation of one of the most highly appreciated European city cars that never ceases to amaze. In a three-year period it was enriched with the textile sun-roof version and the four-wheel drive version, and in July 1984 the one millionth Panda produced after only four years from its birth arrived. Its success was renewed in 1986 with the second series of the first generation.
The engines were one of the major innovations. The new 34 HP and 45 HP FIRE 769cc and 999cc replaced the 652cc and 903cc. The diesel engine was also introduced. But what did not change was the customer’s love for this car. Over the next two years it surpassed the threshold of 2 million units produced, and in 1990 the range grew, enriched with the futuristic Panda Elettra, the first version fitted with an electric motor. The first-generation Panda was produced up until 2003. Up until the very last minute it held one of the top spots in the rankings of utility cars purchased.
The moment of the second generation arrived in September 2003. The Fiat Panda was launched on the market with a design that interpreted the new style trends. It abandoned the three-door bodywork and grew 13 centimetres longer and a dozen wider to make room for a comfortable five-door MPV configuration. And it was immediately a hit. It was the first car in this segment to be awarded the prestigious “Car of The Year 2004” title. The model became a downright “platform” on which Fiat created an entire family of cars boasting technology and attention to detail worthy of a higher category. In 2007 the one millionth second generation unit rolled off the line.
About 6 million first and second-generation Pandas were produced. Now it is the turn of the third-generation Fiat Panda to continue down this path embarked on 31 years ago on the roads of the world.
More about the FIAT Panda: