FCA Design Boss Says Fiat Toro Not Coming to U.S.
Ralph Gilles “cleared something up” from his speech at Chicago Auto Show
The Fiat Toro, a mid-size lifestyle pickup sold in Latin America, looks like a promising competitor to the Honda Ridgeline. Only it isn’t coming to the U.S. That news comes directly from FCA’s design boss, Ralph Gilles, and his Twitter feed. Gilles tweeted Wednesday that FCA has no plans on selling the unibody pickup in the U.S.
Gilles’ tweet said, “I must clear something up from this morning #MAMA I meant I love the new 2017 #Fiat Toro sold in Latin America, no plans to sell it in the U.S.”
As he stated, the tweet was meant to clear the air after his speech at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, which led many to believe the Fiat Toro would have a future in North America. “You’re going to be seeing more from fiat on the truck side, especially,” Gilles said at the auto show.
This is disappointing news for the mid-size truck segment. Currently the Honda Ridgeline is the only unibody offering. It competes with several body-on-frame trucks, including the ever-popular Toyota Tacoma. The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon also make up a large portion of market share.
What’s more, the mid-size truck segment isn’t slowing down. Ford recently made headlines with confirmation of the mid-size Ranger pickup’s return for the 2019 model year, along with the Bronco SUV, which will share the Ranger’s underpinnings. Then, of course, Jeep is set to debut its new 2018 Wrangler and its pickup variant.
For whatever reason, FCA doesn’t seem inclined to enter the market. Perhaps FCA bean counters are worried the Fiat Toro would compete too closely against the Jeep Wrangler pickup. Perhaps FCA simply couldn’t meet demand with the U.S. joining the customer base.
Then again, Gilles could have spoken too early about FCA’s plans to debut the Toro for U.S. consumption, having then to cover his tracks with pacifying statements regarding FCA’s lack of plans for a U.S.-sold Toro.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear many are passionate about the Fiat Toro and its potential launch in American dealerships.
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Why It Matters
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is definitely stirring the pot by keeping its Fiat Toro out of American consumers’ reach, only then to tease the idea of it coming Stateside. No one outside FCA knows the true scope of the situation, but we will certainly be keeping a close eye on the Toro and its possible future here.
What do you think? Would you like so see the Fiat Toro sold inside the U.S.? How well do you think it would compete in the growing mid-size pickup segment? Let us know in the comments below.
2017 Fiat Toro
Read our full review on the Fiat Toro here.
Source: Automotive News