Home > Italy > Italy August 2013: It’s a Fiat 500-mania – Photo report

Italy August 2013: It’s a Fiat 500-mania – Photo report

Nissan Juke Italy August 2013Nissan Juke in commando attire in Vintimiglia, Italy - August 2013 (Click to view larger version).

One year has passed since my last Italian Photo report, and today I had the opportunity to return to Ventimiglia for a new report. If last year I was surprised by the feeble amount of new gen Fiat Pandas in the streets given its #1 ranking in the country, this year... well I'm surprised again! I counted only 5 new gen Pandas all afternoon (vs. 3 last year) whereas it has now been the best-selling model in the country for a solid 2 years. I even saw more shiny new Puntos... So I've decided this is a particularity of the region I visited, because I remember last year a few of you saying the streets of Torino, Milano and Sardinia were already filled with new gen Pandas...

Fiat Nuova 500 Italy August 2013The Nuova Fiat 500 is becoming a legend... (and Italians do make interestingly-shaped sun shades!)

One thing that struck me this year more than last is the omnipresence of the Fiat 500. The old generation is still everywhere, and is adored like a God here so no surprises - I even think I saw more than in 2012, as if people were fixing them up and bringing them back to life, perpetrating the fashion. If you are Italian, have bought a used 50-year old Fiat 500 recently and can't stop grinning while driving it I think I saw you today! But the big realisation this year is the current gen Fiat 500 literally filling the streets of Vintimiglia. After all, it has now been inside the Italian Top 5 virtually without interruption for the last 6 years and most owners are holding on to theirs for dear life. I say we are witnessing the birth of a new legend...

Lancia Ypsilon Italy August 2013Lancia Ypsilon in Ventimiglia, Italy - August 2013.

The other Italian models to have struck a chord here are the new gen Lancia Ypsilon, Fiat 500L and Alfa Romeo Giulietta while the Fiat Freemont has slowly but surely blended into the Italian car landscape. However last year's craze for the Lancia Delta has well and truly stopped...

Fiat 500 Italy August 2013Fiat 500 in Ventimiglia, Italy - August 2013. 

Something that escaped me last year but I really noticed today was the frequency of Fiat Qubo, Piaggio Porter and Fiat Strada. I was surprised because of their low ranking in my monthly updates, but then realised these updates aren't for LCVs. An LCV ranking by model for Italy is something I have never managed to get my hands on so if you have access to this please do contact me at matt@bestsellingcarsblog.com!

Dacia Sandero Italy August 2013Dacia Sandero in Ventimiglia, Italy - August 2013.

Keeping in mind Ventimiglia is only minutes away from the French border therefore buyers may still be biased towards French models, I saw a reasonable amount of Renault Clio IV, Peugeot 208, Dacia Sandero, Renault Megane station wagon and, surprise, Renault Twingo. Nissan is very strong with the Qashqai and Juke (including one in a commando outfit!) present in droves. Same observation as last year regarding the mini segment: models obscure elsewhere in Europe are frequent here, notably the Ford Ka and Mitsubishi Colt.

Previous Italy Photo report: Italy August 2012: New Fiat Panda still a rare sight

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Categories: Italy
  1. September 9th, 2013 at 18:04 | #1

    It is good report. I also expecting Nissan Juke in India very near.

  2. Sonico
    September 2nd, 2013 at 23:41 | #2

    Really? That’s interesting, because Italy used to have one of the oldest fleet in Europe. Evidently, the various scrappage plans that were carried out since 1997, and the pollution regulations and city access limitations getting stricter and stricter have forced many people to buy a new car. Therefore, while just 15 years ago old glories like Fiat 127, Volkswagen Golf MkI, Alfasud, Dyane and Renault 4 were regular parts of the landscape, they have virtually disappeared especially from the big cities, while they are a bit easier to find in smaller towns.

  3. Sonico
    September 2nd, 2013 at 23:22 | #3

    Hey Matt, glad to see you came back to our country! :D
    I’m quite surprised you found so little new gen Panda, they are spreading in huge numbers (at least here in the suburbs of Milan) so maybe yes, it may be peculiar to Ventimiglia.

    And you are right, 500s and 2nd gen Pandas are EVERYWHERE, the 500 is an iconic car in Italy and with the new edition Fiat really scored.

    The Fiat Qubo is actually another success story, most examples can be seen in bright orange or green and it is a reasonable choices for young families with space issues; the Piaggio Porter has been around, well, forever virtually unchanged and it is the best choice for the narrow Italian streets. I wouldn’t consider the roads overflown with Fiat Strada, instead, but maybe again this is a peculiarity of the area.

    Finally, I confirm that the French invasion is not just bound to the French borders being so close, the Renault Clio and Twingo have been Italian favourites forever and the Peugeot small compacts were always popular (and the 208 is no exception).

  4. epta
    August 31st, 2013 at 16:19 | #4

    Hi, nice photo report. The town you visited is Ventimiglia (not Vintimiglia) ;)

    • matgasnier
      August 31st, 2013 at 17:16 | #5

      Thanks for the pick-up Epta :)

  5. AndyT
    August 30th, 2013 at 03:52 | #6

    I often think teh same thing when I visit the States from London. There seem to be so many more older cars knocking around than there are in the UK.

  6. alex
    August 30th, 2013 at 02:16 | #7

    Forget Italy. Portugal,Croatia,Hungary, Norway, Finland and Sweden all seem to be excellent for older cars!

  7. Tom
    August 29th, 2013 at 19:40 | #8

    When I went to Italy I was staggered by how few older cars were around, other than the occasional original 500s. Almost all cars seemed to be less than ten years old, yet in Australia, you can’t drive five minutes without seeing a twenty year old Falcon or Commodore.

  8. nemanja s.
    August 29th, 2013 at 18:29 | #9

    Exellent! I think that Italians have good taste for cars. I was enyoing to watch these photos. I hope, you have a nice holiday, Matt!

  9. carman
    August 29th, 2013 at 17:47 | #10

    Nice pictures Matt… I was in sardinia 3 months ago and it was great !!

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