There's no doubt Fiat's prospects were strengthened by the arrival of its new, prettied-up Punto subcompact. Less than a year after after the suffering Italians' launch of the Giugiaro-designed Punto and Grande Punto, the automaker's profit jumped 56% between the first and second quarters of 2006, mainly owing to the hatch's sales success and tidy margins. Now, the company's preparing a sedan version of its base Punto. A Punto with a trunk? Sure, Europe's not ready for that kind of craziness, but a small, three-box model could give the company a boost in growing auto markets from Brazil to India to Camden, New Jersey (yeah, you're right, Camden's not quite ready) that aren't turned off by non-hatchbacks. A Fiat that makes money? What's the world coming to?
SPY PHOTOS: Fiat Punto Sedan [World Car Fans]
Fiat Unveils Punto Grande Compact, Hopes for a Win [internal]