The Fiat 500′s spectacular failure – selling less than 20,000 units in 2011, despite projections of 50,000 units sold- is quickly becoming the stuff of legend in automotive circles. Sergio Marchionne told CNN Money that the goal wasn’t really based on anything but wanting to beat Mini.
“It was a number that we said would be in excess of what Mini was selling in the United States. It was that simple,” he told CNN. Mini sold 45,644 cars in 2010 and 57,511 units in 2011. Fiat was only able to muster 19,769 vehicles in 2011.
Marchionne dismissed Fiat’s failure as a “rounding error” due to Chrysler’s overall sales of 2 million cars in 2011. According to him, plans for further product roll-outs, as well as the inevitable delay of an Alfa Romeo introduction, is still in the cards.