By on August 13, 2014

2012 Fiat 500TAfter 15 consecutive months in which U.S. sales of the Fiat 500 increased on a year-over-year basis, U.S. sales of the Fiat 500 have declined in each of the last 14 months.

Not surprisingly, the more recent streak began the exact same month in which Fiat’s large, less popular 500L arrived.

During the former 15-month span, Fiat USA averaged 3746 500 sales per month. Over the last 14 months, that average has fallen 26% to 2773 units per month.

For the Fiat brand, the overall sales results haven’t looked that bad. After all, Fiat sells an extra 1117 cars every month by way of a nameplate that didn’t exist in this market before last summer.

Since June of last year, brand-wide Fiat sales have fallen in America only three times: in September, October, and November of last year, a period in which volume slid 14% even with the extra vehicle in showrooms. Granted, Fiat brand sales haven’t fallen often, but that doesn’t mean sales were high. This is a low-volume brand as it currently stands, with two niche products.

Taken on its own, the 500, not able to top 44,000 units in 2012 before a near-8000-unit decline in 2013, is on pace for fewer than 31,000 sales in 2014.

It’s not as though 2014 has been an especially bright year for passenger car sales. While the overall market is expanding for a dozen different reasons, car sales are up less than 1% compared with the first seven months of 2013. The 500’s 14% drop, following up on an 18% annual year-over-year decline in 2013, is harsh by the overall market’s standards, but perhaps not by the standards of like-minded cars.

Fiat 500 U.S. sales chartVolkswagen Beetle volume is down 30%. Sales of non-Countryman/Paceman Minis, naturally impacted by the departure of an old model and the slow arrival of a new one, have fallen 35%. (The 500 is currently outselling both the five-pronged Mini car range and the Beetle on year-to-date terms, but it did not do so in July specifically.)

Hyundai Veloster sales are down 4%. The Ford Fiesta (-7%), Kia Rio (-11%), and transitioning Honda Fit (-12%) understand the 500’s pain.

Did you believe that America’s interest in the 500 would so rapidly fade, or did you simply believe that the 500 wouldn’t rise as high as Fiat had originally hoped?

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92 Comments on “Fiat 500 Sales Declines: 14 Months And Counting...”


  • avatar

    What really bothers me is the Chrysler dealers here in NYC who are too small to sell Fiat, Dodge and Chrysler products – but are forced to. These cars have their niche, but I’m not impressed by any of them. Cheap interiors, hippy exteriors and no HEMI.

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      To be fair, very few of the cars in the subcompact segment have Hemi power, even as an option.

    • 0 avatar
      johnhowington

      its hard for enthusiasts to grasp that their opinion rarely matters. there are quite a few fiat 500′s running around in liberal austin.

    • 0 avatar

      NYC is the perfect place to sell Fiat 500s, why wouldn’t Fiasler want dealers there? Nothing about that seems unreasonable.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Chrysler dealers had to apply for Fiat franchises, and be approved. They weren’t forced.

      It’s funny that you mention “cheap interiors, hippy exteriors and no HEMI.” If anything, Fiat has premium interiors compared to anything sold under the Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep or Ram brands. The leather seats and steering wheels are Lambo-good, and the design is spot-on.

      FYI, hemispherical heads haven’t been cutting-edge in over 60 years (and those were arguably recycled pre-war design ideas). I realize that (uppercase) HEMI is a marketing thing, but a quiet, basic 500L gets as much HP/cubic inch, and more torque/cubic inch than a Hellcat.

    • 0 avatar
      Synchromesh

      Who cares about Hemi? Fiats (with the exception of Abarth) are not built for performance. They’re very popular here in SF and I even see the rare fully electrical version pop up on occasion. They’re small, nimble, easy to park and relatively economical. A much better proposition than a Smart and a great city car.

      I’ve driven the Abarth and while it’s no match for my current WRX, it’s really not a bad proposition for its size.

  • avatar
    mjz

    I think ALL of the FIATS are priced about $2,000 more than they should be. That said, the new 500X (sister to the Jeep Renegade) and upcoming FIAT version of the Mazda Miata should generate some additional sales and interest for the FIAT brand.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      This really is the problem. It’s not a bad car, but it’s too expensive a proposition for ongoing success, and not capable enough to warrant the additional premium something like the Mini commands.

      FCA probably knows this, and I’d expect either a decontenting and price cut soon enough.

  • avatar
    philipbarrett

    It’s a niche car, sold on the basis of “cute” and the people who wanted one (and could afford one) now own them so Fiat is left with just incremental sales. The MINI will transcend this by continuing to build a car that appeals to both the cute crowd and the performance market.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The Mini enjoys BMW’s sterling reputation for drivable art. Fiat OTOH was rated for decades to make the worst products on the market.

      Such a rep is hard to overcome, even for Sergio. But I do find it surprising that the little 500 doesn’t sell well in any Metropolis like NYC, Chicago or LA.

      Since it was developed for Europe’s crowded and cramped cities with their narrow streets, it should have been a natural for America’s crowded inner cities.

      • 0 avatar
        Mercury Mark 75

        Actually in Chicago you see tons of Wranglers and beat up civics/accords/corollas. When you do drive the commutes are short mileage does not matter that much. Additionally if you can’t afford the 30K parking spot and you need to park on the streets overnight you want a POS that you don’t care about when it gets plowed in, mirror smashed off, and when people parallel park by playing bumper tag.

  • avatar

    I’d expect the interest to swell and fade with the cost of gasoline and the economy in general. Worse economy and higher fuel costs lead some people to buy the 500, even though it is more of a niche product and not necessarily the cheapest thing on 4 wheels. The ones who are still buying are the enthusiasts for the product. Also, they may be stocking too many manual transmission cars in the lots (I’m not basing that on any data though).

    I’d expect a brand jump once they get the 500X (or whatever they’re calling the AWD offering) into production and on the lots. They need to do a makeover on that ugly 500L…woof!

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The volumes are about what you’d expect (or at least what I would expect), considering that it’s a small car with strictly niche appeal.

    This is the sort of thing that does reasonably well for a time until those who were really excited about them satisfy their cravings by getting one. Once that market has been served, sales slow down. It would appear to have reached that point.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      Yup. Same thing happened to the 86 twins. Hype and a niche product leads to front loaded sales. And the 500 had tons of hype.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s Funny how that works in the US. I know people in Europe and Brazil that are getting their second or third Cincuecento, which does show that it competes in other places as more than just a fashion statement. And the market is not done yet. Plenty of people the world over, like me, would love to get one, but still haven’t. How many actually reside in the US no one really knows though FCA may have an idea.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’m going to agree with Pch here… at least for now. Sub-compacts have always been niche–even when the original Beetle came to the States. Americans in general simply don’t like super-small cars. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for them, only that the market is small and unlikely to support a brand whose focus is strictly small. The simple fact that the combined sales of the 500 and the 500L still averages around 5,500 vehicles per month for the fiscal year means roughly 66,000 vehicles sold–not bad for a brand who has only been back in this country about two years.

      What seems more interesting is that Fiat gets singled out in the headline and the chart while the other cars in that sector are effectively ignored except in the passing comment, ” Volkswagen Beetle volume is down 30%. Sales of non-Countryman/Paceman Minis, naturally impacted by the departure of an old model and the slow arrival of a new one, have fallen 35%.” By comparison then, the Fiat is doing far better on maintaining a fairly steady sales rate, even if it isn’t as great as Fiat had hoped.

      On the other hand, Fiat’s other cars based on American design schools but still using Fiat platforms are performing surprisingly well in Europe and even showing new growth here in the States. The Jeep Cherokee rides a Fiat platform yet is proving itself surprisingly popular and judging by commentary I’ve read elsewhere the Renegade may see a similar growth. These models too will be more ‘global’ in market and may see broader sales than any one model by any other brand that isn’t following a ‘global platform’ concept.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I guess my take is that the car just isn’t that special. Unlike the Beetle, the 500 is not fondly remembered by millions of Americans. And it’s not particularly distinctive like the Mini Cooper was when released.

    Yes, it stands out somewhat from the other “Penalty Box” sized cars, but “slightly different” isn’t usually enough to sustain a market for a car that is otherwise unremarkable.

  • avatar
    Rday

    according to cr the reliability of the fiat is poor. people are not stupid. who wants a car that is not reliable.

    • 0 avatar

      Me. Things are differentl in the US I suppose. Here in Brazil absolute reliability may not be as important as there or our mechanics are more resourceful, but none of the “frequent issues” this car has would give me pause.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Well, Porsche owners are pretty tolerant of truly awful engineering, if Jack’s rants are anything to go by!

      And plenty of people buy cars that are not tip-top reliable. Despite what consumers say in surveys about valuing safety, reliability, etc. above all else, what consumers ACTUALLY purchase is a car that makes them feel good about themselves, whatever that is. If consumers weren’t liars, we’d all be driving Toyota station wagons, sedans, and minivans, and SUV’s would be a tiny niche market.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      My ’13 Abarth has been perfect. Not a single issue in 18 months of ownership.

      As for the price, they have had some great discounts. Still a lot cheaper than a Mini.

      I expect the new availability of automatic turbos to help a bit. This will never be a huge selling car, but it is me of the best sellers in its class.

      • 0 avatar

        Be quiet krhodes1! Must not destrói the meme, to against the grain, rock the boat. It’s like un-American or something to like small cars or believe that they are well-built.

      • 0 avatar

        Question (once again, this time not on an airline).

        On a scale of 1 to broken back, how bad is the ride in the Abarth?

        As previously discussed, I’m very drawn to one but assume that I would simply have to have a second vehicle with a more humane ride for longer trips.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I think the ride is quite good, all things considered. Considerably better than a MINI. Quite smooth on the highway, and reasonably quiet as well. It is definitely firm over crap urban pavement but not punishing. It feels “solid”, like a little chunk of granite. I have driven it Maine to DC and back (twice) with no major suffering, other than wishing for adjustable lumbar in the seat. Considering it corners like a gocart the ride is kind of impressive. Credit the Koni FSD tech in the dampers.

          Where it falls to pieces is on old-style expansion jointed concrete highways like I-78 in PA. There is no way around the short wheelbase in that situation. It is not so much the actual ride, but the expansion joints setup a pitching motion which is very unpleasant. I just won’t go that way again.

          Bear in mind, my other car is a 3-series BMW, which is nothing short of brilliant in its ride handling balance. So of course I prefer to drive that on long trips. The Fiat is way more fun.

          You really need to just go drive one. The 500 Turbo is a nice compromise too – not as raucous, but still a lot of fun, and a couple grand cheaper.

          • 0 avatar

            @krhodes: The ride is better than a Mini?! Well, I didn’t expect that, that is good to know.

            And yes, I have considered a Turbo…I quite like them and probably don’t need the full-on Abarth varient, but I just wish the Cabrio was available in the Turbo.

            I’m eyeing up a 2008 9-5 SportCombi for winter/highway/utility purposes, which I feel would be a cheap and happy marriage.

            I’m looking at driving one this next week.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @Krhodes1 –

        I drove a non-Abarth 500 and I loved the way it handled (and was actually impressed by how solid it felt), but the engine / clutch / shifter all felt vaguely out of sync. That was a no-sale issue for me. Admittedly, I’d never have bought the car – I was just curious about it – but did you compare the base and Abarth versions?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          The reason I looked at Fiats at all was I had a couple base Pops as rentals. I test drove a Sport, a Turbo, and an Abarth. Couldn’t resist the Abarth. It’s the regular 500 cranked up to 11.

          A lot of reviews of the Abarth mention an obstructive shifter – no such issue with mine, I wonder if they made a change for ’13? No complaints about the clutch, it is light and easy. There is definitely some turbo lag.

          I tend to mostly drive in “normal mode”, and save “sport mode” for special occasions. It’s plenty fast with 130hp.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Sales of Fiat products in the U.S. are only going to decline over time, as the realization sets in that these vehicles are quite a bit less reliable (and more importantly, durable, as in sh!t just breaks outright or falls off of them) than even the LESS reliable VWs.

      Fiat is going to single-handedly disprove the myth that “all modern cars are reliable.”

      I know my comments will provoke bile, vitriol & maybe even death wishes from those, who like khrodes, have owned their Abarth for all of 18 months without problem (and I genuinely hope he has a healthy, loving, reliable long term relationship with his Abarth – honestly, but doubt it’s in the cards), but Fiat level un-reliability is NOT what Americans truly want, as Honda & Toyota proved as they first took over coastal areas of the U.S. during the initial Japanese invasion, and then proceeded to kick a$$ and take VINs by the millions of former domestic vehicle owners in even the most flyover sections of the American Heartland.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        More than anything, that is prejudice talking with a bullet of obsolete reputation used as ammunition. While I will grant that we have seen a couple reviews of the Fiat 500 emphasizing what appears to be poor build quality, Ford’s products don’t have a much better reputation neither here nor in Europe. Considering that the Fiat 500 is a brand-new vehicle for the American market (as compared to having been on the European market for several years now), many things had to be changed to conform to US standards which effectively changed a lot of components from their Euro twins. What I haven’t heard, despite all the hate, is any real complaint about reliability as yet. The one-shot about a rental unit could be attributed to any number of factors and so far all the actual OWNERS I’ve seen and talked to appear quite pleased with their 500s.

        Now, the reason I stated that your argument was prejudice is that Volkswagen is fighting that same kind of reputation, yet everyone–I mean EVERYONE–I know who owns a VW loves their car for its capabilities and reliability despite the sometimes expensive peripheral issues. Even in a blizzard with 16″ of snow on the ground and more falling, one owner commuted 50 miles to work with his turbo-diesel wagon while AWD and 4×4 vehicles lay in the ditches to either side of his road without a problem. Granted, his own driving capabilities were obviously better than those others, but the TDI Passat wagon bore through and carried him all the way in to work with no issues and he’d been driving that same car for over 8 years.

        You see, these reputations come far more from very vocal dissatisfied owners who may even have been the cause of some of those problems. They are, however, a minority. Americans in general are far more likely to complain about something than to praise it. For every negative review, there may be 10, 100 or even 1000 owners who are perfectly satisfied and yet silent about their car.

        Now, will Fiat fail as an automotive company in the US? Maybe. Maybe not. Slight declining sales on a niche model won’t make or break the company–especially when other products by the same company under different brand names are doing very well.

  • avatar
    stephenjmcn

    It’s a rather old and underwhelming car now – it’s been on sale here in Europe since 2007, and I think the novelty has worn off somewhat. There’s better built cars with better tech available for similar money. Sales are just doing what they do when a car is overdue a refresh.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    In my last round of car buying I considered a FIAT 500 Abarth. I test drove a 500 Pop at the Dallas Autoshow as a stand-in since the Abarth wasn’t available yet. I genuinely liked it. I liked how light weight it was, I liked the handling, and the engine was nice and would have only been better with a turbo. The fuel efficiency was good, and my wife liked the trunk size.

    My problem was with how I sat in it. The car is about 4’10 3/4″ tall. The way the seat and pedals were placed, you sit pretty upright. It’s a clever idea that allows for more leg room in the rear. However, I like to sit in my car with my hip point lower to the ground almost behind the pedals with my legs stretched forward, with my back leaned back slightly. Don’t ask me why, but sitting higher with my feat down like in a kitchen chair my ankles start to bug me after a couple of hours driving. So I wound up passing on the Abarth.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not that bad. I actually prefer the more upright seating position as most of my cars have had them. Because of that, when I sit in a car with lower seats, I tend to not like it. Anyway it’s just different. Most adapt quickly while some never will.

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        Different people. I prefer to sit lower. Maybe I could have gotten used to it. But to be honest, when I am spending $20k to $25k of my hard earned dollars of something I don’t want to adapt to it. I will keep looking until I find a car that I am at least 90% happy with. Which is what happened in this case. I liked the Abarth but wasn’t happy with the seats so I kept looking. And I did find something, a used ’06 Acura RSX-S in superb condition. It fulfills almost everything that I wanted. The seating was much better if just a shave too high for me (at this point I am quibbling over half inches), the gas mileage is less than I would like, and it doesn’t have a limited slip of any sort. But, it was close enough to what I wanted and the price was right.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      I’m starting my 6th year with a PT wagon– it’s upright with the manual-shift as well. Very narrow like the 500. I’m finding I have more hip and knee discomfort than I had in my previous neon, VW Type 1s, or 245 Volvo manuals I’ve driven since 1996.

      It’s something about having the foot flat on the floor, and using the ankle whilst also having to kick a bit. In something like the neon it was a more straightforward affair. The kicking action in the upright cars also chews up the toes of one’s shoes differently than a standard automobile. I feel like it’s from kicking the bottoms of the pedals or the knee bolster trim edge whenever I try to clutch. It’s eaten 3 pair of shiny shoes.

      At 34, I’m not sure I’ve got many more manuals left in me. If that age seems young (and it does to me) that tells me there’s something inherently wrong with the driving position if one takes the manual in these tiny upright things.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        iNeon: “I’m finding I have more hip and knee discomfort than I had in my previous neon, VW Type 1s, or 245 Volvo manuals I’ve driven since 1996.”

        Don’t overlook one obvious possibility… you’re also six years older and time does take a toll. You might experience similar discomfort in vehicles that were once OK for you.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Albuquerque has a Fiat dealer but most that I have seen on the roads either have out of state plates or rental bar codes on the window and those little “no smoking” signs. But then a “city car” is not really ideal for a wide open state like NM.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      True! Haven’t seen any in my part of Southern NM with NM plates.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        There is ONE local one in my (100+ miles from the nearest dealer) area but it plays up to the stereotype in that it is a customized “Gucci” edition with a Gucci logo-ed interior.

        • 0 avatar
          jim brewer

          Gallup, new mexico is about the last place on earth where you would want to own a fiat. They sell well in Santa fe, narrow but not horrible roads,short commutes, cheaper than a Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I see a fair number of them in Denver. Most seem driven by owners. City streets in Denver tend to be pretty narrow in some residential areas, and parking can be difficult, so I would think the 500 would be a pretty awesome city car.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    It is performing just about as I expected. It is mainly sold as a fashion accessory meaning that it would sell OK at the beginning and drop from there.

  • avatar

    Fwiw, it’s sold better than what the sutis thought, in private, it would. They think the car has established a nice niche for Fiat in the US and being that Chrysler is theirs, they have the time and market position to slowly expand the brand. Fiat does not need to be a full line maker in the US to justify its presence.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    The 500 has been going Beetle-like volume from it’s better years. Similarly, the Beetle saw a gradual decline as their limited buyer demo saw saturated. Unless theres a large sudden spike in fuel prices, 500 sales will likely remain steady or decline in the near future as Americans prefer larger cars.

  • avatar

    It doesn’t take a market analyst to realize that Americans have a deep love affair with the Beetle and a strong emotional connection with the original Mini. No one cares about the 500. Was the classic 500 ever even sold here in significant numbers?

    P.S. 500 POPs are approaching SMART levels of wholesale value at the sales. Not a good thing.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The Fiat 500 outsold the Beetle in 2 of the 3 years it’s been on the market.

      “500 POPs are approaching SMART levels of wholesale value at the sales.”

      They would. They’re the Fiat equivalent of a Malibu 1FL.

      • 0 avatar

        Lol! If your going to start a love affair you have to be there. The Cincuecento is actually a good starting point as in the US most of the people who buy one buy it because they really want one.

      • 0 avatar
        TheyBeRollin

        You’re also comparing apples and oranges. The Fortwo has been here since 2008, while the 500 has been here since 2011. Smart entered at the bottom of a nasty recession and sold more in their first year than the 500 did in a recovering year with over twice the dealers.

        They’re currently selling more, but the question is how long that’ll last. With resale values so low, they clearly have a very small market in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      The original 500 was sold in North America from the late 1950′s to early 1960′s, however, it was not as popular as the slightly larger 600. Most of the classic 500s you see in North America today are 1970′s models that have been privately imported since the 1990′s. The same goes for classic Minis and Citroen 2CVs. These cars were sold here in small numbers in the 1960′s, but most of the ones you see today are more recent, private imports.

      When I was a small child my father owned a 1960 Fiat 600. This car was about the same size as the VW Beetle and Renault Dauphine. Like the Dauphine it was powered by a water-cooled inline four mounted behind the rear transaxle.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    The 500 has been in the US for almost 3 years, so you would expect sales to level-off, as they have. The real problem is the 500L which hasn’t been finding its market (probably because it’s homely). The 500x should do well, being more in tune with the hot CUV/crossover segment.

    Longer-term, I don’t really see a problem.

    Incidentally, I know of two families that are on their second Fiat. It’s obviously a package that some people really like: small size/low price with good design and some originality.

  • avatar
    TheyBeRollin

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. The subcompact/city car segment is painfully saturated with options in a market with little demand for them. Mix in very polarizing unconventional styling and you have a recipe for flash-in-the-pan interest, rapidly rising sales, a deluded manufacturer overestimating and overproducing (and/or importing), a peak saturation period while they sell consistently (they think it is exponential, but it is actually logarithmic), then a sales collapse. This is just another Smart Fortwo – those that wanted one bought it soon after release, but there really isn’t a customer base beyond these original buyers and they already own one. The only new sales are repeat sales, which kills resale value (the 500 appears to depreciate very fast, much worse than even the Fortwo, which should be very troubling).

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Dear Fiat,

    Here’s how to fix your sales issues. National ad campaign. Black screen, only showing the Abarth logo with no words. For audio, we hear the Abarth start up, idle, rev, then take off and run through the gears. 20 seconds of that sweet-ass exhaust note. Then fade in to a picture of the Abarth, with the price tag of $21k or whatever it is in big font, and that chick from the original Abarth ad stands next to it in a skintight leather mini skirt and low-cut top, and says nothing.

    Done. You’ll sell 5000 the first week. Sex + exhaust note + cheap = win.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    If you compare it to the Smart or Scion iQ, it sure looks like a winner.

  • avatar
    stevejac

    I live in a pretty populous area in central California and the nearest dealer (oops, ‘studio’) is 60 miles away. I test drove a 500 and my knees didn’t fit. The interesting thing is that the 500e, with a MSRP of 33k, would have cost me about 17k after the various tax breaks from the feds, the state and the local air polution district.

    If only I had fit, I would have bought one in a heartbeat for that price.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    WRT the 500L (and all other compact *utility* vehicles)

    Please do not use the word “utility” in the name of your market class and then tell me I can not “utilize” it to tow a small trailer.

    Not useful at all.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Every time someone types “500e” and they aren’t referring to the W124, God punches a baby.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Fiat Strada mini-truck. You`d have the niche all to yourself.

  • avatar
    snabster

    I see lots driving around DC.

    There is a tension between having a small, cheap car and trying to do upscale at the same time.

    And it isn’t the car — in leather the 500 is quite nice. Turbo version more than adequate.

    It is the owners. Nothing screams subprime credit like a Chrysler product.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Let’s be clear. There are two reasons why the 500 sales are dropping. One, it’s frigging tiny and not really efficient or useful. Two, it’s a piece of crap. By design or construction, I do not know. But when I was ready to drive my friend’s Abarth, another friend with the same car was commenting how great a car it is and what a POS it is. In the same sentence. His issue was 2 steering racks replaced. My friend’s car is fast, but it is loud as hell. So I can’t go really fast like I can in, say, a Camry. Or Civic. Or Fit. When we picked up speed to 60 and it started whining like a UAZ jeep, my friend explained that he is due to the dealer for wheel bearings replacements. At under 20K miles.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      Here’s a third reason: The Chevy Spark. While not in the same design class as the 500 or Mini, it’s bigger inside and a decent urban commute vehicle. Chevy sold over 32,000 Sparks in 2013 and over 26,000 through July 2014. That’s a lot of small-car sales lost by FIAT and Mini to GM.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    I would be interested to see how Canadian sales compare. 500′s are everywhere in Vancouver, they are a perfect city car. And as I always do in any Fiat post, I give props to them for actually offering buyers colour choices, inside and out. So sick of silver cars with black interiors!

    • 0 avatar

      Same in Montreal. People like the size, people like the price, and people like the customizability and colours. Lots of Sports and Pops and Lounges, and a surprising number of Abarths.

      The little buggers always bring a smile to my face.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      From Good Car Bad Car:
      Year U.S. Fiat Sales Canadian Fiat Sales
      2011 19,769 5392
      2012 43,772 8474
      2013 43,236 7710
      2014 YTD * 28,779 5773
      Source: Automakers & ANDC

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    This is the kind of unique specialty car that once everybody who wants one buys in, it’s pretty much over.

    The local dealer was smart, put the showroom in a leased slot at the mall, absolute minimal investment, all the wrenching is at his other brand locations.

  • avatar
    bobman

    The Fiat 500 was always meant to be a niche market entry for FCA. Although the numbers are below their expectations at the moment, the US market is only second to Italy for sales. Therefore, an important one. The next generation will, most likely, be built at the Tichy plant in Poland. It has accomplished its mission as it provided a platform for the 1.4L engine being built in the US. The 1.4L engine was a compliance item that allowed Fiat to receive an additional five percent stake in Chrysler. With the production of the 500 to Poland, perhaps the engine manufacturing will also move to make room for the new engines planned.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Boutique car – heck there was a Barbie & Gucci. Isn’t there a production shift to Poland? Will Europe finally get the plusher U.S. chassis?

    Still think they missed the boat not doing more body variety. Pickup, van, wagon – not ‘L’ thing. Could have seen use as a little commercial.
    But heck that dent boutique.

    2 cents.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    Since opinions are like..ass______!
    Now I can give mine
    This car was never intended to be for everyone!
    The resale value according to what I have read is pretty damn good!
    The car is built as well/ badly as any other car in the segment.
    Would you REALLY want a Spark after seeing and driving a 500??
    It makes me smile when I see it in the driveway!(try that with the competition)
    My Sport has been averaging 36.5 MPG over 2000 miles now of combined city/highway.
    I really am growing tired/suspicious of the ‘reliability’ issues mentioned above…..
    I check the 500 forum often and there are a hell of a lot less issues than some of the ‘best and brightest’ would have you believe!
    Would you own another one????? What kind of B.S is this????
    That was/is such a bogus question??
    I have a loyalty to FIAT!
    THEY brought us a car that they shouldnt have…not designed for the american market but what the hell,lets give the consumer something VERY different…
    if it sells,OK…if it doesnt..OK
    But we are NOT going to price it like a cheap car!
    If you want one..pony up
    AND ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Put me in the “sold a lot better than I thought it would” camp since I thought it would be a total flop from the get go… You can only sell tiny overpriced shitboxes to so many teenage girls…

  • avatar
    lightbulb

    The problem I see is the demographic that is buying these cars. Fiat is trying to market these cars as young and hip, but at least in the Boston metro area it is mainly middle age women who are buying them. I rarely ever see anyone younger than 40 driving a Fiat, that includes all the models. At least in Beatles, and Minis I see different aged owners, even if the majority are over 40.

  • avatar
    Rday

    Italian cars and Fiats too have a history of requiring alot of loving care as they age. Fun to drive but they make you pay dearly for the fun. As I am now a senior I want conform and reliability. If i get to know the service people at my dealership on a first name basis, then it is time to trade for a different brand.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    If you know your service writer on a first name basis…you need to look elsewhere.
    If you want to conform….conform to what??
    Buy a Corolla..
    Dont even think about a Fiat 500!
    It would stress you out just looking at it!


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