It’ll be easier to get into a Fiat 500 next year, but the question is: does anyone want to?
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has cut prices and reduced the number of trim lines of the 2017 500 as the tiny runabout’s popularity wanes, Bloomberg reports.
With no new models in the pipeline until a refreshed 500X in 2019, Fiat needs to do something to lure back buyers. A greater level of content, plus a price cut, is the only card Fiat has to play.
For 2017, a base “Pop” 500 will set buyers back $14,995, a grand lower than before, while the mid-range Lounge model sees its price slashed by $2,000. The turbocharged Abarth model sees the biggest reduction, with $2,580 erased from the sticker price.
Fiat hasn’t revealed if the 500X small crossover will see a similar price cut, but did say the mid-range version of the ungainly 500L wagon will see a 1-percent cut and additional high-end content. That means heated leather seats, an upgraded audio system and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with navigation.
Across the board, the brand is simplifying its lineup to three trims per model. The automaker brought some fresh blood to its lineup with the 124 Spider earlier this summer, but its existing models are sliding, pulling the brand down.
According to TTAC’s Timothy Cain, “Fiat USA is on track to sell 35,000 new vehicles in 2016. As the lineup grows, Fiat’s total U.S. volume shrinks. Fiat sold more than 40,000 new vehicles in each of the previous four years, including an all-time high of 46,121 in 2014 and 43,772 in 2012, when the 500 was the only car in the fleet. Year-over-year, sales Fiat’s U.S. sales have declined every month this year.”
Fiat’s clientele, at an average of 45 years of age, is younger than the industry average of 49. The automaker has been criticized for not offering a lineup that appeals to U.S. consumers.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]