Officially Official: Fiat 500 Hits Chrysler Dealers in 18 Months

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

This from Fiat spokesfolks speaking with Automotive News [sub]. “The Fiat 500 — we see that, like the Mini[sic], as a sort of boutique car that we think we can sell in good numbers on the East and West coasts in the same way that Mini has been successful in the U.S.,” he tells AN. Interestingly though, the 500 will also be the only Fiat-badged vehicle in the new generation of Fiatsler products. But, says the Fiat source, “there is a misconception out there that Chrysler is going to build the Fiat Bravo, just stick a different badge on it. They will be Chrysler products. They will be specific to Chrysler. The vehicle architectures will be based on our stuff, and there will be some powertrains. The vehicles will be U.S. vehicles, designed for U.S. customers by a U.S. company.”

Edward Niedermeyer
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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jun 02, 2009

    And leave the lighting alone. I'll take the fender repeaters for the turn signals. I'll take the bad weather tailights (and know how to use them). I'll happily buy a car with amber rear turn signals so the world following me doesn't have to wonder if I'm pumping my brakes or what I'm doing if my brake light burns out thus rendering my turn signal in-op on that side too. We definitely need to adopt the Euro-spec lighting codes.

  • Grimm Grimm on Jun 02, 2009

    I think that a lot of people are underestimating the number of people in this country that are anxiously awaiting an alternative to the current small car automotive offerings... I (for one) have considered everything from Asia (Yaris, Fit, Aveo, Accent, Rio... ) They're all about the same. Ugly to look at, (I have always found Asian automotive styling unattractive...)They look to me like pissed-off insects. I understand that a lot of people like this look, but it's not really for me... All of these little cars are kind of fun to drive, but noisy and cheep feeling.... The biggest problem I have with them is harder to quantify.... I just feel that they have no character, no soul... Just a mechanical conveyance that I don't really connect with, and don't really FEEL anything for... I know some of you will think I'm crazy to think a car can have soul, but some do. If you can't believe that it's because you haven't yet found a car that has it. One of the first cars I ever drove was a 1972 Fiat 124 spider.... That car had soul! I absolutely LOVED that car! Back in the day when all my friends were driving Mustangs, Pintos, Novas, VW beetles, a Honda cvcc, and a Plymouth station wagon, I was kind of the odd one... Somehow I always managed to feel superior rather than left out. After all, I had experienced all of those cars and none of them compared. I was the last one of all of my buddies to buy a car (this is back in high school in 1982)and I was able to take advantage of a superior basis for comparison by the time I finally got to buy my car. I know that was a critical juncture in my then forming future as a bona fide "car guy". I have since owned an impressive array (over forty) different vehicles in my quest to have the perfect combination of vehicles (as no one vehicle will do it all) in my stable... I have yet to find a car that I loved like I loved that Fiat... Maybe It it's just that it was my first car. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I had to take my right shoe off to drive it (the gas pedal sometimes stuck to the floor) Talk about feeling connected to your car.... It was like that car was a part of me.... Man! was that car fun to drive! After school hop in, exactly three seconds to drop the top, and forty min. down Del Dios hwy to the beach.... Enough room for three friends too! How many cars can even do that these days?! My point is. I am sure I'm not the only person who has fond memories of having owned a fiat and would be very willing to give the 500 a try... It looks to me like it might have some soul! I have been wanting one since I first saw the concept and I'm happy to here the prospect that I might be able to get my hands on one.... I will wait for that second shipment to sit on the showroom floors forever, and get a good deal on top of it all. Then I will drive that little car up and down the mountain I live on with the stupidest grin on my face anybody ever saw! Sorry about the long post. I tried to make it Worth the read! CIAO!

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jun 04, 2009

    Grimm - I agree. I think some of the reason Euro-compacts "feel" so much better is because in Europe those small cars are sold to adults and not to 20-somethings or even teen like here. In Asia perhaps the cars are not expected to drive any reason distance and thus are allowed to be noisy??? Dunno. Looking forward to the markets opening up to allow more real competition for the consumer. I hope. Aiming for two 35+ mpg daily drivers next time. Something larger for weekend trips on standby.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jun 05, 2009

    Fiat wants to sell 50K units in the USA? How many do they sell now? Might it double production? Perhaps Fiat doesn't have to sell 500K units to turn a profit? Leaner company? As fro the size of the 500 - isn't the current version on the same chassis as the Mini? Means it ought to be a similar size? I think I heard the designer of the Mini was also the designer of the 500? Sort of like the same designer of the PT Cruiser was the same fellow that did Chevy's HHR? Anybody confirm this?