Fiat Will Miss Its 50k Sales Goal This Year. What About Next Year?
If you answered in the negative when we asked if Fiat would be able to make its 50k unit sales goal in the US this year, you were right. Executives for the Italian brand tell Automotive News [sub] that
“We lost the whole first quarter”… If the store openings had occurred as planned, the sales target would’ve been achieved… Now, that will “probably not” occur this year.
This is no real surprise. Thanks to the slow rollout, Fiat has sold only 7,982 units so far this year… but even with sales at their current levels (3,083 units in July), sales would only barely top 36k units in a 12-month period. Of course, next year the 500 is joined by a higher-performance Abarth version (no, not that one) as well as a hideously expensive electric version, so sales should continue to climb. On the other hand, the brand is hoping for 100k units next year, or about double the MINI brand’s 12-month average… so Fiat may well be looking at another missed sales goal anyway.
Generally speaking, new car sales are not very profitable for dealerships. On the new vehicle side; financing, accessories, extended warranties and dealer installed options are where the money is made. Overall, parts, service and used car sales (the inventory for which is often a by-product of new car sales) are where the real profits are made. If I had a Fiat new vehicle dealership, I would be stocking my used car section with all manner of special interest vehicles to sell to the demographic which is drawn to the 500.
What happened to underpromise and overdeliver?
In related news, AutoWeek is claiming that the 500 EV will be priced at $30,000. Either they're making it up, or Fiat is prepared to lose a lot of money over the EV. http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110811/CARNEWS/110819983
I have been seeing quite a few here in NYC over the last month or so. Hopefully they will do a wagon version to compete with Mini Clubman.