Fiat 500 Sales Declines: 14 Months And Counting

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

After 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.

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%. (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?

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • Oldyak Oldyak on Aug 15, 2014

    If you know your service writer on a first name 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!

  • Sisu34 Sisu34 on Aug 12, 2017

    It's unlikely that anyone will read this since the topic seems to have evaporated. I bought a used 2012 Fiat 500 POP about two years ago. It had 16,400 miles; I paid $8,000,00 for it. Then, I read how terrible these cars are; I've driven it 9,000 miles and the junky thing, and all the failures I've had with it, makes me mad. Oh, wait. It wasn't the Fiat that was junky, it was my new Pontiac G5, and my son's new Pontiac Grand Prix. The Fiat is a fun car that holds four people, if they are good friends. It is ideal when going to garage sales,you can always find a place to park or turn around. Fold the rear seats down and it holds a ton of groceries. I don't know how much it costs to fix it or buy parts because I've never had a problem. I have another car,a truck, but my Fiat is a chick magnet; fake news against the Fiat doesn't faze me.

  • Mister They've got their work cut out for them. I live in a large metropolitan city of 1.2+ million people, the is a single Mitsubishi dealer. It's really more like a used-car dealer that sells Mitsubishi on the side. With the remarkably cheesy name of "Johnny Legends".
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh WHAT !?
  • Jeff Matt--I think this is a good move for Mitsubishi to expand their presence with satellite dealers. I had a 85 MItsubishi Mighty Max and my sister had a 83 MItsubishi Starion. MItsubishi needs to add a compact pickup to compete with the Maverick and the Santa Cruz but offer it for less. A smaller more affordable truck will sell. I believe MItsubishi should still offer an inexpensive subcompact like the Mirage it will sell in a slowing car market with high msrps. Yes I know the Mirage is probably going to be canceled but I believe in these times it is a mistake and they should reconsider cancelling the Mirage. Toyota is having problems selling the new redesigned Tacomas and Tundras with the turbo 4s and 6s. Most Tacomas have MSRPs of well over 40k. There is room for MItsubishi to grow their market share with more affordable vehicles. I am not saying Mitsubishi is going to overtake Toyota, Honda, or Nissan but they should take advantage of the more affordable market segment that these companies for the most part have abandoned. MItsubishi doesn't have to be the biggest just increase sales and become more profitable.
  • Cprescott More hideous garbage.
  • Jalop1991 Mitsubishi is planning dealer expansion? What, the dealer will be adding a customer-only bathroom?