By on June 15, 2016

2016 Fiat 500L, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Despite Pope Francis giving the model a thumbs up, sales of the ungainly looking Fiat 500L continue their downward slide, with the automaker announcing it will cut one of three shifts at its Serbian factory.

The cuts made at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ assembly plant in Kragujevac, Serbia amount to nearly 30 percent of Fiat Serbia’s workforce, according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe). When all three lines were running, the plant employed 3,100 people.

Blame the Fiat 500L’s sinking European fortunes and failure to catch on in the U.S.

Zoran Markovic, the workers’ union leader, said that “hundreds will lose their jobs at subcontractors’ plants” once the third shift ends at the plant. At last count, the Serbian unemployment rate stood at 19 percent.

FCA owns two-thirds of the former Yugo plant, which started humming again in 2012 after the automaker forged a partnership with the country’s government. Serbia owns the remaining third. Because of the many cultural and economic differences between that country and the U.S., union negotiations at Fiat Serbia often involve charcoal discounts and chickens.

As for their product, the 500L is a patient that’s fading fast. European sales fell 16 percent in the first quarter of 2016, and U.S. sales aren’t any better. The 500L’s best sales month in the U.S. was December 2014, when it sold 1,482 units. In May of this year, only 334 500Ls found a home.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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112 Comments on “Bummed in Belgrade: Fiat Lays Off Serbian Workers Because 500L Sales are Terrible...”


  • avatar
    Kenmore

    It looks like a surprised broiler oven from the 1930s. That’s a horrible thing for factory workers to have to pin their hopes on.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Hopefully they can walk across the street and build AK47s instead. There will always be another war someplace.

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        …ahem… M70s and M92s, but not AK-47s :)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Correct, as the M70 is an AKM variant.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Isn’t the M70 a modified AK47/AKM?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The AKM is the modernized variant of the AK-47 which debuted in 1959. The AKM is the stamped steel receiver version used throughout the world.

            “Compared to the AK-47, the AKM features detail improvements and enhancements that optimized the rifle for mass production; some parts and assemblies were conceived using simplified manufacturing methods. Notably, the AK-47’s milled steel receiver was replaced by a U-shaped steel stamping. As a result of these modifications, the AKM’s weight was reduced by ≈ 1 kg (2.2 lb), the accuracy during automatic fire was increased and several reliability issues were addressed. The AK-47’s chrome-lined barrel was retained, a common feature of Soviet weapons which resists wear and corrosion, particularly under harsh field conditions and near-universal Eastern Bloc use of corrosively primed ammunition.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AKM

            The Zastava M70 is the Serbian AK variant based on the AKM. The M70 features several enhancements including longer handguard, cutoff gas block for grenade launcher, 1.5mm thick stamped receiver vs 1.0mm of standard AKM, iron sights with flip-up illuminating elements, and a non-chrome lined barrel which was in line with other Zastava rifles. The magazine also features a bolt hold open feature for the M70 unique among Cold War AK variants.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zastava_M70

            FUN FACT: The M70 AB2 (underfolder) and B1 (fixed stock) were popular in the Iraqi Army during the Gulf War of 1991.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        “Blame the Fiat 500L’s sinking European fortunes and failure to catch on in the U.S.” Sinking fortunes everywhere else. These are popular in Rome as they can park anywhere, cannot see them being popular in NA, rest of Europe or really anywhere else

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Nope. The L is the extra-Large 4-door wagon Fiat, bigger than a Kia Soul–they feel about as big as an original VW Microbus, though they probably aren’t quite.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Might ‘feel’ as big as that VW, but it’s really about ⅓ smaller.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I drove one from Rome to Pompeii and back last month with wife and 3 kids. It was a stick, which was actually kind of fun.

            Definitely a large ride for Rome’s narrow streets, but felt quite average on the highway.

            Not a car I’d buy for myself, but given the environs, not a bad ride.

  • avatar
    slap

    “Bummed in Belgrade: Fiat Lays Off Serbian Workers Because 500L are Terrible”

    FIFY.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    I have seen exactly one of these on the road. The face is one of a small toad getting run over from the rear by a steamroller. It’s not exactly endearing.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My grandfather rented one when he came to visit us. Hideous.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      I’ve seen a bunch in the NYC area but there are far more 500’s here purchased by folks who want a efficient city car and don’t want to spend the extra $5k or so for a Mini. Personally a 500 Sport/Turbo or Abarth looks mighty fun. I’m also starting to see a lot more 500X’s around here. I would guess dealers are offering some nice deals or people prefer the styling and design over the Renegade.

  • avatar
    Syke

    OK, there’s something so weird about them that I like them. This fall, when the new car hunt starts, I intend to test drive one, see what I think. As long as it has the manual.

    And I have seen a few of them driving around Richmond.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Like all awkward cars, the 500L looks just fine in black. Then add shiny silver plus-two alloys, a contrasting gloss white roof, the faux-4×4 Trekking bumper trim, sexy brown leather seats, and that muted-Abarth exhaust snarl, and it’s actually pretty appealing. I know this because that’s how my dealer’s 500L service loaner is configured, and with all the time my 500e spends in the shop, I’ve spent a lot of time with it.

      My 500e is named Tito. I’ve spent enough time with the loaner L that I’ve unofficially adopted him: his name is Uncle Federico.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The six speed manual is the only transmission available – no automatic, that’s why it doesn’t sell here.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Lorenzo,

        The 500L comes with a choice of 6-speeds: manual or automatic. Not sure what car you’re thinking of.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “The six speed manual is the only transmission available – no automatic, that’s why it doesn’t sell here.”

        I find that hard to believe. Where are you that they wouldn’t offer automatic transmission versions?

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      I made an offer on a 2015 demo after an extensive test drive. I loved it. In Canada the 500L is offered with either a 6 speed manual or a dual clutch automatic. I hated the auto, but loved the manual. The DCT was baulky and had some real trouble down-shifting for power. The manual, on the other hand, combined with the 1.4 turbo, was a blast. The unit I wanted to buy was the Beats version, with almost every option (no sunroof, among others, though) including quite good sound even using my Google Music account through my phone.

      If the Sales Manager and the FIAT Store manager hadn’t been such d1cks (I was even willing to finance through the dealer and then pay off the loan later) we would have a brand new 500L gracing our garage.

      It’s very much like driving a very small and nimble VW bus with lots of power. I pushed it through some on-ramps at high speeds, did some a-hole cornering and a few hard stops, and was really thrilled with how it handled, and how the seat coddled my large and overweight frame. Some of the switch gear felt cheap, and there were a few other niggling problems (FIAT reliability, fading in the brakes after several hard stops), but overall I really liked the 500L.

      I would buy one if I got the right deal, even though it’s uglier than a 5 day old bloated dead fish.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Has Fiat ever thought of sending us cars that aren’t based on the styling of a 50 year old car that was never sold here and is of no significance to North American buyers?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yes, and the X1/9 was crap too.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        Did you have one?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Haha, I missed being around for the ownership of those by about 20 years.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            Well, I did and they were quite nice. We had one that we raced showroom stock and the only thing we ever broke was a throttle return spring. The only recurring thing we saw going wrong with our customers cars were minor electrical items like switchgear. Also like all imports of that era they didn’t hold up to the southern sun as well as the domestic product.

            BTW, I was thinking of Fiat’s current product lineup.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “Yes, and the X1/9 was crap too.”

          Tell that to my former boss, who loved his.

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            There were plenty of cars that weren’t crap, as long as you didn’t live in the Rust Belt.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “There were plenty of cars that weren’t crap, as long as you didn’t live in the Rust Belt.”

            You mean like Pennsylvania, where he lived?

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            I loved my ’74 X1/9 – my first new car purchase – and I love my current ’81. Some folks love driving and driver’s cars. Others with no personal experience to back their kvetching should stick to driving Corollas or – better yet – Amanas.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Plenty of people “loved” their MGs and Triumphs even though they broke down daily. Doesn’t mean the cars weren’t pieces of junk.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I love old Range Rovers and Discovery IIs, but they’re garbage with regard to quality, and that has to be acknowledged.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Plenty of people “loved” their MGs and Triumphs even though they broke down daily. Doesn’t mean the cars weren’t pieces of junk.”

            When a guy is using it as his daily driver, it’s not breaking down daily, now is it?

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “Plenty of people “loved” their MGs and Triumphs even though they broke down daily. Doesn’t mean the cars weren’t pieces of junk.”

            Never owned a British car, but I’ve owned Fiats. First X1/9 owned for 6 years and put 100k miles on it, only required recommended maintenance, tires, one set of brakes, a passenger window regulator. Current one has 205k miles, runs and drives quite well, is easy and cheap to work on and much fun to drive. 2012 Abarth now has 34k totally trouble-free, grin-producing miles. What else you got to punch holes in?

          • 0 avatar
            CrapBox

            I owned a Triumph TR6 for four years. In that time, it broke once. Its alternator bearing wore out.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “I owned a Triumph TR6 for four years. In that time, it broke once. Its alternator bearing wore out.”

            Kind of makes my point for me, CB. The people making the most noise against a car know literally nothing about them other than what they’ve been told.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Those workers have a rough time. First Yugo, now this.

    As hideous as this thing is, though, the 500X is actually pretty cool.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      TTAC can’t resist telling us that this car is built at “the former Yugo plant,” but the 500L factory doesn’t share a single brick with the old plant.

      As for the car itself, it never found a following in the US (or Canada). It’s actually quite nice fully loaded (Lounge, not Treck) with the manual.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Freind–

        On occasional, I take a stroll about the City of Kragujevac sometimes. You can call it a K-Town if you like to have a abbreviated letter here. ok!

        So I walk there, and I see a factory like you say is a new factory, and not even a single charcoal briquete is the same as before (Grill a burger, America ! ha ha ).

        So I suppose the good work ethnic of prior Communist evidence won’t be there, and yet they will build the car under the more modern Capitalism. I suspicious-ly think the workers might be of a younger enough generation to not worry.

        As they say “Time goes on, and then more…” so everyone should realize in America across a Internet Connected and also Wi-fie that the place is different.

        Surely they make a product which is modern and appeal to a consumer of medium-wallets (otherwise, small-wallet then you have to stick to not L version, aka “jumbo shrimp” 500!”!

        Regarding Progress,

        Grango Re(garding)lago

      • 0 avatar

        That is correct. The 500L factory is a new facility but it was built on the grounds of the old Yugo factory and employs from the same pool of workers. I do wonder if there are any pieces from old Zastava buildings that made it into the new place.

        Fun Fact: The Yugo plant was destroyed during the 1999 NATO bombing campaign but the government spent around $80 million to rebuild it and it reopened in 2000. The bombing campaign took out the forging center, computer building, and many of the other auto related facilities but the building that was making rifles at the time remained standing.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I feel bad for the workers there. They just couldn’t get a product that people want. If they were building the 500X/Renegade, no one would be getting laid off.

          It’s gotta be tough in Sebia. My neighbor, Slobodan, sends money to a bunch of family members every month. He’s also bringing his mother to the US in the next couple weeks. His father wouldn’t move out of Kragujevac, but passed away earlier this year.

          • 0 avatar

            It sucks for the workers there as the whole city relies on the factory and supporting facilities. Many saw the writing on the wall when the factory was idled multiple times over the past couple years and requested that FCA bring another model to the factory but it didn’t happen.

            Sending money back home is pretty common as unemployment is very high and the average wage in Serbia stands at around $450 a month.

            The impact of the factory can be seen in the exports for Serbia.

            In the first quarter of this year there was a total of 981 million Euro in exports. FCA was the largest exporter with 312.4 Euro in exports. Tigar Tires is next on the list with 85 million Euro, followed by Smederevo Ironworks at 55.4 million Euro.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Well, right there is your problem. the models are Pop, Lounge, Treck, Skizzle, Weehoe, and Crackle. Who would want to drive that?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The 500X is nice, and it would sell better if its name didn’t start with ‘500’.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I’ve seen a few around, but it looks like someone tried to design a Mini while they were hung over and had dysentery.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Really, did anyone here think that FIAT was gonna be successful in the US market? They ain’t no Hyundai who went from crap to main

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The 500L is far too effectively replaced by the 500X, which is why Fiat should have dropped the L on release of the X rather than trying to stretch it out.

    That’s also the problem of trying to make each new model look something like the 2-door 500.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      They should be selling the Panda here.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      They should just kill Fiat. Two thirds of Fiat dealers sell less than ten cars a month. They have no reason to be.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Blame the dealerships, bball, they want the sport models like the 124 and Alfa 4C; they couldn’t care less about the 500 series.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Yeah, they just aren’t a worthwhile proposition for their own independent dealerships.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Can’t they just sell Fiats out of the Chrysler-Jeep-Ram-SRT-Mitsubishi-Plymouth-Eagle-Renault-AMC-Nash-Kelvinator-Hudson dealerships that already exist?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Soon to include (but not limited to) Nissan, Infiniti and Mitsubishi.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            They could and do in some locations, bball, but I fully understand the reasoning. Fiat wants to separate Fiats, Alfas and others from the American brands. The problem is, they’re still forced to use franchised dealerships and as a result somewhat forced to use the same franchisees Chrysler has used all along. Those franchisees would rather see those customers buy a higher-profit SUV or truck.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I forgot DeSoto and probably others.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol you even forgot DODGE in that list.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Alfas will provide more volume, but they have basically one product when the Giulia comes out.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Not all of them. Don’t have a Maserati dealership within easy range of where I live… on the other hand, the Fiat ‘studio’ is already marked as an Alfa location as well.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            That’s because FCA made Dodge forgettable once they made RAM stand alone.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That thing got a Hemi in it?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Dodge now sells a car that no one buys (Dart), a good vehicle in a ever shrinking segment (Charger), a minivan that is maybe, sort of, kind of being replaced (Caravan), and old a$$ POS (Journey), a three row SUV that would make more money if was branded a Jeep (Durango), and an awesome V10 dinosaur (Viper). Everything can be pushed over to a different brand or killed entirely.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You forgot the Challenger.

            Shape up!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Fine. Add a giant pony car that lags behind it’s rivals but is sweet looking (Challenger).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The Europeans love them some Dodge Journey I sh*t you not.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Isn’t it the Fiat Freemont there? I’d bet it’s one of the cheaper 7 seaters there as it’s made in Free Trade Mexico and is on an older Mistsu/Chrysler platform.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Several were badged “Freemont” and most were diesel. Most were in Geneva vs Zurich as well which I found odd.

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            No, because Sergio told them they had to build separate Fiat stores. He also told them they’d be swimming in Alfas by 2014, or 2015, or 2016, or…

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        bball is essentially correct because Americans don’t want Fiat type vehicles.

        I would not say Americans don’t want small cars, but then again, maybe I should, even though the new Civic is now the size of a 1990s era Accord (so, maybe the general proposition IS correct, or not as many Americans want small cars, even by modern “small” car size dimensions, as they used to).

        But Americans do not trust Fiat products, Fiat products really are designed to be more or less city cars than even most compact Hondas, and there’s too much competition in that space st any rate as things stand now given overall supply and demand.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “But Americans do not trust Fiat products,”

          Modern Americans are relying on a 40-year-old reputation, totally ignoring the 40 years between the last Fiat sold in the US and the new Fiats.

          Strangely, my dad refused to ever buy a Japanese car right up to the day of his death because of the Pearl Harbor attack, yet he drove numerous Volkswagen Beetles despite being ‘created’ by a genocidal maniac who killed millions of Jews and was the direct cause of that Japanese attack.

          I, myself, questioned the concept of the Fiat 500 myself when my wife wanted one. I tried to talk her out of it but she wouldn’t let it go. So I took her down and she got me to test-drive it with her. The car came across as a total shock at its performance for such a tiny vehicle powered by a mere 101 horses. One test drive sold me on the Fiat and I haven’t yet been disappointed by it.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            +1 my 2012 Abarth is ridiculous fun. Always brings a smile to my face. One of the best cars I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned quite a few.

          • 0 avatar
            cls12vg30

            Your experience closely mirrors mine. Last year my wife fell in love with a 500 Sport. I was wary, but being a longtime Chrysler fan I did have a desire to support FCA, so I tried to keep an open mind.

            After living with the 500 for a few months, I was so impressed that all my “Fiat worries” were laid to rest and, a few months later when they became available, I snapped up a Jeep Renegade 1.4T manual. Now, a year later, I’ve got two MultiAir-powered Fiats in my driveway, about 35,000 miles between them, and I am completely happy with both of them.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Fiat should sell enough of them to rental car companies to get their “number of days supply” figures to where they want them. If they are any good, some of the public who rents them will decide to consider one when it’s time to buy a new car.
    It will have to float or sink based on its own unique merits, because it’s not a mainstream American market car.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Have you seen what the rental companies charge for a Fiat 500? You’d think they’d be $50-$75 per day but nooooo, they charge $200 per day while a Focus goes for $85. The Fiat brand is being actively resisted by Americans because they’re a legitimate threat to American brands. Even my local Fiat “studio” actively tries to push customers over to the Chrysler/Dodge/Ram/Jeep dealer right down the street.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        ” The Fiat brand is being actively resisted by Americans because they’re a legitimate threat to American brands.”

        ?

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Heh.. that *was* a good one.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Yeah, that’s a head-scratcher. Though I’m sure he’ll claim we’re just too stupid to understand what he meant.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You said it Jim, not I. There is no legitimate reason for the rental of such an obvious economy car (40mpg highway) to be priced so high when compared to supposed American-made economy cars, especially when the retail price is about the same as the Fiesta. The only logical reason is that they don’t want people to rent them and then try to sell them at a profit on the used-car market.

      • 0 avatar
        IAhawkeye

        Soo many lulz.

        I couldn’t tell you why they charge what they do for rentals(seriously wtf?), but I can tell you it’s not because American’s are afraid their near and dear homeland car companies are gonna go out of business from a successful FIAT. Besides the 500x and Spider, FIAT’s vehicles are kinda niche products in a pretty crowded segment. Only a man crazy enough to wear a sweater every day would believe the 500-line was gonna fly off the lots in the USA.

        As for the dealer, he’s probably just trying to make a little extra profit. Small, cars aren’t exactly profit mills so I’ve heard.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Man, some people are getting a$$ raped on rental cars.

        I pay from $15 to $30 per day for rental cars all the time, and with Sixt (loyalty discounts) I actually am able to snag premium vehicles like BMWs, Volvos, etc., for between $30 and $45 per day all the time (I even can get these cars for in the $20s depending upon city/airport).

        The POS Cadillac ATS I rented in Seattle for nearly a week was from Sixt @ SEATAC, and it was…

        …$22 per day (and they gave me a day and a half free bringing the cost down to $17ish a day because so much stuff didn’t work on it – cruise control broken, CUE functions were more FUBAR than usual with system going completely dark at random times, HVAC system would not dehumidifier and recirc mode was broken, etc.).

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “…$22 per day (and they gave me a day and a half free bringing the cost down to $17ish a day because so much stuff didn’t work on it – cruise control broken, CUE functions were more FUBAR than usual with system going completely dark at random times, HVAC system would not dehumidifier and recirc mode was broken, etc.).”

          Maybe that’s why I don’t use rental agencies like Sixt, etc. My last rental was a Budget and before that was Hertz. Believe me, their rental charts are screwy. Hertz did everything they could to put me into a Fusion when all I needed was a Focus. At least Budget put me into a pretty decent Kia, but I had to admit that Kia felt *weird* when driving at very slow speed.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Sixt is AWESOME, Vulpine.

            They immediately offered to have me come in and exchange the Cadillac POS for any vehicle I wanted, and when I declined, because I was already 80 miles from SEATAC when I finally called to complain, then offered to bring a two step up premium car out to me by the next morning – but I was going to be way, way further by then, so they just adjusted the price for me.

            Honestly, Sixt is the best vehicle rental agency I’ve ever used and I always pray that the next locale I have to be has a Sixt because they’re so much better than Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Dollar, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Deadweight,
            Thanks for that. Sixt.

            Hopefully they have pickups and SUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Hertz will always try to get you up a notch for more money, except with the midsize models they run out of late in the day and upgrade you for free with the full sized cars you don’t really want.

            I tried to cross ’em by ordering a compact, and after flying west coast to east coast it was late, all the midsized and compact models were gone. Somehow, they classified the Spark as a compact and still had one. The girl tried really hard to put me in an Altima, but I took the Spark. Not bad.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Although not cheap, I also enjoyed Sixt the last time I was in Vegas.

    • 0 avatar
      ShoogyBee

      I thought the 500 would’ve made a great Zipcar in cities such as NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Fran, etc. Might’ve been a good way to promote the brand and the car itself.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    I spent a couple of weeks in Rome last year and used a lot of taxis. One of those rides was in a 500L. I could not believe how rattly and cheaply built that thing was. The plastic looked like something from late ’90s GM.

    I know it was a cab in a big city, so it was a little bashed up, but I had a chance to ride in a lot of different cars during that trip. It was by far the worst.

    Well, except for the ride in my co-worker’s 10 year old Alfa. The passenger window decided to randomly open and close on that one. I found that amusing though. So was his arguing with his wife on a headset for the whole ride in typical Rome traffic. Italia!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Only Porsche can get away with force feeding the same strange design language across a lineup. The 911 is an icon; the 500, in the US anyway, was a novelty at BEST.

  • avatar

    I sold one of these – a ’14 500L POP 5-speed. Man, what a laborious car to drive. The interior volume is shockingly impressive given its footprint, but don’t even drive abreast of a glazier’s truck – you’ll vomit.

    The only 500s I see in appreciable numbers are the originals. I’ve seen more 500Xs in the rental lanes at the sale than on the road (and those on the road are rentals) and these? I think Santander/Chrysler Capital financed anyone with a pulse in an L because they’re surprisingly common in the repo lanes and Pasco County.

    In fact, there’s a white 500L EASY with 49k miles running tomorrow. I think I’m going to buy it just because everyone hates it so much. Buona sera!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The dealership that sells Fiats in N KY is a Kia dealership as well. Before that it was a Saturn dealership. I have seen a few 500s on the road and one of my neighbors has a 500L in bright yellow–they got a good deal on it and they seem to like it. Not my cup of tea, but it does remind me of something you would roast a turkey in.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    FCA made the error of assuming that $100 oil would last fever. Wrong again.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    FCA made the assumption that $100 oil would last forever. Wrong again.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here is the problem with this vehicle. Yes it looks cute, but could or would I buy one? No.
    1. The US doesn’t want them. Why? Because they are small and very Fiat.
    2. Australia doesn’t want them. Why? Because they are small and very Fiat.
    3. The EU doesn’t want them. Why? Because they are Fiat.
    4. The Japanese don’t want them. Why Because Japan doesn’t have a large EU market segment and they are Fiat.
    5. Developing nations don’t want them. Why? Because they are expensive. Maybe Brazil and/or Turkey might like them. For bball, that’s where De Soto’s are made now along with Fargo and a couple of other brands. Believe it or not.

    FCA has a problem with Fiat. The problem is Fiat. Fiat only has potential in countries like Brazil, Turkey and Italy. Not much of a global market.

    Here’s why we don’t have a large micro car market, as you can see and as I’ve stated our market is quite similar to the US. The difference is what is offered in brands.

    http://www.carsguide.com.au/car-news/australia-taking-on-american-love-of-big-cars-38036

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Al,

      I think you are confusing the 500L and the 500. And you aren’t the only one. FCA is to blame, not you.

      The 500L is the same size as a Golf, Corolla, Mazda3, Focus, Cruze, etc. That’s the prime segment in the Australian and EU markets, although it’s smaller than the 180-200 inch segment preferred in the US.

      The 500 sells well in Japan, and the 500L sold very well in Europe for the first few years. It’s past its prime now as competitors have introduced newer products.

  • avatar

    Let’s do a review of the FIAT line up, shall we? The 500 is actually a cute little “boutique” city car that is about $3,000 overpriced but has decent build quality and reliability. The 500L is it’s homely bigger sister, that didn’t do well in the gene pool. While practical, it is saddled with an ungainly appearance and has the worst reliability ratings of any car sold in the US per CR. It is single-handedly dragging down FIAT’s reliability and quality scores. It too is about $3,000 overpriced. The 500X is the pretty bigger sister that is just slightly overpriced, but does everything the 500L does and looks a lot better doing it. Then we have the new 124. This is the one that got all the looks in the family. Built by Mazda in Japan, it should have the best quality and reliability of any of the FIAT family. It is actually priced right on target for once. FIAT should immediately dump the 500L from the North American market and push the 500X as it’s volume model, with the 500 and 124 playing niche roles.

  • avatar
    Chan

    Fiat is not spending the right money to succeed in the US.

    Everyone who wanted a Fiat (including my unlikely self) already has one.

    Where is the 500 facelift that Europe has had for the past 1+ years?

    The 500L, despite its practical design, has not caught on in the US and nobody can change that. However, its gradual decline in Europe points to a lack of updates to stay relevant.

    Meanwhile, its competitors have already facelifted, updated or entirely replaced their cars.

    The 500X is a step in the right direction, but are they going to let this one sit for 4 years like they have done with the 500L?

    The 124 Spider is and will remain an insignificant model in terms of sales.

    Fiat can put out a good car, but it fails spectacularly in managing and updating a full product line. It also fails horribly at marketing–sparse and inconsistent. Exactly the opposite of what a “new” brand needs in the US.

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