Print 111 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Aug 24 at 1:01 PM

Fiat 500c and 500
Fiat blames nascent dealer network on poor sales

Fiat was supposed to make a triumphant return to the U.S. market with its diminutive and distinctively styled 500. However, things haven't exactly panned out exactly the way that Fiat planned according to The Detroit News.

The 500 is a subcompact that is being pitted directly against the Mini Cooper (an upcoming Arbath model will target the Mini Cooper S). On a lesser degree, the 500 also competed with the Smart fortwo and the upcoming Scion iQ.

However, sales of the tiny four-seater are nowhere close to reaching the lofty goals set by Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. Fiat expected to sell 50,000 500s during 2011 in North America. Through the first seven months of 2011, Fiat sold fewer than 12,000.

For comparison, BMW AG's Mini brand had total sales of 34,527 through July. The two-door Cooper/Cooper S coupe and convertible models alone accounted for over 20,000 of those sales.

Laura Soave, head of Fiat North America says that establishing a dealer network in the U.S. has taken longer than expected which has contributed to the poor sales. "We have coverage now, so now is the time for us to turn this up," Soave added.

Two basic models of the vehicles are currently available to U.S. customers: the 500 (coupe) and the 500c (convertible). The cheapest model available is the 500 Pop which has a base MSRP of $15,550 (the cheapest Mini Cooper will set you back $19,400). The Fiat 500 also has good fuel economy for a subcompact with EPA ratings of 30mpg in the city and 38mpg on the highway with a 5-speed manual. 

Shares of Fiat SpA dropped over 4 percent on the news of poor 500 sales.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Just like the not so Smart car...
By MrTeal on 8/17/2011 6:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, no.

I never claimed that anyone should buy the smallest car they can fit into. I wouldn't buy this car because it's a coupe and way too small for my needs, as I'd imagine it is for many people. That has nothing to do with my comment.

The only thing I said is that the statement by the person who I replying to was ridiculous. Most people, even if overweight by the BMI will fit in the driver's seat. That doesn't mean there's enough rear seating space or cargo space, but that has nothing to do with 70% of people not fitting into the driver's seat.

Reading comprehension: It's a wonderful tool.

By mindless1 on 8/19/2011 2:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
My point still stands. Merely "fitting" in the drivers seat does not equate to a car being an acceptable size. People are not products stuffed into boxes, they move around and have things with them, need some breathing room, some personal space instead of rubbing up against the person sitting next to them, etc.

Further, a smaller seat can't support the extra weight over the life of the vehicle, the suspension may start to sag, the vehicle handling can even be effected if the weight imbalance is enough. What dimensions the seat has is the least of the issues as overweight people have to make do with average sized seats "most" of the time they sit down.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki