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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.



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RE: Just like the not so Smart car...
By FITCamaro on 8/17/2011 11:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
Someone who is 6'1" and 230 pounds of solid muscle is obese according to BMI. It's a worthless scale.

And half of people I see driving "Smart" cars are (actually) obese. I guess they need the extra money for more food. But it makes me laugh.


RE: Just like the not so Smart car...
By YashBudini on 8/18/2011 12:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
Only an extremist who make such a statement, it probably works well on like 70-80% of the population.

Expecting perfection from an estimation is ridiculous.


RE: Just like the not so Smart car...
By mindless1 on 8/19/2011 2:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
Let's make a distinction between obese and obscenely obese, nevermind the useless BMI scale which considers anyone who is physically fit (ample food and exercise to support good muscle mass) and not an ectomorph to be overweight.


RE: Just like the not so Smart car...
By YashBudini on 8/19/2011 5:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it's the general population of overweight people that lends itself to BMI's accuracy. Sure boxers and weightlifters are a total fail on the subject, but then what percentage of any country's citizens are overweight and all muscle?

Your distinction should be noted, but that's just one more issue in BMIs vast generalization.

Percentage of body fat is still a good indicator, but not so easy to measure accurately.


By mindless1 on 8/24/2011 1:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'll counter that you cannot be healthy according to BMI unless you are an ectomorph.

Only a very sedentary person, or one with a disease or an eating disorder resulting in inadequate nutrients absorbed or utilized for whatever the reason (which is bad for health) will not have enough muscle mass to put them over the suggested BMI range... it's not just boxers (who on the contrary try to stay within the next lower weight class by losing weight) or weightlifter (who try to increase their carb intake to provide mass muscle fuel).

Generalizing, the BMI scale was made by lab rats who can't understand physical activity and its role on body weight.

I agree that % body fat is a (better) good indicator. While it isn't as easy to measure accurately, ultimate accuracy is not needed, that or even a basic visual assessment of someone's body is better than BMI.


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