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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 Manch on 8/19/2011 9:39:00 AM , Rating: 2
Umm, yeah your way out of left field on this buddy.

The trunk being so flimsy that you can open it while it's locked with little effort speaks to its build quality. Not to mention its small size, makes me uncomfortable taking one out on the highway with big trucks, and I've seen what happens to a smart car.

While the hood and trunk may add litle to the structures stiffness, they are used as part of the crumple zones. I dont know of a modern car that you cannot dent if you punch it. Hell, I can push down hard with my hand and dent a hood. So what. No car I've owned or rented have I been able to pull the trunk open whiles its locked, and that includes my WRX. Evo's and Imprezzas are a lot bigger than a 500 not to mention safer.

Maybe you should read the posts I replied to and try to take things in context.

Understand what you read before you blow it out of proportion

RE: Just like the not so Smart car...
By Manch on 8/19/2011 10:54:05 AM , Rating: 2
US version is made in Mexico

European version made in Poland

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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