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Fiat News: Is The Fiat 500 A Failure Or Not?


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#1

William Maley

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:32 PM

William Maley
Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
February 23, 2012

The Fiat 500. A car that was given an ambitious sales goal of 50,000 vehicles during its first year and missed by a long shot - only selling 17,945 vehicles between March and December of 2011. Everyone, including yours truly has said that's a failure. But, some new analysis from Polk says the 17,945 isn't really a failure.

Polk compared the 500 to other three-door subcompacts and found out the 500 captured 25.71% of the market. That puts it behind the Mini Copper, but well ahead the Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris.

Still, Polk points out that three-doors only make up 16% of the subcompact market.

Source: Polk

Click here to view the article
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#2

Camino LS6

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

Despite the absurd sales estimate from Fiat, it's still a bit early to call this a failure, I think.
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#3

SAmadei

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:14 PM

I agree with Camino. While the 500 has been around since March, it was severely limited... it wasn't until recently that it seems FIAT has gotten its shipments going, and considering the market, it won't take much of an increase in sales for it to be a segment leader.

Again, considering that I only saw 2 up until Feb... during Feb, I've seen them EVERYWHERE. I've lost count somewhere north of 50-60.
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#4

Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:15 PM

I've probably seen a dozen or so around the Phoenix metro area..saw 2 Scion iQs yesterday, will be interesting to see how it's sales compare to the Fiat in a year...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar, 23 February 2012 - 03:25 PM.

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#5

SAmadei

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:20 PM

I have yet to see a Scion iQ in the NYC area.
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#6

Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:25 PM

I have yet to see a Scion iQ in the NYC area.

I think it's only been out a short time..the ones yesterday were the first I'd seen.
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#7

regfootball

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

yeah, it has sold well considering the size of the car.
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#8

Camino LS6

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:13 PM

I've still only seen 3 total, but this is an affluent area.
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#9

Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 06:41 PM

I've still only seen 3 total, but this is an affluent area.


I've seen them in a fairly affluent/trendy area mostly (Scottsdale) and in the college town I work in now (Tempe).
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#10

frogger

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:01 PM

Doing pretty well in my part of Canada.. Tonnes of them every time I'm in the downtown Toronto area.
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#11

daves87rs

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:43 PM

Starting to pop up here as well...
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#12

dfelt

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:50 AM

Considering how much inventory is sitting at the Fiat dealership in Kirkland Washington and has stayed that way since last year when it opened, I say they have a failure on their hands. The Owner of the dealership is right next door as a Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler and just last week, they pull all the fiats from the front line ad put auto's from those three brans out front since is appears Fiat is not moving. Dropped by to pick up my sister who was dropping on her 2006 Durango for service and in talking with sale person I met, a young man who said they have not sold one since early January. Most people come in and look at them and find something they like much better in th same price point in a dodge.

Very interesting I think.
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#13

Drew Dowdell

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:28 PM

Yes it officially was available in March.. all three of them that actually shipped. I think they sold a very respectable amount for what is essentially a new brand in the US again, has a limited dealer network, and honestly didn't really get inventory moving in until about July.

So, let's call ~18k six months worth of sales or 36k a year. It's not 50k a year, but it is respectable for the first year of a niche car from a new brand.
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#14

balthazar

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:27 PM

I've still only seen 3 total, but this is an affluent area.


And in perhaps another geo-demographical testimonial, I've seen 3 fiats.... and 4 panameras around here so far.
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#15

dfelt

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:24 PM

Riding the bus home from work in Downtown Seattle, was passed by half a dozen Panameras, 3 of the GL500 SUV's AMG editions and a ton of BMW M3 and AMG 63. Course with all the Tech money in this area, more common for high end auto's than an entry level Fiat. Bellevue High School average car in the kids lot is a 325. :P
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#16

ocnblu

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:27 AM

I don't like Polk's implication that part of Fiat's problem is lack of a 4-door bodystyle. MINI has done swimmingly with the Cooper.

I'd like to examine a 500 up close for myself. I've seen a fair number of them in my neck of the woods.
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#17

ehaase

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:07 AM

I think things wnill improve for Fiat when the 500L debuts. I think the 500L will be a good contender for Chrysler in the B class market.
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#18

vonVeezelsnider

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:05 PM

Up here their marketing campaign has been non-existent. Pretty much limited to a one inch picture of one in newspaper ads for Chrysler Dealers and a sign in front of Eastside Dodge that says "Welcome Fiat!". Maybe that has something to do with why I've only seen two on the streets ever.
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#19

fullmoon97

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:47 PM

i dont think its a failure. i personnally would love to have the Abarth. its not bad looking for such a odd car.
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#20

Drew Dowdell

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:53 PM

Marketing seems to be almost entirely word of mouth right now.
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