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    Sergio Marchionne Says Fiat 500 Sales Target Was “Incredibly Naive”


    William Maley

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    January 17, 2012

    You have to wonder what Sergio Marchionne was thinking when he set a goal of 50,000 500s to be sold for 2011. Marchionne said he was "incredibly naive" to pick that goal.

    Fiat only sold 19,769 500s for 2011 (39.5% difference). So what was Marchionne thinking when he came up with that number. In a interview with CNN Money, Marchionne said the goal wasn’t based on anything but wanting to beat Mini, noting sales for the Mini brand totaled 45,644 vehicles.

    “It was a number that we said would be in excess of what Mini was selling in the United States. It was that simple,” Marchionne said.

    Critics point out that Fiat's first-year goal was ambitious to a fault and that Mini was able to reach their 40k+ vehicles sold thanks to the brand being sold in the U.S. for 10 years. Marchionne said "we set ourselves up for a fall," but insists that the future of Fiat in the U.S. is still very strong.

    Source: CNN Money

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    50k was overly optimistic but 20k isn't bad at all considering the issues they had had between getting the dealer network going, supply, and a terrible advertising campaign.

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    That is very respectible sales for a car that didn't even get into the dealer networks in any volume till mid summer. Had the dealers been fully deployed and fully stocked Jan 1, 2011, I bet they could have done double that.

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    I agree with the above posts: the volume isn't that bad... Question is, does 19K include a bunch of 1st yr impulse sales that won't show up for yr 2?

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    For instance there are NO dealers -excuse me STUDIOS- in my state at all. I LIKE the cars, but I will not buy something that I cannot have serviced in less than a day's drive. This IS the 21st century after all, not the late 1800's...

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    Having only seen 2 so far, the fact that they sold almost 20k is a surprise to me.

    I agree. I only saw two and both were in juxapostion to a Chrysler dealership that is apparently selling FIATs,,,

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    Update... the 500 is starting to become much more popular in Brooklyn/NYC. I think I've seen about 8 in the last couple days. Brings my total to 11. The yellow one really popped. Still looking for an Abarth.

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