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Drew Dowdell

Fiat News: Is Fiat the Next Dead Brand in the U.S.?

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SMART just recently announced they will be leaving the U.S. and reorienting towards China.  Could Fiat be throwing in the towel in the U.S.?   It could be if the signal of investment location is the tea leaf to be read. While the Fiat brand has nearly disappeared in China and rapidly fading in the US, they are targeting the Brazilian market, Europe, and emerging markets in their new 5-year plan. 

Fiat has been struggling in the U.S. for year, and in spite of fielding 4 models, Fiat moved just 15,521 vehicles in the U.S. in 2018, a decline of 41% over 2017. Sales continue to fall in 2019, down another 42% YTD as of April 2019

According to a report in Bloomberg, Fiat is investing $4 billion in South America to expand and build two new SUVs for the South American market. The money will go towards expanding capacity at a Jeep factory in Pernambuco to 350,000 from 250,000 per year as well as building a new factory to build engines.  Fiat plans to release 15 new, refreshed, or special series vehicles in Latin America by 2024.  Jeep and Ram will get an additional 10. 

Latin America is the only region other than North America where FCA made money in first quarter 2019, however Fiat's market share has been falling from first place in 2015 to third place today. At the same time, Jeep has been expanding in South America from near 0% share as recently as 2014.  Fiat brand is most popular in Brazil. 

While the 5-year plan does not yet signal an exit from the U.S. market, the reorientation of resources to markets other than the U.S. could be a signal that the end could be near for Fiat brand in the U.S. 


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Kill it with fire. Almost a decade since they started selling cars in the US and the facts and numbers show that no one wants the POS on wheels, just like the last time they sold cars here. 

Edited by surreal1272
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12 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

Kill it with fire. Almost a decade since they started selling cars in the US and the facts and numbers show that no one wants the POS on wheels, just like the last time they sold cars here. 

I hope they move the 124 to Alfa Romeo or something. I know it's a Miata, but it's a nice little rig and the different engine gives it a different personality from the Mazda. 

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3 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I hope they move the 124 to Alfa Romeo or something. I know it's a Miata, but it's a nice little rig and the different engine gives it a different personality from the Mazda. 

It honestly should have been a Alfa Spyder to begin with but to me, Alfa is no better than Fiat for same reasons I mentioned earlier. Sure they look better than the Fiat models overall but their reliability is still garbage just like it was more than 35 years ago. If someone wants a 124 that bad, they should just get the car it copies. Just my two cents. 

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Kill Fiat in the USA for sure.  If they want to move their Miata clone to Alfa Romeo with a 280 hp turbo 4 that could work.  And they have to do something like that if they contracted with Mazda to build the 124 for a certain number of years.

I think they can kill Chrysler also and move the Pacifica to Dodge.

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6 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I hope they move the 124 to Alfa Romeo or something. I know it's a Miata, but it's a nice little rig and the different engine gives it a different personality from the Mazda. 

I like the Fiat 124 Abarth. 

Like you said, its a nice little rig.  It looks good. Looks like an authentic little Italian roadster.  I most definitely would buy one if I lived in an area where there was sun...and it actually warmed up the place at least 8 months outta the year. Because where Im at now...sometimes the sun is shining hard, but it aint doing much other than looking pretty in the sky. 

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i’ll go to the grave saying the 500 abarth is the best city car on the north american market. so many people complain that sub-compact cars are boring appliances, yet fiat builds something that’s actually fun and practical and nobody cares.

Edited by FAPTurbo
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Longtime local Dodge dealer took on FIAT when it was clear that Dodge would not be selling small cars anymore.  This will be another blow to them financially if it happens.  Not sure how many they sell... not sure how much investment they had to make to get the franchise.  Sad to see such gross mismanagement of parts of FCA, when Jeep and Ram show they can make brilliant products if they care to.

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13 hours ago, FAPTurbo said:

i’ll go to the grave saying the 500 abarth is the best city car on the north american market. so many people complain that sub-compact cars are boring appliances, yet fiat builds something that’s actually fun and practical and nobody cares.

Probably because it’s ugly to most people, has atrocious resale value, and has even worse reliability. It’s a shame no one cares about cars like that. 

 

And while it may not look as “exotic” (I personally think they look cartoonish), the Sonic was a far superior city car even if it was a tick longer. Throw in the Mini Cooper as well even though their reliability is also spotty at times. 

Edited by surreal1272

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39 minutes ago, balthazar said:

Sonic LTZ Turbo is a very solid, zippy lil hatch, and it doesn’t look like a tumescent tick doing it.

When I worked at a Chevy dealership, I got a lot of time behind the wheel of several cars, the Sonic being one of them (had one for a rental back in NC a few years back as well). It is a surprisingly solid and nimble little car and the hatch gave it at least a little versatility. If I was twenty years younger, this would have been at or near the top of my commuter car list. I drove the Fiat 500 once and wished for my twenty minutes back (the twenty minutes I had behind the wheel of it). Just not impressed with it at all. Good riddance to it. 

Edited by surreal1272

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"Is Fiat the Next Dead Brand in the U.S.?"
 
Was it ever truly alive?

 

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