Fiat 500 selling poorly in the United States

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 11, 2011

After engaging in talks about Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne has said that he doubts the initial sales results of the Fiat 500 in the US. Last month, Fiat coincidentally sold 500 units in the US. This figure is expected to raise sales levels, considering that it has 30 dealerships in the US and about 130 are slated to open towards the end of summer. Fiat actually has other plans in the US, aside from the 500 model.

As Fiat failed to establish a deal with the FIOM union that represents the factory, it has suspended a $710 million (EUR490,000,000) investment in the former Bertone plant. This money was meant to be invested in the development of a new Maserati that will take the place of the Quattroporte model, and a medium size car to challenge BMW’s 5 Series and Mercedes Benz’s E Klasse.

Meanwhile, the medium size car is expected to make an appearance on the market in Europe in 2012. The Quattroporte replacement is scheduled to go on display in 2013. Bertone officials said that an agreement is expected to be reached in a few days.

Marchionne said that he would prefer that the Maserati is built in Italy but that even if the model won’t be built in the Bertone plant, Fiat has a contract at Mirafiori and at Pomigliano that is accepted and has been voted on by most of its employees.

The all-new Fiat 500 Sport is set to arrive in the US very soon. The Italian born Cinquecento, perfectly tailor-made for America, is dynamic and engaging while also being fit and athletic. With these images, it exemplifies the brand’s smart and chic design aesthetic. The new Cinquecento resembles the original Fiat 500 of half a century past in the way that it maintains its timeless value as it adopts exclusive expression and opportunity blended with superior craftmanship.

The Cinquecento supplies the North American market with unique adaptations designed for those who require style and fashion combined with practicality and functionality. The Fiat 500 Sport has athletically designed front and rear fascias including a bigger grille plus flared aerodynamic treatment to complement its sport-tuned suspension. To give it an improved sporty look, the Cinquecento integrates a new body-side sill cladding between its distinctive 16-inch aluminum wheels that come with pockets in Mineral Gray finish.

To complete this athletic look, it has brake calipers in Performance Red finish, a chrome exhaust tip, and blacked out shadow-line window trim. In addition, the Fiat 500 Sport has a power sun roof (SkyDome) to give a wide open view of the outdoors. The Fiat 500 will also come in the Lounge and Pop models including unique exterior details as well as various equipment options.

Fiat’s first-rate 1.4-liter engine is incorporated with the brand’s cutting edge MultiAir technology, which stimulates the 500 Sport. MultiAir considerably lowers emission levels while enhancing fuel economy plus power supply by a maximum of 10% as compared to similar engines.

The Fiat 500’s innovative technology, driving dynamics as well as interiors have been made suitable for the North American market, providing buyers of small cars with a stylish, high-quality choice. It will be available in the market during the latter part of the year in the Pop, Sport and Lounge versions. Meanwhile the Fiat 500C (cabrio) will follow in the spring of 2011.

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