Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is expecting its Fiat 500X SUV to gather more demand than the 500 minicar in North America, according to senior executives at the carmaker. Fiat Chrysler expects the 500X to catch the attention of buyers seeking for a ride lager than 500.
Jason Stoicevich, head of Fiat in North America, told Automotive News in an interview at the Los Angeles Auto Show that a major reason for consumers to reject the 500 was its size. As the 500X is basically larger than the 500, it is expected to outsell the smaller version.
Fiat will commence sales of the 500X in Europe in the first quarter of 2015, and in the United States the following quarter. Fiat Chrysler plans to offer the 500X in 100 global markets, relying on a strong US performance.
North America currently accounts for 60,000 of Fiat's 1.6 million in annual vehicle sales, a number dubbed by brand chief Olivier Francois as “marginal.” But for the 500X, its sales volume in North America won’t be marginal, Francois said.
The Fiat brand returned to the US in 2011, following a 16-year absence, and just needed much less time than Mini or Kia to top 40,000 sales.
But the Fiat 500 reached its peak in 2012 and dropped 18 percent a year after. On the other hand, the brand just fell 1 percent in 2013. Fiat is seeing a good chance to hike volume in the US Northeast with the 500X, since the SUV features all-wheel-drive capabilities.
The new Fiat 500X represents a new dimension for the Fiat 500. Its comfortable, high-performance and connected elements are wrapped in a mature, elegant, all-Italian style.
Featuring a design penned by the Centro Stile Fiat, the new Fiat 500X crossover is practically an extension of the 500 family, which now includes the 500, 500C, 500L, 500L Trekking and 500L Living models.
While these cars have different characters and calling, they all trace their roots from the iconic Fiat 500 of 1957. The 500X allows the unmistakable 500 to enter a new dimension wherein the modern crossover concept and iconic styling are packed into one vehicle, as complemented by decent levels of off-road capability.
The new 500X is indeed an indisputable expression of "Made in Fiat" design, offering a perfect flexibility, rationality and quality as packaged in a car with compact dimensions and ample cabin room. This design is also expressed through the use of innovative materials and fabrics, and through the employment of sophisticated technologies for the sake of safety, comfort and convenience.
As designed, the new 500X is a casual vehicle that can be driven everyday, offering maximum freedom of movement while reflecting the personality of its driver through various customization options.
Just by looking at the new 500X, it is easy to tell that it is part of the 500 family, featuring reinterpreted elements. It exudes masculinity without having too many muscular forms. While it is larger than its other siblings in terms of dimensions and wheelbase, the Fiat 500X still offers fluid lines for a new level of gracefulness and dynamism.