Fiat’s Fortunes

Although 2020 sales will be reported next week—numbers that will probably down 10%-ish—a look at Fiat brand sales in the U.S. for the first three quarters of 2020 are such that it would take a proverbial Christmas miracle to have any effect on what is truly a dismal year for the Italian marque.

For the first nine months of the year, there were 3,569 Fiat vehicles sold in the U.S.

That is the total. For nine months. 3,569.

And that number is shared by four vehicles, the 500, 500L, 500X and Spider.

Compared to the same period in 2019, 3,569 is a decrease of 52%.

That’s right: more than half the sales of the brand: poof!

The vehicle that brought the brand back to the U.S. market when the 2012 model year was launched, the 500, is down 74% for the first three quarters. 662 were sold.

That decline is greater than any of the other three, though there wasn’t good news for any of them:

  • 500L:            -35%
  • 500X:           -46%
  • Spider:         -37%

So let’s say you’re in Fiat planning. Which vehicle(s) do you keep?

(Image: FCA)

Based on the fact that the company has released pricing for just one of the four, odds are there is one that will remain.

Because you are clever, you’ve seen the picture and know the answer: the 500X.

Presumably the logic is:

  • The decline in 500 sales is absolutely unrecoverable
  • The 500L is essentially a compact sedan that isn’t at all class competitive
  • The Spider is a sports car that doesn’t tend to move the needle for mainstream brands (although it is interesting to note that the Spider shares a platform with the Mazda MX-5 Miata and for the first three quarters of 2020 there were 7,503 Miatas sold—more than double the number of all Fiats sold in the same period)
  • The 500X is considered a crossover

Yes, that’s what matters.

Crossovers, presumably, have a future. Too bad there isn’t a 500 pickup.

In bocca al lupo. (Good luck)

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