Skip to comments.Fiat 500 Sales Are Flat – Layoffs At Chrysler Follow
Posted on 12/10/2011 9:23:23 AM PST by jjotto
Chrysler has reportedly stopped production of the 1.4-liter engine that powers the Fiat 500 until demand catches supply. As a result, it has had to lay offsome employees that build engines.
United Auto Workers local representative says Chrysler has let go nearly 100 employees. Fiat has only sold 16,000 500s in the US.
This is sad news to those of us at CarLoves.com since we are unashamedly fans of the little Italian car. But frankly, given the poor performance of Chryslers Fiat Studio roll out, were not surprised. Only recently could you even buy a Fiat 500 in Las Vegas a city of 1.8 million people.
For whatever reason, Chrysler has taken way too long to get the dealerships open. The one they did open in Vegas is barely visible on the corner in an old note-lot location hardly befitting the fine trappings of Italian design. In other parts of the country Chrysler opened up some up-scale, beautiful stores. But now it appears they are rushing to sell the car just about anywhere they can.
Its time to focus on getting the cars into the hands of reliable dealers and less on ex-Fly Girls as spokes models Sorry J Lo no dis-respect intended.
It’s going to get worse. They are taking a slightly modified Giuletta and are calling it a Dodge Dart. The people who like Euro cars sneer at Darts, and those who love Darts are offended by the bastardization of the nameplate.
What?? You mean people aren’t buying the Obama-hyped Euro Death Box?
At well over $20,000 with Auto and Air, why would you even LOOK at one these, compared to a Sonic, a Yaris, or a hyundai?
Afraid you’re right. Fiat should have just used existing Chrysler dealers for their brands. They’re going to ruin the Maserati nameplate too by putting it on Jeeps of all vehicles! Too much wine at lunch for Fiat execs...
They are over-priced. In Europe, they are economy cars (generally speaking) but here, they are marketed as specialty cars, almost like fashion statements. They are priced higher than the Mini and VW Beetle that also fills that niche and much, much, much higher than economy cars. Unlike the Beetle and Mini, they seem to be marketed specifically at women as an accessory (they even have a Gucci and Pink Ribbon edition), so the chance of getting the men in the family to drive it is about as much as getting them to carry a purse. That is a lot of money to spend for something that isn’t used by the whole family.
It seems like it is a decent car, it just failed in marketing. If I had a choice to buy any of the Euro styled micro cars, it would be a Mini.
Over $20K might as well get a Mini or BMW 1 Series and not look gay.
Fiat seems committed to failure:
Fiat booted their US exec, who had only been with them since 2010 after being with Ford and VW. Her replacement came from inside Chrysler.
I had a Mini. Fun, seemed well-built. To bad I crashed it....
The Fiat 500 seems awful expensive for what it is.
hard to do, considering any dealer with strong conservative leanings was booted out. Cue the "ha-ha" kid.
The ex had a Fiat. The mechanic said the name was an acronym for: Fix It Again Tony.
Only a show-tune loving male would be seen driving the same car as JLo.
The fiat 500 looks like a cheap piece of crap. Its looks are terrible. Who would buy that J-Lo would ever seriously drive one if they didn’t pay her a ton of money to appear in one? Why would you buy one just because a paid singer sings and drives one?
It’s a niche vehicle. Probably good for what it is, but it was never going to be a big seller in the U.S.
Had they taken the Chrysler 200C hybrid real-wheel-drive concept, and made the hybrid part optional, they would have had a huge hit.
I don’t know the exact story, but I think they used a body-double and used special effects to make it look like J-Lo was driving.
If they would have a 300HP engine in it, it would have sold..
Gee, who wouldn’t want a Fiat????????????????????????
General: And what does that make you?
Bullwinkle: What else? The executive.
And “Jenny from the block” was nowhere near the block in that commercial, she was in Los Angeles.
People would love to have a new Dart.
Its almost impossible to **** up, but somehow they will manage to screw it up.
I was surprised when I saw the commercials. Apparently, the only thing the car has that’s worth advertising is that “J-Lo” is in it’s commercial.
I’m glad to see that the American car-buying public isn’t as stupid as I would have assumed.
I’ve only seen a few on the road and in person. The proportions aren’t right, they’re bulbous like a “new” Beetle without the personality, and seem to lack something, that being imho any hint of the Italian flair that Fiat/Chrysler marketing seems to want to attribute to the 500.
The very large, retro canvas sunroof is the only striking thing about the car. The alloy wheels aren’t right, looking rather like the plastic turbine-look wheelcovers popularized by Chrysler in the 80’s. Fiat had a disastrous reputation in the states when they pulled out, and they have a lot to overcome attempting to reintroduce themselves.
A boutique vehicle with limited market like this might seem to be the best means of testing the waters, finding their audience and building from there. But, the 500 just doesn’t feel right from what little I’ve seen of it. Too much Dr. Seuss and too little of the positive qualities of Italian automobiles. Should’ve started out with any one of the very striking Alfa Romeo models available outside the United States, as far as I’m concerned. Now, they’re headed that way but are badge engineering an Alfa in to a Dodge Dart. Jarring. Cognitive dissonance, for both fans of Alfa and fans of the Dodge Dart.
To avoid these type layoffs:
Drill now, drill here, scale back EPA fuel economy standards, build and sell SUVs and pickups.
I know a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealer - he said the cost of integrating Fiat into a dealership were too high. It would take him years to recover the investment. Those dealerships that made the leap could be having regrets.
Are those remaining dealers who contributed to the DNC also have regrets?
I would buy one today.
They should bring back the Barracuda too.
I drive a Dodge Ram pick up truck.
This is the only production Dart I’d be interested in.
The worst part of the Fiat merger is that Fiat intends to use “smart” technology to monitor your driving.
They intend to monitor your driving and will pass that data to the Feds who will tax you if you don’t drive the way they like,
They will monitor how you put the foot to the gas and to the brake, they will monitor if you take the scenic back road or the expressway
Then the intend to tax you based on your driving...
It's a Fiat not a Lamborghini.
Fiat 500 = updated Yugo...
I saw a dealer with a lot full of Fiat 500s in downtown Salt Lake City, a few months ago.
You can get bigger cars with the same mileage for same or less money.
to name a few.
I owned a couple of Fiats in the 60s and 70s, so I am done with that.
Meterior, paint, seats didn’t last nearly long enough.
Chrysler takes the prize for crappy interiors, and the 500 fits right in.
Meterior = Interior
Meterior = Interior
There are many new dart fans.
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