• Aug 31, 2010
Fiat 500 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chrysler is set to debut its American-spec Fiat 500 at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show with the first examples being sold near the end of 2010. During the 2011 calendar year, Chrysler hopes to sell 50,000 of the Mini Cooper fighters, including the 500 Cabrio, which goes on sale sometime in 2011.

Built in Toluca, Mexico, the 500 will be sold through a network of 165 dealers across the United States, mostly in cities that have the largest small car markets. Will Chrysler be able to move 50,000 of the new Fiats? That's mildly ambitious, since the Mini brand only moves about 50,000 Coopers annually. Still, consider our fingers crossed.



[Source: Associated Press via Google]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 78 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's a lot.

      If they price it right and gas prices head north it's not out of the question. I'll be curious to see how people shop this versus the Mini.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "If they price it right and gas prices head north it's not out of the question. I'll be curious to see how people shop this versus the Mini."

        In Europe, the 500's starting price is significantly cheaper than the Mini, mainly because they're two different vehicle segments - A and B - respectively. How Americans will approach the car however remains to be seen.
        • 4 Years Ago
        well hopefully it will outsell the CR-Z if not the mini haha
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, the Mini is pretty dated now. I'd imagine a lot of people will choose this because of the novelty of it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So cute you want to hug it.
      • 4 Years Ago


      Fiat and Chrysler both have reliability issues which will likely influence sales numbers.
        • 4 Years Ago


        Apparently you have not yet learned to use Google.
      • 4 Years Ago
      We're all used to the marketing types who are completely divorced from reality and tend to bloviate. The real lynchpin here is pricing. If they get the pricing right, these will move briskly. If they fail to control the price to the point where it is a strong value proposition, Fiat will struggle to overcome some of the very valid concerns raised above (size, segment, public perception of safety, reliability and build quality) and the cars will stagnate on the lots.

      I love driving the Cooper S, and would put one in my garage any day, but for the premium price. If Fiat can get me an Abarth (or even better, the essesse) for an out-the-door price in the low $20s, I will probably buy one. However, as that price creeps toward $30k, I will struggle to justify the demerits against the 500.

      I suppose I am simply taking the long way 'round to state the obvious: Fiat's ability to move the 500 depends on the bottom line.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. Even if they price it the same as base Cooper it will sell, if they price it $3k or $4k less, then it will sell like hotcakes. Plus the Minis have been on sale here for 8 years, I'm sure there are a lot of 1st gen owners that will trade in for one of these just because it's new & different. Looks like they'll also have a dealer advantage, I think Mini only has about 100 dealers here in the States.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, if the green sheet discount is still around, and if Fiat allows it to be applied to the Fiat 500, I imagine sales could be brisk.

      green sheet = pricing somewhere around invoice if you work for Chrylser, are retired, or are relatives. Great way to skip the hassle of the haggle as well as dealer markups.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The sales goal will be met and there WILL BE a waiting list. Here is my theory: The economic down turn is forcing people in the U.S. to go "down market" on car purchases but Americans still want style and individualism. What to do? Mini is still pretty expensive for a "small" car. The generation who will buy this car has no idea that Fiat was ever in the U.S. let alone it's past quality issues. The old farts and car nuts like myself (40) will buy it for the nostalgia of the Abarth days. I believe the price point will be right and people will snap them up for commuting purposes and weekend fun cars. I also believe it will get people away from the hybrid hype and relaize that a small high tech 4 banger can give the fuel economy without the extra $$ of a hybrid. I mean come on, would you really rather look at a Prius over this little gem?
      • 4 Years Ago
      needs carlashes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Abarth SS? Please?
        • 4 Years Ago
        if they bought over an abarth for under 20K, I would have to seriously consider it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Saw one of these when i was in Paris three weeks ago... Very nice, has a good exhaust note too for an engine that size.
      • 4 Years Ago
      WANT!
      • 4 Years Ago
      twin-air ??
      That is the big question to me.
      Everything I have read seems to indicate that if they show up with twin-air then there is not much in this marketplace that can compete in mpg unless you want to shell out for a hybrid or maybe a TDI.
      It would make fiesta (and others) 40mpg on highway claim pathetic.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't wait to drive one but disappointed to hear that it's made in Mexico, it would have been cool to imagine it coming from Italy. Obviously makes little difference in the end but I think it adds to the uniqueness and character of the car's image.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My comment had nothing to do with quality coming from country of assembly but rather the "neat" factor of buying something as icon and Italian as this car and having it actually designed and built in Italy. Same thing with the Mini, when some people find out it's a BMW it's a little surprising because it's so representative of GB but it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's how things are now with production and like I said in the end it doesn't much matter.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The European one is built in Poland, not Italy. In the Polish 500 quality is very high, so I can't see why the Mexican one should be any worse.
      • 4 Years Ago
      And I want to be exempt from taxes. Not going to happen though.
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