2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 may have taken overseas markets by storm, but that isn't quite the case here in North America, where a delayed rollout, overly optimistic sales projections and related issues have hampered the retro supermini's sales. So much so, in fact, that Chrysler has reportedly had to stop production of the 1.4-liter engine that powers the Cinquecento until demand catches up to supply. As a result, it has had to lay off a portion of the employees that build it.

The exact layoff numbers are in dispute, but according to a new Automotive News report, Chrysler itself pegs the number at 30 while the United Auto Workers' local representative says it's more like 100. Fiat initially pegged its sales projections at 50,000 units this year, but as of just a couple of weeks ago, it had barely sold 16,000.

Will the advertising campaign with Jennifer Lopez and the launch of the 500 Abarth performance model help the Fiat's numbers climb? Only time will tell, but one way or another, it won't come fast enough for the workers waiting at home by the phone.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 183 Comments
      Taylor DeCastro
      • 3 Years Ago
      I blame J. Lo.
        dan1malk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Taylor DeCastro
        Haha. This made me laugh for some reason. I DO think their marketing efforts and direction are questionable at best, and is just confusing uninformed people about what the 500 is. That and I'm not completely sure all their dealers are open yet, which can't be helping anything either. That being said I really want the US Abarth to be awesome and for Fiat to succeed here. Small, lightweight, good-looking, affordable, fun to drive hatchbacks aren't too common over here so the more options the better I say.
      Pete K
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's JLo's fault...
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car always had a limited appeal, very similiar to what happened with Smart.
        cs
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        Smart sluggish sales is because of lack of marketing by Penske. MB USA has taken over the distribution rights. Btw, safety and quality wise i prefer Daimler AG over Fiat Spa.
          kcroc10077
          • 3 Years Ago
          @cs
          I disagree. Smart sluggish sales is due to the car not really being a "fit" for the U.S. market. It's primarily a city car...NY, Boston, LA, SF, Chicago, DC and even within those areas there are cars that are better options.
        Shiftright
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        The Fiat is a real car, and much more usable than the Smart, and it drives 10 times better. 50k of sales for the first year was stupidly optimistic for a brand essentially new to the US. Bad marketing and clumsy intro due to non existent dealers were the problems.
      RJC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just like the article says, Fiat 500's sell like hotcakes overseas. Here's a chance to alter the trade deficit and EXPORT 500's to countries where they sell well. As for the US market, 16,000 sales and counting isn't bad for the little effort they've put in, but: 1. J.Lo isn't the perfect spokesperson (hell, they use George Clooney in Europe). Ditch her. 2. What's the hold up in getting all the dealers up and running? 3. The Abarth should have been here from day 1.
        dzspleen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RJC
        The Fiat 500 already *is* exported -- to the US, from Mexico.
          Frank
          • 3 Years Ago
          @dzspleen
          The engines are made in the USA at least, maybe the transmissions too.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      lorenzo
      • 3 Years Ago
      it's a distribution problem. in the SF bay area, they only sell them out in places you cant take public transport to easily - like Concord So say a yourn city dweller wants to buy one, they have to jump on the train and go out to the suburbs - just stupid they should just do a pop up store in one of the downtown retail spaces that is closed up
      blas
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dunno who the J-Lo ad is expected to target but it's pretty lousy. It's focuses on her and her dancers than the car. At first I thought it's a music promo for a new album or something. They missed the ball, it seems more appropriate for a mass market brand/product that is already established in the US. There's several 500s popping up here in NYC and they're getting attention. Most admirer's are intrigued but are taken back by the price.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        aatbloke1967
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Come on guys, Fiat just like most European cars has TERRIBLE reliability." Said by someone who thinks we're living in 1975, and who probably is under some misguided impression that American cars are universally regarded as reliable.
        Phontsolo
        • 3 Years Ago
        Although i agree with you about Mazda's. Mainly because i own a Mazda 2 and love it. Especially after i hook it up to go fast and low. The rest of your comments? Not so much. The Fiat 500 especially the Abarth are, always have been and will continue to be great cars for the money. And comparing Fiat's the came out 30 years ago in the US to the ones coming out now is really not the way to go. And about the Fiat 500 being ugly? That's your opinion. In it's Abarth skin I think it looks like a damn cool hot hatch. But again, that's my opinion. You make it sound like FACT.
        lorenzo
        • 3 Years Ago
        Mazda2, Fit, or Versa - over a Fiat 500. I always wondered who picked those cars when I see them on the road. Now I know. columbianricer does.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lorenzo
          [blocked]
          Phontsolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lorenzo
          Slow down. I own a Mazda 2 but I also really like the 500. So.... slow your roll.
          lorenzo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lorenzo
          @columbianricer - did I say anything bad about those cars? no.
        Walter Heisenberg Wh
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hey jagoff, don't say "We Americans"....because you absolutely do not speak for me.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        lasertekk
        • 3 Years Ago
        See German 2010 ADAC report for reliability. It beat out everything in class, including a German car, which must really piss of the Germans.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      donnieorama
      • 3 Years Ago
      What did Chrysler/Fiat expect? We're in the middle of a frickin' recession, and they're trying to sell the equivalent of a Toyota Tercel for $20k. It's ugly. It's squat. It's too small. And most of all it's underpowered.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @donnieorama
        [blocked]
        Ed
        • 3 Years Ago
        @donnieorama
        No, actually, the recession ended over 2 years ago. We're in a sluggish growth period. There's a difference. If you're going to use words, learn what they mean.
          lasertekk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ed
          No, what the economists tell us.
          donnieorama
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ed
          So you just listen to whatever the government tells you. Got it. How you like them words?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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