Fiat 500, Chevy Volt listed among biggest product flops of 2011... but should they be?
Why the Volt? Yahoo! points to the vehicle's underwhelming sales, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fire investigation and misguided General Motors executives as indicators of the plug-in hybrid's failure. We think that's a bit harsh given the fact that the Volt wasn't on sale across the country for most of the year, and we've harped on how absurd the NHTSA fire issue is in the past, so we'll save the digital ink here.
And what of the Fiat 500? It's no secret the adorable Italian hatchback has missed its sales goals by a country mile. While Chrysler had hoped to move 50,000 models this year, actual U.S. sales for the year will probably end up around 20,000 units, which really isn't too bad. Those early sales targets were picked straight from the crazy buffet to begin with, and the fact that the 500 suffered production delays, dealership network woes and a botched marketing effort didn't help matters. Still, do those issues make the 500 one of the biggest product flops of 2011?
For our money, it's too early to call either of these vehicles flops – moving 20,000 relatively expensive very small cars for a new-to-the-U.S. (well, "new again," at least) brand doesn't sound too bad to us, and putting the Volt on the list when it wasn't available to most consumers strikes us as Yahoo! Finance trolling for controversy. What say you? Drop us a line in Comments...
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