Why the Fiat 500 isn't the flop it's being made out to be

2012 Fiat 500C
2012 Fiat 500C
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The poor Fiat 500. The adorable three-door hasn't exactly been the resounding success Fiat had hoped, missing sales projections by a wide margin. As you may recall, the company managed to sell just 17,945 units between March and December of 2011. That's a far cry from 50,000 units annually the company projected before the 500 landed in dealerships. But, according to Polk, things may not be as bad as they seem. While it's true that the 500 managed to pull down just four percent of the subcompact car segment, the results look a bit rosier when you compare the 500 to other three-door B-segment offerings.

In that admittedly small group, the 500 did quite well, pulling down 27 percent of all sales and landing in second place behind the Mini Cooper. The plucky Italian even manged to best the Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris. Still, as Polk points out, that's a good portion of a very small corner of the total subcompact segment, and an even thinner slice of the American car market.

The upcoming five-door 500 will likely give Fiat an extra edge, though whether the vehicle helps the automaker crest its 50,000 unit goal remains to be seen.

FIAT 500 Information

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