Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
stasisLAX
Topic Author
Posts: 2974
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:04 am

Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:51 am

2014 Fiat 500L


The Fiat brand is desperate for success in the North American market. The current 500 and 500C cabriolet have not experienced a great deal of sales success, Jennifer Lopez television commercials or not. Calling Fiat dealerships "studios" has not captured the imagination of Americans. Fiat senior management predicted that 50,000 500's would be sold in its first year in the marketplace - Fiat sold slightly less than 20,000 units. Failure on the scale of the equally poor selling Chevy Volt. I think Fiat's past (well-known) reliability problems are markedly limited its sales.

Source: http://autoecommerce.org/marchionne-...oal-for-fiat-500-incredibly-naive/

However, like General Motors and the Volt, Fiat is not throwing in the towel. In fact, they are planning to offer a 5-door version of the 500 in the American market next year, sold as an early 2014 model. This new longer-wheelbase 5-door 500 (possibly called the 500L) will be unveiled this spring at the Geneva Auto Show - which is based on the Fiat Panda people-mover's platform. It is rumored that the "500L" will be powered by a turbocharged version of the current 500's 1.4 liter petrol engine - which is also used in some versions of the new Alfa Romeo-based Dodge Dart compact, where this "Multi-Air" engine produces 160 horsepower, much more that the 101 horsepower in the standard 500 coupe.

[Edited 2012-02-02 21:53:20]
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 15331
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:13 am

I like the 500. This, however, is butt ugly.
 
User avatar
Kiwirob
Posts: 13976
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:55 am

Wrong name, it should be called a 600.
 
User avatar
Francoflier
Posts: 6172
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:25 am

The 500 has distinct styling (though i hate the thing), but this just looks like a rounded Fiat Panda and I hate it (what's with the 4 eyes?).

Why don't they just offer the Panda? It' a great little car.
This is trying too hard.
 
JJJ
Posts: 4204
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:38 am

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
Why don't they just offer the Panda? It' a great little car.
This is trying too hard.

The 500 is based on the Panda anyway.

Now, the Panda a people mover? Please...
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 26186
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:48 am

The 500 is a nice car . Wouldn't have one myself but a neighbour of mine does and I'm quite impressed . Ideal for a single person around town. The Panda is a great little car and you would be surprised how much luggage space their is. Low fuel and low maintenance and not bad on the motorways. I have to say I like Fiat.
 
MIAspotter
Posts: 2948
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 1:57 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:58 am

If FIAT wants to sell more 500s in the US, they need to make it a HUGHE SUV with a V8 engine.

Anyways, the new 2013 Panda looks very similar. what´s the deal with offering basically the same car?



BTW that 500L looks like a rebadged Citroen C3 Picasso

MIAspotter.

[Edited 2012-02-03 03:59:06]
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 26186
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:06 pm

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 6):
Anyways, the new 2013 Panda looks very similar. what´s the deal with offering basically the same car?

Its obviously an updated version and its clear to see the design difference. It looks more modern .

http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae40/PhilipOA260/Panda.jpg
 
JJJ
Posts: 4204
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:07 pm

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 6):
Anyways, the new 2013 Panda looks very similar. what´s the deal with offering basically the same car?

Well, looking a little into it, it seems the 500L will indeed be substantially larger than a Panda, and it will not be Panda-based but based on the larger Punto (and will be longer than the current punto as well, actually it will fit almost exactly halfway between the Punto and Bravo). The closest counterpart in the Fiat lineup will probably be the Lancia Musa.

Fiat has always kept the Panda and 500 side-to-side, Panda being a budget option and the 500 the retro-cool version. They probably want to do the same with the Punto and 500L.

To me it looks too much like a C3 Picasso, don't think it will sell.
 
User avatar
czbbflier
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:28 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:18 pm

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 6):
If FIAT wants to sell more 500s in the US, they need to make it a HUGHE SUV with a V8 engine.

Bingo.

I knew this was going to happen. As soon as a sleek, sophisticated Euro car hits the North American market the design suddenly starts to put on bulk and weight... like going through the McDonald's Drive Through a thousand times too many and Supersizing the Fries.

BMW Mini, Smart FourTwo are two examples where the cars have gotten bigger, heavier and bulkier.

The Countrythingy version of the Mini looks more like a Maxi now. You can take an entire original mini and fit it in the back seat.

If their marketing in Vancouver is anything like their marketing across North America it was at the retailing level that they screwed up.

The "specialized FIAT" salesroom was, for more than a year, nothing more than an empty box. Nothing to set it apart. The stock was limited and the staff were very green. There was no finesse to go with the finery of such a cool little car.

Plus there was WAY too much hype. I was on the email list for updates after I first saw it at the 2010 Auto Show. I was getting details like, "Prototype for Canada off the Assembly Line" and "First FIAT 500 Arrives in Canada". It was more like some teenaged twitter channel. I unsubscribed. I still want one, mind you, just not quite so badly.
 
PHLBOS
Posts: 6520
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:36 pm

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 6):
BTW that 500L looks like a rebadged Citroen C3 Picasso

It actually looks more like a Mini's recently-introduced Countryman.
http://www.lexus-insight.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Mini-Countryman-2.jpg

Quoting czbbflier (Reply 9):
The Countrythingy version of the Mini looks more like a Maxi now.

That's Countryman and I think you're stretching it a bit. It's not like the Countryman's the size of a Ford Flex or a Chevy Traverse.
 
JJJ
Posts: 4204
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:42 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 10):
That's Countryman and I think you're stretching it a bit. It's not like the Countryman's the size of a Ford Flex or a Chevy Traverse.

The good part about the mini is the zippy drive and good cornering. Make it bigger, taller and bulkier and you lose most of that.

Yes, it has more interior space, yes it is (optional) AWD, yes it has more ground clearance but at that point you're not looking at a Mini anymore.
 
User avatar
Kiwirob
Posts: 13976
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:43 pm

I think this will probably be a success, I see this as Fiat's MINI Countryman, I now see far more new Countrymen on the roads here than I do new MINI's. But it shouldn't be called 500L, it should be called a 600.

The 600 was the bigger brother to the 500 back in the day.

600 Multipla

http://www.carsofcoolhaven.nl/wp-content/2007/11/fiat600multipla-03.jpg

600 Abarth 1000TC

 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 10201
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:46 pm

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
The Fiat brand is desperate for success in the North American market. The current 500 and 500C cabriolet have not experienced a great deal of sales success

No Sh&t. What the hell were they thinking? The Fiat 500 is a niche car - to be bought only by women who want a nippy runaround, never to go on long distance drives. Far too limited.

Fiat has some pretty interesting cars that could be successful in the US market.

There's the Chroma


The Linea


The Freemont
http://www.freemont.fiat.com/images/big-gallery/photos/Freemont_01.jpg

the Ulysse


And more. More middle of the road and not so chic, but their selling point will be Italian styling and design, built in USA. A lot of your fashion-conscious public who are currently stuck with very few brands would flock to them.

The only brake on that is their reputation. Fiat came to the US in the 60s and 70s with some pretty poor crap. But I guess most people would have forgotten that by now.

I wish they would bring back Alfa Romeo.
 
cargolex
Posts: 1245
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:20 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):

No Sh&t. What the hell were they thinking? The Fiat 500 is a niche car - to be bought only by women who want a nippy runaround, never to go on long distance drives. Far too limited.

Absurd stereotyping. For one thing, once the Abarth version arrives, I don't think you'll be saying "chick car" quite so loudly.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
The Freemont

Americans can already by the Fiat Freemont, as it is little more than a rebadged Dodge Journey. Not one of the better leftovers, however, in Chrysler's lineup from the pre-bailout days and deservedly a slow seller.

Fiat wouldn't offer the Ulysse here because Chrysler and Dodge have that market very thoroughly covered and the minivan market isn't a big niche. Not worth the cost of federalizing it.

A more natural expansion of the Fiat line in the US would be the Grande Punto/Linea, which could take on the Focus niche, which is much larger and in which Chrysler does not have a strong presence. But Dodge has already launched an Alfa Giulietta based sedan reviving the Dart name for this purpose, so the Linea probably wouldn't be the best move. The Grande Punto, however, that'd be a good choice.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11300
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:36 pm

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):

The Fiat brand is desperate for success in the North American market.

Frankly I think they should be focused on bringing back Alfa Romeo as a more full line brand in the US and then have Fiat as a one or two model hanger on like Mini. Use small dealers (new ones connected with Dodge dealers) to offer the 500 and Alfa 4C. Then they can expand it bringing in other Alfa Romeo models as an intermediate, but more stylish, brand between Dodge and Chrysler. Chrysler should drop the 200 entirely and offer at least one car model above that. People who want smaller luxury models can buy Alfas.

Stretching and forcing the reasonably stylish 500 into a more upright and very ugly people mover is defeating the purpose. Use Dodge to sell mundane crap like that.

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Failure on the scale of the equally poor selling Chevy Volt.

Apparently dealers are turning down their allocations of Volts.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 6):
Anyways, the new 2013 Panda looks very similar. what´s the deal with offering basically the same car?

We don't want either.

Quoting JJJ (Reply 11):
The good part about the mini is the zippy drive and good cornering. Make it bigger, taller and bulkier and you lose most of that.

Yes, it has more interior space, yes it is (optional) AWD, yes it has more ground clearance but at that point you're not looking at a Mini anymore

The Mini Countryman has one more redeeming quality than the big Fiat 500 in that the Mini allows BMW to be more selective about what they offer in the US to keep their image from being tarnished. For example, they likely will only be offered with six cylinder engines.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 14):
For one thing, once the Abarth version arrives, I don't think you'll be saying "chick car" quite so loudly.

It will be another front wheel drive hot hatch. It will have a nice enthusiast following like the SRT4 did, but it isn't going to make a huge difference in the bottom line.
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 10201
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:49 pm

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 14):
Absurd stereotyping. For one thing, once the Abarth version arrives, I don't think you'll be saying "chick car" quite so loudly.

In America, guys who like to go fast (or simply LOOK like they like to go fast buy a Mustang, Challanger, RX-8 or any of a number of sporty cars out there. The tiny hot hatches like in Europe don't have much of a market - a Golf GTI is about as small as they go.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 14):
Americans can already by the Fiat Freemont, as it is little more than a rebadged Dodge Journey. Not one of the better leftovers, however, in Chrysler's lineup from the pre-bailout days and deservedly a slow seller.

Fiat wouldn't offer the Ulysse here because Chrysler and Dodge have that market very thoroughly covered and the minivan market isn't a big niche. Not worth the cost of federalizing it.

Fair point, but if the Fiat name can be associated with Italian styling etc, it might sell.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 14):
A more natural expansion of the Fiat line in the US would be the Grande Punto/Linea, which could take on the Focus niche, which is much larger and in which Chrysler does not have a strong presence

Good point.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 14):
But Dodge has already launched an Alfa Giulietta based sedan reviving the Dart name for this purpose,

Which I think is a terrible idea. the Dart never was a well-regarded name. It's like Ford relaunching the Pinto or Edsel.

I would love to see the Alfa Romeo Brera come over here.
 
cargolex
Posts: 1245
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:20 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:03 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
In America, guys who like to go fast (or simply LOOK like they like to go fast buy a Mustang, Challanger, RX-8 or any of a number of sporty cars out there. The tiny hot hatches like in Europe don't have much of a market - a Golf GTI is about as small as they go.

I don't agree. Honestly I've been around car guys a long time and my own tastes have run from big block Pontiacs to small Fiats to exotic europeans and even several Japanese sports cars. If it's a good car, it'll get a following. Miatas were once regarded as chick cars, but they're very popular with (mostly male) racers.

But I don't disagree that the 500 is simply too small to ever appeal to mainstream American tastes. I love fiats, I've had five of them and wrenched on all of them myself. So when given access to the 500 very early on, I really wanted to like it. It's a nice car, and fun to drive. But it's too small to fit my needs, and if I can't make it work - somebody who lived with far less practical elderly Fiats sometimes as daily drivers, most other Americans can't make it work either.

The Grande Punto however, would be a great choice. It looks like a small Maserati 3200GT and handles quite well. Fiat would still have an uphill climb to prove quality, however.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
if the Fiat name can be associated with Italian styling etc, it might sell.

Perhaps, but who buys a Minivan for styling?

The detailing in the Ulysse is likely far better than the Caravan, but it's still a smaller, less practical minivan with a badge people wouldn't know. The Fiat-PSA minivans have always been a little smaller than American equivalents or the Renault Espace (for a long time Europe's favorite minivan), and they've never really had all that much of an impact.

Now, it could play if there was a presence for Lancia, because Lancia's version is quite luxurious, but that'll never happen. Lancia holds on to it's existence by the thinnest of strings.

Lancia's european dealers are now getting Lancia Thema badged Chrysler 300s, which is a better opportunity for them than a Fiat Ulysse for Chrysler dealers. But even then, the numbers will be very, very small for European Themas.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):

Which I think is a terrible idea.

I don't think it was such a hot idea either. It isn't quite as poorly regarded as Pinto or Vega, but not many people ever got excited about the historical Dart, and it's best remembered today as a hearing-aid-beige sedan with a brown vinyl top driven by retirees. Durable but hardly exciting. There was a time when there really were exciting Dodge Darts, but for every Dart GTS with a 383, there are 100 Slant six Dart sedans with rusty quarter panels and fraying vinyl.

Not sure why they picked this particular name, a new name might have been better. I can get why they wouldn't continue "Caliber" however, or revive "Neon." Both tainted names now.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
I would love to see the Alfa Romeo Brera come over here.

Ah the Brera. If ever there was a claim for false advertising...it looks so good, but drives pretty much like any other generic front-drive sedan.

Alfa's problem, over the last thirty years, has been promising a BMW experience but only delivering Honda Accord dynamics, often with Daewoo Lanos reliability problems (though that is far better today than it was ten years ago and certainly 20 years ago).

Alfa would be a great fit here, but it would have to be positioned above Chrysler, not between Chrysler and Dodge - a narrow niche.
 
JJJ
Posts: 4204
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:47 pm

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 17):
Ah the Brera. If ever there was a claim for false advertising...it looks so good, but drives pretty much like any other generic front-drive sedan.

For one, the interesting engine in the Brera (the V6) is available as AWD only.

But then, there are FWD cars and FWD cars, I already posted a vid from a German magazine test in which the FWD 159 came top off the rest of the competition in maneuverability, including the RWD BMW 3-series and Merc C-class.
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:53 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Calling Fiat dealerships "studios" has not captured the imagination of Americans

Many of these "studios" opened up in former dealer space that at first retained their former looks with temporary signage to indicate that it's a Fiat dealer. That probably didn't instill confidence in the brand for potential early buyers. I've got a Fiat "studio" down the street from me, but it's not exactly in a great location, as it's the only car dealership left in that particular area, as over the years they all moved away from the mall and onto the highway the mall is off of. That particular space was a "preowned" lot for a few years, as the dealer had moved their Lincoln-Mercury dealership elsewhere (before selling their territorial rights to the Lincoln dealership to the local Ford dealer), but the Fiat "studio" is their baby now.

Driving by one of the Fiat dealerships on the other side of town, there doesn't seem to be many folks looking at them. I know that many folks are waiting for the Abarth version to hit the market. They've got an interesting 500 Stinger custom vehicle that they could probably sell as a factory-built vehicle and not a specialty Mopar custom one:

http://www.allpar.com/cars/mopar/2012-Mopar-cars.html

I've probably seen no more than a dozen 500s on the roads around Atlanta, while I see plenty of Minis as well as Smarts on a daily basis. This new variant may entice more folks into looking into the 500 since it is more Mini-like.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 14):
Not one of the better leftovers, however, in Chrysler's lineup from the pre-bailout days and deservedly a slow seller.

It's sold quite well in Canada and Mexico.

http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/dodge/journey-2009.html

The problem is that Dodge never really has marketed it too well in the US. To be honest, the Journey probably should be a Chrysler product and not a Dodge.
 
User avatar
seb146
Posts: 24464
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:27 am

That they introduced the 500 in the States at all was their biggest mistake. Now a 4 door? That nobody wants anyway? When I finally decide on a new car, I am going with either Honda or Volkswagen. Not a piece of Italian junk that is endorsed by a marginally good singer.

BTW, ever since she went on American Idol, my respect for her has plummeted...
 
L410Turbolet
Posts: 6389
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 9:12 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:26 am

I have hard time deciding which idea is more misguided. Whether it's trying to sell 4-door Fiat 500 on a US market obsessed with size and othe rridiculous prejudices or whether it's pretending an ugly a$$ 300c is a "Lancia" in Europe.
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 13099
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:23 am

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 6):
If FIAT wants to sell more 500s in the US, they need to make it a HUGHE SUV with a V8 engine.
Quoting czbbflier (Reply 9):
I knew this was going to happen. As soon as a sleek, sophisticated Euro car hits the North American market the design suddenly starts to put on bulk and weight... like going through the McDonald's Drive Through a thousand times too many and Supersizing the Fries.
Quoting seb146 (Reply 20):
That they introduced the 500 in the States at all was their biggest mistake. Now a 4 door? That nobody wants anyway? When I finally decide on a new car, I am going with either Honda or Volkswagen. Not a piece of Italian junk that is endorsed by a marginally good singer.
Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 21):
I have hard time deciding which idea is more misguided. Whether it's trying to sell 4-door Fiat 500 on a US market obsessed with size and othe rridiculous prejudices or whether it's pretending an ugly a$$ 300c is a "Lancia" in Europe.

Keep in mind the 500L will also be available in Europe, and my guess was preliminarily designed with that region in mind probably as a replacement for the Multipla. They are just calming down the US dealerships who have to currently deal with one slower than expected selling product for awhile, especially since the Alfa Romeo US launch has been pushed back again (for about the 10th time in the past decade) . In fact it will launch in Europe first with US sales to follow later.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11300
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:13 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 19):
Many of these "studios" opened up in former dealer space that at first retained their former looks with temporary signage to indicate that it's a Fiat dealer.

The one nearest me happens to be a former Saturn dealer.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 21):
US market obsessed with size and othe rridiculous prejudices or whether it's pretending an ugly a$$ 300c is a "Lancia" in Europe.

That and, if I remember right, the 300 is sold as a Chrysler in the UK but with only two V6 diesel engines. They left out the best part of the equation - the Hemi V8. You can't try and sell the big American sedan without the big American engine.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 20):
That they introduced the 500 in the States at all was their biggest mistake. Now a 4 door? That nobody wants anyway?

The 500 isn't a bad car, but it's hard to market a tradition that doesn't really exist in America. Everyone knows the Beetle and Mini, so the re-imagined Beetle and Mini have some retro appeal. But the Fiat 500 isn't that well known over here, so it's trying to trade partially on a reputation and tradition it doesn't have. So instead of being a retro cool updated version of a beloved old model, it's just a vaguely retro small car. Like the PT Cruiser.
 
User avatar
Kiwirob
Posts: 13976
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:40 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
For example, they likely will only be offered with six cylinder engines.

The new 328 is a turbo 4 cylinder, so you're going to see 4 cylinder BMW's in the US.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11300
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:52 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
The new 328 is a turbo 4 cylinder, so you're going to see 4 cylinder BMW's in the US.

I meant to be referring only to the X1. But even with other cars, the US will only likely see the top few engines in the range. I haven't heard what engines will be offered in the US for the new 1 Series, but I'd bet on the 125i and maybe 125d if we're lucky. Smaller engines and front wheel drive will most likely stay as the domain of Mini over here. I would highly doubt seeing any BMWs with 116 horsepower and 10+ second 0-60 times being sold in America anytime soon.
 
User avatar
aerdingus
Posts: 2722
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:58 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:56 am

Its disgusting! Defeats the whole purpose of it being a FIAT 500!!   
 
1stfl94
Posts: 1082
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:33 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:48 am

What an ugly car! The standard 500 is a great little car, though I'm not really sure its best suited to American tastes and I doubt this version is really going to give them the success they want.
 
User avatar
garpd
Posts: 2572
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:29 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:58 pm

The new 500 is like the Mini.
You don't buy it for practicality, efficiency, etc. You buy it for the badge.

The 500 is essentialy a Fiat Panda with a bodykit.
The mini is no longer mini, it's a Golf with a funky bodykit.

Neither of them live up to the legend of the originals.

Fiat know, just like BMW do, there are plenty of vain people in the world would won't be seen dead in a Polo, Lupo, Fiesta, 207, but will kill for a 500 or Mini. They can make it look pretty much how they want, it will sell.

The Mini and the 500 are the Apple i-products of the motoring world.
 
JJJ
Posts: 4204
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:17 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
That and, if I remember right, the 300 is sold as a Chrysler in the UK but with only two V6 diesel engines. They left out the best part of the equation - the Hemi V8. You can't try and sell the big American sedan without the big American engine.

The UK gets the Hemi petrol and the V6 diesel, the Lancia version sold in Europe gets the diesel plus a 3.6 V6 gas.
 
User avatar
Kiwirob
Posts: 13976
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:38 pm

Quoting garpd (Reply 28):

Neither of them live up to the legend of the originals.

Having owned a couple of originals and two of the new ones I disagree, the new ones are better in every respect.

Quoting garpd (Reply 28):
The mini is no longer mini, it's a Golf with a funky bodykit.

I also owned a Golf 5, a MINI certainly isn't a Golf with a bodykit, what sort of insane babbling is this, the Countryman is Golf sized, the Coupe/Clubman are a lot smaller.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11300
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:14 pm

Quoting JJJ (Reply 29):
The UK gets the Hemi petrol and the V6 diesel

Apparently they're dropping the V8 on the new version. All the UK will be getting is two versions of the diesel engine according to Top Gear. Chrysler seems to have removed the only compelling reason for Europeans to buy a 300.

[Edited 2012-02-04 11:15:00]
 
User avatar
czbbflier
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:28 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:57 pm

Quoting JJJ (Reply 11):
The good part about the mini is the zippy drive and good cornering. Make it bigger, taller and bulkier and you lose most of that.

Yes, it has more interior space, yes it is (optional) AWD, yes it has more ground clearance but at that point you're not looking at a Mini anymore.

  

Quoting poLOT (Reply 22):
Keep in mind the 500L will also be available in Europe

But if the 500 hadn't made the leap to SuperSizeLand, the urge to pork it out would not have occurred to anybody because it is excellent design already.

There was a 600? That makes sense. Keep the 500, add the 600. Just like in North America the old Sebring became the 200, a diminutive version of the 300.
Quoting aerdingus (Reply 26):
Defeats the whole purpose of it being a FIAT 500!!

Exactly. Just like the Countrythingy defeats the whole ethos of "mini".
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 13099
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:29 am

Quoting czbbflier (Reply 32):
But if the 500 hadn't made the leap to SuperSizeLand, the urge to pork it out would not have occurred to anybody because it is excellent design already.

I'm sure they still would have done it.

The 500 is a great car, but it is entering its 5th year in the market in Europe with minimal updates. It is a car that gains a premium on being stylish, so it either must be continuously updated or the line up expanded so that it won't fall out of favor, just like what Mini has done. First by making it a convertible with the 500C, and now expanding it with the 500L. It is just natural progression. The fact that it will likely be more attractive in North America than the regular version is just extra gravy.
 
User avatar
stasisLAX
Topic Author
Posts: 2974
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:04 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:16 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 19):
The problem is that Dodge never really has marketed it too well in the US. To be honest, the Journey probably should be a Chrysler product and not a Dodge.

Or Chrysler should have just used it as a replacement for the Pacifica - although the Pacifica had a truly awful reliability record and was rather fuel-thirsty. It was a very good crossover with a smooth ride and plenty of room.
 
LOT767-300ER
Posts: 8526
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:57 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:31 pm

This car is never going to be popular in the USA with the said price and what you get for it (which is almost nothing). Unless we all start worshipping J.Lo that is.
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 10201
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:24 pm

Quoting poLOT (Reply 33):
The 500 is a great car, but it is entering its 5th year in the market in Europe with minimal updates. It is a car that gains a premium on being stylish, so it either must be continuously updated or the line up expanded so that it won't fall out of favor, just like what Mini has done. First by making it a convertible with the 500C, and now expanding it with the 500L. It is just natural progression. The fact that it will likely be more attractive in North America than the regular version is just extra gravy.

OK with the convertible, but in stretching it to a 4-door, it goes from a cutesy fashion statement to utilitarian super-mini. Blah.

BTW, I remember driving one of the originals. Motor by Singer, no syncros on the gears - driving that around town was an adventure  
.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:41 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 36):

BTW, I remember driving one of the originals. Motor by Singer, no syncros on the gears - driving that around town was an adventure
.

A Fiat 500 was my dad´s first car back in 1961. He bought it to drive all the way from Berlin to the mountains of Catalonia for his masteral thesis research (Topic was to create a geological map of a region in the Pyrenees. He spent more than 6 months up there, living with a farmer family in a remote village).

Jan
 
MAH4546
Posts: 26736
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:53 am

The "failure" of Fiat is greatly over-exaggerated. The fact is the brand rollout was very slow. The 50,000 predicted annual sales were based on a much quicker roll out and dealer openings that did not happen, and, in fact, still hasn't happened. Fiat's first year volume was very strong for a new brand - its actually around the same amount that Mini sold in its first year in the U.S., and look how well Mini does today. Fiat has a bright future here, but needs to expand the range. That said, predicting 50,000 first year sales was over optimistic, even if the brand had rolled out as quicky as planned.

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 14):
Americans can already by the Fiat Freemont, as it is little more than a rebadged Dodge Journey. Not one of the better leftovers, however, in Chrysler's lineup from the pre-bailout days and deservedly a slow seller.

The Dodge Journey sells quite well in both the U.S. and Canada. It's actually one of Canada's ten best selling vehicles, while in the U.S. Chrysler moves around 5,000 a month.

Quoting poLOT (Reply 22):
Keep in mind the 500L will also be available in Europe, and my guess was preliminarily designed with that region in mind probably as a replacement for the Multipla.

The 500L is the first Fiat designed primarily with the U.S. market in mind.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11300
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:25 am

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 38):
The 500L is the first Fiat designed primarily with the U.S. market in mind.

The issue is that offering the 500L appeals to a different crowd, since they are undoing a lot of the style and fun-to-drive factor that appeals to 500 buyers. I don't see the point in importing what is essentially a rather garden variety people mover as part of a brand that is either largely unknown or known for the wrong reasons.

If I were in charge I'd leave Fiat with just the 500 and accelerate the return of Alfa Romeo. Frankly, I'd end Chrysler 200 production tomorrow and start importing Alfas instead if I could and position that brand as the stylish small luxury brand to compete with Mini, Buick, and some of the smaller luxury brand models. The Fiat 500 could essentially be just the smallest model in that lineup with better performance and features than a Dodge subcompact.
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8144
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:15 pm

I'd buy the 500L (if I were still in the market for a new car) on one condition: Fiat offers a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes to better suit American driver preferences.

That's why I drive a 2012 Honda Fit Sport AT--the steering wheel tilts and telescopes so I could get a decent driving position. (Wish the car had a tad more power, though.)

[Edited 2012-02-07 05:15:54]
 
LOT767-300ER
Posts: 8526
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:57 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:53 am

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 40):
That's why I drive a 2012 Honda Fit Sport AT--the steering wheel tilts and telescopes so I could get a decent driving position. (Wish the car had a tad more power, though.)


Actually there is a good observation, there arent enough cars with telescoping steering wheels in the US. Forget about Europe for now and their spartan standard equipment but Im sort of surprised more mfrs dont offer this, even as an option.
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 15331
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:57 pm

Just so you know there was a 500 and then a 600 in the 90's and 2000's, that didn't look like the original ones. And the 600 was not a larger 500, it was its replacement, the same size and platform but with a newer design. They were called with the number in Italian : Fiat Cinquecento and Seicento. Nothing fancy about them, they were entry level cars.
 
User avatar
GSPFlyer
Posts: 303
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:15 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:21 pm

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 6):
If FIAT wants to sell more 500s in the US, they need to make it a HUGHE SUV with a V8 engine.

Exactly. Americans buy big cars/trucks. It seems like the auto makers are being pressured into making cars smaller to be more "Green," when, in the American market, it would be more beneficial to focus their options on bringing better technology to the larger trucks and SUVs to make them more efficient and "green." Ford is on the right track with Ecoboost.
 
Aleksandar
Posts: 2941
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2000 11:43 pm

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:45 am

This new 5-door Fiat 500 will be made in Kragujevac factory in my country and everybody is looking forward to it. Apparently, it will help not just the economy of that city, but it will help the country's economy. Anyway, I expected more ad I think we will need more information about that car because everything seems a bit confusing as others pointed it out: there is a 500 as a small, trendy car (I will add typically European with little chance in North America as such) and Fiat Panda...where does Fiat plan to put this new car?
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 15331
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: Fiat To Launch 5-door 500 In US Market

Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:26 am

Quoting GSPflyer (Reply 43):
Exactly. Americans buy big cars/trucks. It seems like the auto makers are being pressured into making cars smaller to be more "Green," when, in the American market, it would be more beneficial to focus their options on bringing better technology to the larger trucks and SUVs to make them more efficient and "green." Ford is on the right track with Ecoboost.

But you also want lots of equipment (weight), lots of security features (more weight), and several hundred of hp (weight again, and inefficiency), while the rest of the world can somehow drive faster with half that power.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 1337Delta764, afcjets, Redd and 38 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos