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The Spaminator
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Fiat USA has half-year supply of 500 models, 29 of 130 dealers didn't sell one last month
By Zach Bowman
Nov 21st 2011
Autoblog.com

The 2012 Fiat 500 seems to be having trouble gaining sales momentum. Automotive News reports that the Italian hatch is likely to fall well short of its admittedly very ambitious 50,000 unit sales target this year. The model hit the market back in March and has only sold 15,826 units through October. The report also says that of the 150 Fiat dealers in the States, 29 didn't sell a single one last month (presumably at least some of them haven't shifted a vehicle because they were late opening in the first place). Either way, that's a lot of sales people looking longingly out of the show room glass. As a result, Chrysler is now offering a $500 rebate on the vehicle in an effort to entice buyers as the year comes to a close.

More alarmingly, Automotive News says that it has obtained internal company documents that indicates Chrysler has around a half-year supply of 500 models on hand if sales continue at their current pace. The automaker has even begun to scale back production in light of slow demand, reassigning 65 workers at the Dundee, Michigan plant responsible for assembling 500 engines.

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Imagine that FIATs not selling in the US. They didn't sell very well the first time they were here in the 60s and 70s. They left due to poor sales and quality issues. What made them think they were going to come back and sell 50,000 units a year of what most consider an ugly design?
 

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Imagine that FIATs not selling in the US. They didn't sell very well the first time they were here in the 60s and 70s. They left due to poor sales and quality issues. What made them think they were going to come back and sell 50,000 units a year of what most consider an ugly design?
Fix It Again Tony :p
 

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The 500 is totally ill-suited to the US market. Not just the Fiat badge, but the product itself.
 

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Maybe we/most people(myself included) are spending too much time watching J Lo in the ad and not noticing the car. Maybe the ad needs to be de-s3X'd and focus more on the car and what the car can do. But on a positive note, my 13 yr old son likes the commercial and wants a 500 in red with the folding top and with J Lo driving it for him but I told him that would cost too much.

Not all FIAT's are as bad as everyone says. yes some might have had problems but my '86 2-tone blue Bertone X 1/9 targa bought new didn't have any problem during the couple of years I owned it. I loved the attention I got when driving it. (An italian in an italian sports car) People would look at me with a confused look when I took the roof off and put it in the front trunk. They would ask me where is the engine? I even purchased a dual cassette player/radio for long trips,

If only FIAT could take the 500 and put the original X 1/9 body on it again.
 

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The 500's problem is that it is a niche car. I guess someone didn't realize it wouldn't sell like hotcakes in the states. Now they can't give them away.
 

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What might be the reason behind the low sales in the month for Fiat ? May be I think due to the rise in fuel prices these days or may be any other reason.
 

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Fiat should have been working on getting some kind of reliability award(s) or dependability/durability records with the 500 so they could use that in advertising being it's difficult to sell in the US given the past. They needed to change the way people think of FIAT. Have the vehicle score in durability etc to gain the respect from the US buyers. 1 model isn't going to do it. Fiat should have had 3 or so models with a set mission.(practical, sporty and utility models) The current ad is just a music video for J Lo with the 500 being considered 2nd over her. There are mixed signals in the ads that still leaves the question "What is this car?" and "Why should I buy this car?" FIAT needs to prove to us the 500's are capable and dependable.
 
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