Fiat could blame American consumer sentiment. They could also blame J.Lo’s advertising debacle. Or perhaps, the fault lies with the car. Whatever the case may be, sales numbers for the 2012 Fiat 500 are disappointing.
According to Automotive News, Fiat’s re-introduction into the United States reports will fall significantly short of its 50,000 unit sales target for 2011. Since the Fiat 500 hit American showrooms in March, it has only sold 15,826 units through October.
Of 150 Fiat dealers nationwide, 29 were unable to sell a single one last month. So, in order to give the car some life, Chrysler now offers a $500 rebate incentive as a means of shifting cars before the year ends. According to internal company documents, Chrysler has almost a half a year supply of 500 models in hand if the abysmal sales performance continues.
Due to the lagging demand, production has slowed, with 65 workers sent home from the Dundee, Michigan Fiat 500 engine assembly plant.
Fiat-Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, insists that the problem is rooted at the distribution network. Dealers are simply claiming that American buyers aren’t interested in such a small vehicle. We hope the sizzling 500 Abarth has got enough kick to turn the sales numbers around.