Fiat 500 Facing Supply Overflow, 20 Percent Of Dealers Unable To Sell Product

Fiat 500 Facing Supply Overflow, 20 Percent Of Dealers Unable To Sell Product

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.

[Source: Autoblog]

  • GTOGreg

    They chose a spokesperson (J.Lo) that has a bigger butt than the car itself.

    On a separate note, I was handed one of these as a rental while my real car was getting serviced and I must say that it is huge piece of shiite. Poor build quality, feels like a death trap, and had an automatic tranny coupled to a single hamster motor that concerned me about its ability to get out of its own way.

    So, no surprise here that they’re piling up on dealer lots.

  • Rawer

    GTO must be overweight. We have had our FIAT 4 month and driven it 4500 miles and we have a lot of fun with it. It not our only car but we prefer if for local trips. We had 3 MInis and we like the FIAT better.

  • Mike

    Not everybody can afford a fine car like your Ferrari GTO but believe me, my Fiat 500 is fun to drive, gets great gas mileage and is very well built.

  • mdk

    We’ve had our Fiat 500C since September. We also have a BMW and Lexus. We fight over who gets to drive the Fiat every morning. A well built and fun car.

  • Trevor

    We have had a Fiat 500 since September. Great little car. 32 MPG, excellent features and i get asked about it all of the time. For folks looking for a reliable, low cost car, this is a gem!

  • anthony

    gtogreg has serious issues.overwheight,bitter and resentful when it comes to anything foreign.The USA of the future must have left him behind….

  • anthony

    Correction for Danny Choy.The 50k unit has been forcasted for the year,not 2011.The year ends its cycle on may 2012,12months after fiat began selling in this country.There are not 150 but barely 130 Fiat studios. 42 of them just opened their doors hence why they were not able to sell anything.There is not need to spread unnecessary pessimism about a product that has plenty of structural integrity,a product that outsold the mini all summer long.Unlike GTOgreg,you are educated, Danny.Just provide fare auto news,please.

  • William

    I recently bought one, was looking for a small fuel efficient car as I live in the city and commute to a place without public transit. To be honest, if I had seen the J-Lo advertisements first I might have reconsidered. Nothing against her, but celebrity ads scream of desperation and make the car even less serious a prospect. I think the drive-in ad is a better representation of the car, even better would be someone parking it in the city, and driving it on a mountain road, or a tall person in the car (it is much roomier inside than it appears outside) Also- emphasize it is different (what other U.S. dealer would have more than half their cars with manual transmissions). It is never going to out sell a corolla, sell the strengths of the car.

  • William

    As o GTO Greg, well, we all know how well the last GTO sold, wither the Pontiac brand…

  • Stefano Da500Man

    I have had a red 500C with beige top since October. I put over 2000 miles on it and it has performed flawlessly. I also have a 4Runner, and since I got the 500C the battery on the 4Runner has died for lack of usage. Recharged the battery on the 4Runner and died again due to excessive 500ing. Before we could not get the kids to go grocery shopping, now they line up if we go with the 500 (roof down please). It is our favorite car for night out, movie, and dinner with my wife. It has averaged 340 miles with just over 9 gallons in mixed driving. Front seats are spacious for 2 adults on a hot date, back seats OK for kids or adults on short trips. Interior is superbly designed, anything but cheap. Bose audio system with 7 speakers including woofer and sub-woofer in the trunk is as good as the one one I had on my Mercedes ML320, and far better than stock and $2000 after market system on my 4Runner. Oozes style inside and out. Loaded with features. Connectivity with iPhone is great. In the near future I am going to reward my 500 with luscious 2-tone heated leather seats. And don’t even get me started about the 500!

  • Bill Holliday

    Must be a lot of Fiat car salesmen on this board. I test drove the Fiat 500 on a bet and won. I’m 6’2″ and couldn’t fit in the car. I have a golf cart with more pickup and head and leg room. The base model is uuuugly and with all the extras…what Ja Lo drove the car pushes $30K out the door. Wise up the car isn’t selling and Fiat stock is in a nose dive FIAT (Fix It Again Tony).

  • Colum Wood

    Bill: I’m surprised. I fit no problem and I’m 6’1″ and had extra room. It’s not just about overall height though. I used to own an S2000 and fit no problem, but my brother who is just an inch taller could only drive it with the top down.

  • Leighton

    Headroom greatly depends on if you get in a 500 with the huge sunroof or not. The sunroof takes away a lot of headroom.

    I’ve had mine for 10 months and 19,000 miles, and it’s actually been great. Low expectations may have been a factor in my surprise.

    Empty in 5th gear cruising I get 43mpg. And you can park it anywhere. The high seating position makes it a great car in cities, but on the highway I have to set the speed beep alarm to not go over 85 without noticing.

    Zero reliability issues so far.