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 |  Jan 17 2012, 9:00 PM

Look, we get it. Everyone wants to be a little optimistic when a new model hits the streets, especially when it’s one of Italy’s most iconic compact cars.

When Chrysler first introduced the Fiat 500 (read out review here) to the American market, they might have been a little too optimistic by estimating that they’d sell 50,000 of them in 2011. Turns out, even CEO Sergio Marchionne has no problems admitting that their initial sales target was “incredibly naive.”

Fiat’s original goal was to best the MINI Cooper 2010 sales figure of 45,644 but the 500 fell way short with just 19,769 being sold in 2011. Despite not even coming close to their original sales goal, Marchionne is adamant that Fiat will still do well in the US and admits that “we set ourselves up for a fall.”

A more realistic sales figure of 25,000 – 30,000 is anticipated for 2012 and that number could be aided by the introduction of the Fiat 500 Abarth.

[Source: CNN]