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The Fiat brand has had a bumpy start in the U.S. market, but the Italian automaker hopes to change things around now that its dealer network has finally expanded.
Last year, Fiat 500 sales only hit 19,769 cars, way below its target goal of 50,000. But now with the Abarth 500 on the horizon, the recently revealed 500L wagon coming next spring, and the Fiat 500 EV coming next year, the Italian brand looks poised to become a formidable player in the compact car market.
Fiat U.S. brand chief, Tim Kuniskis, recently revealed that the American lineup may increase to three models. While Kuniskis wouldn’t detail what the third model is, he did say that styling will always be their emphasis and that “any car we sell has got to be different.”
So what could it be? Our guess is that Fiat will bring a crossover to America. It’s only a fitting addition to their existing subcompact coupe/convertible and incoming four-door wagon.
Fiat now has 142 dealers and hopes to reach 200 by the end of next year.
GALLERY: Fiat 500L
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
The wagon variant of the Fiat 500 has the “L” in its name for “Large” and is the replacement for the 600 Multipla. It is about two feet longer than the standard 500 Coupe and will go on sale in Europe in the last quarter of this year. Engine choices include a 1.4L and TwinAir standard gasoline engine in addition to a 1.3L turbo MultiJet II.
The Fiat 500 family now consists of a standard three-door, a cabriolet, a high-performance Abarth version, and now the 500L. Stay tuned to Autoguide as we’ll be at the official unveiling of the 500L at the Geneva Motor Show.
Watch the video below.
GALLERY: Fiat 500L
Not too long ago, reports came in that Fiat is developing a 500 five-door wagon for the US market and now it appears that the Italian automaker will be reviving the 500L model name for the upcoming five-door 500.
The new five-door model gets an L added to its name for being large, and is scheduled to make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Additional details on the model were also reported, stating that the 500L will sport a front end similar to the standard 500 model, but the vehicle will be wider and about 2.4-inches longer.
America will only be seeing a five-seater variant of the 500L, but it’s believed that the European market will also receive a seven-seater 500L. Fiat believes – and rightfully so – that American buyers wouldn’t have much interest in a seven-seater with such a small footprint.
Chances are the 500L in America will feature a 1.4L, four-cylinder engine with around 105-hp. The 500L badge originally came on Fiats produced from 1968-1972, but back then the L stood for Lusso, which is Italian for luxury. Now it’ll just be large.
[Source: Automotive News]