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A report on the seven worst product flops in the U.S. from 24/7 Wall Street that was re-posted on Yahoo Finance includes two vehicle introductions, the Chevrolet Volt and the Fiat 500.

According to the author of the report, the Chevrolet's extended range electric vehicle made it on the list because it underperformed in sales while the fact that it is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for fires related to the car's lithium-ion batteries is also mentioned.

As for the 500, the article says that while the Italians expected to sell some 50,000 cars during its first year in the States, Fiat sold fewer than 12,000 from January through July, and that the company ousted its chief Laura Soave this past November. For the record, Fiat sold 15,826 examples of the coupe and the 500C through October.

The other products mentioned in the list include Abercrombie & Fitch's “Ashley” Push-Up Triangle, a bikini top with padding for kids; Netflix's DVD-by-mail only Qwikster service; the HTC Status smartphone; Blackberry's PlayBook Tablet, and the Mars Needs Moms 3D film from Disney.

Source: Car Scoop
 

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I wasn't able to buy a Fiat till August. The studio wasn't open in our city. Is that count as full year.
 

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1) Better battery technology will allow for better electric cars, period. That's what's known as Physics. 2) You either like small cars or you don't: many countries, including Japan, have welcomed the 500. 3) These financial journals look at everything in dollars and cents: bean counters don't know squat about engineering.
 

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The Volt won all the "Car of the Year" awards for good reason. It is a triumph of engineering and is a real game changer. It is not a flop at all. I'm at a loss to explain the battery fiasco since fire risks are thoroughly studied during FMEA process and I'm sure GM did lots of crash testing internally during the cars' development. But this bump in the road should not have long-term impact on sales. I'm really excited to see what the Gen2 Volt means in terms of price and more widespread appeal.

Sergio was a total jackass for his ludicrous FIAT 500 sales projections. The USA re-launch of the FIAT brand was botched thanks to Sergio, Soave and Impatto. And there is no way the 500 can sustain dealers alone. More FIAT products and the re-launch of Alfa Romeo can't come soon enough. Despite all that, the 500 remains a great car and is absolutely NOT a fail.
 

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More FIAT products and the re-launch of Alfa Romeo can't come soon enough. Despite all that, the 500 remains a great car and is absolutely NOT a fail.
I totally agree, but they need to re-launch the Alpha Romeo as an Alfa, not a Dodge Dart. The Dart may be a great looking car, but with those massive "Dodge" logo's plastered all over, it loses it's appeal to me.
 

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Of course now I've read the article and I see that the Dart is based on a Fiat platform. Still... drop the Dodge name please!
 

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im in the camp that says the volt is not a game changer. id say the leaf is more of a game changer. the limited electric range is a joke considering the price point. i could also get into the taxpayer costs that made the volt possible, but not here.

the volt has such a limited window of usefulness. city only commuter with relatively short commutes.....who btw will still probably never recoup the extra $ they spent for the car.

the worstr part about the volt is that after using up its very limited electric range, it achieves mpg's that can be beaten by plenty of gas only engine cars.

i think more fuel efficient gas and diesel cars and hybrid technology are really the bandaid if we are to eventually to get to vehicles that dont use gas as mainstream modes of transport.

i dont see a heavily subsidized overpriced car that has neither a decent electric range nor stellar gas mileage as any answer at all.
 

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The game changer for many might be the Tesla Model S which has been improved on since Tesla built the Roadster awhile back, they got a sweet looking ride with pretty impressive range and a cost which although still somewhat high it is more realistic for what you are getting I think, plus with the newer battery designs we are about to see (hopefully) the increases will be nothing short of amazing. Lighter weight, quicker charging and greater range will all be possible and it is a functional science that is just yet to be adapted and implemented so it is only a matter of time.
 

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The flop for the Fiat 500's sales in my opinion can be solely attributed to their marketing people.
With Chrysler/Dodge dealerships in almost every local in the states, they came up with the idea
that the best place to purchase a 500 should be in an exclusive "Fiat Studio". And the same thing
for getting it serviced, in the studio. With a Dodge dealer only 5 minutes away, no, I have to travel 2 hours to get said service. Fiat should ship a couple of 500's to most of the Dodge/Chrysler
dealerships, and make them available there for sale, ordering and minor services. If a vehicle needs any major work done, then ship it to studio service center. Most consumers don't want to travel any long distance either for a purchase or servicing of their vehicles. The above is my humble opinion.
 

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The proof is in the pudding. 500's are starting to get heavily discounted. The Abarth and other Fiat models can't come soon enough - the studios can't be supported this way - it was doomed from the start.
 

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Fellow, Fiat enthusiasts I have a thought after reading this thread. When I look up the post history of those that post negative articles, the naysayers, those that want to sue, the lemon law embracers, etc. it seems to all come from a very small group of folks on this forum. Some acknowledge they don't even own a Fiat. Check for yourself. Let's face it, as with all things in life for all those that love something, there is likely someone who hates it. For every good article you can dig up, you can probably find a negative one. Maybe our best strategy is simply to ignore the posts of the non-enthusiasts and hopefully they will get tired of not receiving feedback gratification and they will move on to a Scion, Prius or Lady GaGa Haters forum. Frankly, the anti Fiat posts are getting way boring. Your thoughts? Is it just me?
 

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WLDYOPO...completely agree....im about to post a thread about the road race version two exhaust, lets change things up on this forums. its a small 2 door car . they wont be selling 50k the first year. fiat needs more models and alfa.
 

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When I look up the post history of those that post negative articles, the naysayers, those that want to sue, the lemon law embracers, etc. it seems to all come from a very small group of folks on this forum. Some acknowledge they don't even own a Fiat.
Let me see if I've got this straight...

You, with only 19 posts to your name, think that people should ignore long, good standing members posts if they say something negative about the Fiat? Even if its based on 100% truth, and personal experience? Or if they give advice to a forum member to look up their state's Lemon Law process and requirements if their vehicle is having a huge issue that their dealership is not able to rectify in a timely manner, within a few trips?

I may not own a Fiat 500, but I drove my gf's Blue Sport in to work today, yesterday, the day before that, several times last week, the week before that, and all told, dozens of times since we drove to Texas from Denver, traded in her Crossfire, and then drove the Fiat back to Denver that same day, back on September 3rd, so none of my experiences count?

What high horse did you ride in on to try and make a claim like this?

BC.
 

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The flop for the Fiat 500's sales in my opinion can be solely attributed to their marketing people.

With Chrysler/Dodge dealerships in almost every local in the states, they came up with the idea that the best place to purchase a 500 should be in an exclusive "Fiat Studio". And the same thing for getting it serviced, in the studio. With a Dodge dealer only 5 minutes away, no, I have to travel 2 hours to get said service. Fiat should ship a couple of 500's to most of the Dodge/Chrysler dealerships, and make them available there for sale, ordering and minor services. If a vehicle needs any major work done, then ship it to studio service center. Most consumers don't want to travel any long distance either for a purchase or servicing of their vehicles. The above is my humble opinion.
Hi,

A few months ago I'd probably have disagreed with you, but over the past few months I think I've realized that I was probably wrong in the past.

To me, I think the whole J-Lo thing is just a red-herring. It gives people who want to complain something to complain about, but as you seem to suggest above, I think you are right in that maybe its the whole "Studio" concept that may be at the heart of the issue. On the one hand I really like the "no haggle" policy, and in the past I've had concerns about how it would work if the cars were sold side-by-side with other cars at Dodge and Chrysler dealerships, but I've begun to fear that the limited number of Studios and alot of the original press about how the car was expected to be fashionable among young "hip and fashionable' types may have made the car seem a bit "pretentious" in some way to some potential buyers.

Some stuff that I've read recently though seems to suggest that a fair amount of current sales may be from people seeking a third car for their family or just people looking for a small new car. As such, it would seem to me that if the cars could at least be displayed at existing Chrysler and Dodge dealerships that have connections to a Fiat studio than that might help increase sales in to those type buyers.

I also think that the recent news that there might be a lower cost/lower powered alternative to the Abarth called the 500T sounds like an interesting idea.

Along similar lines I've been wondering if maybe a lower cost intro model slotted in below the Pop might also be an interesting idea. One thing that I've always wondered about with the current line up is that with so many potential options in terms of interior and exterior colors, wheels, stereo, A/C, etc it might lead to the backup of alot of stock on hand as people might be willing to wait for a special order to their exact needs rather than buying whats on hand (ie with so many potential optional configurations how do you ensure that you have what people might want on hand).

As such, maybe if there were a "intro" type model based on the Pop, but simplified a bit, maybe with only four or so exterior color options, and configure at the factory with a single interior color option, the base A/C, wheels, and stereo, and maybe lacking "Blue & Me" and forgoing the "Fiat Forward Care" and possibly doing a few other things to simplify the design, you might be able to bring that "intro' model in at less than $14K which might help make that model appeal even more to people looking for a second or third car or those hoping to pick up a nice new small car.

Just some thoughts

Pat
 

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As such, maybe if there were a "intro" type model based on the Pop, but simplified a bit...
They have this overseas - there's a model below the Pop called the Naked. It was felt that such a de-contented model wouldn't do well in the US, with or without the 69hp engine. Remember that the US has never gotten the base Mini - we only get the upmarket Cooper models - as BMW's research said US buyer's wouldn't go for it.

Simply put - we're weird about small cars here. Americans see a small car and think it should be cheaper than a big car - regardless of what materials the car contains - because a 1-liter bottle of Coke is cheaper than a 2-liter bottle of Coke. I've seen people decry how expensive even the cheapest Mini Coopers, Fiat 500s, and Smart Fortwos are, yet complain at the same time that they don't offer nice enough interiors, more features, more tech, more power. Why should an Abarth cost more than a 500 Pop - they're the same size, right?

That's not everyone - the entire country aren't bumpkins - but it's far too many for my liking.
 

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Hi,

Thanks for the response. I don't think any intro model would have to have a smaller engine than the current Pop. I think that since Blue & Me was originally going to be a $500 option on the Pop, and since Fiat seems to be willing to give a $500 rebate if you forgo Fiat forward it seems like it might be possible to make an intro model for about $1000 less than the Pop with just those two changes. My thought then would be that if maybe you further limit factory installed options and maybe make a few other attempts at reducing costs (maybe with a lower cost seat covers etc and/or changing the rear seats to a single bench seat fold down instead of the current 50/50 split and other stuff like that) then maybe you might be able to bring price down another $500-600 so that you can market the 500 as starting at $13900, which might bring in additional potential buyers to show rooms.

Just some thoughts.

Pat

PS. I wouldn't be surprised if it might be possible to bring down some costs just a bit by simplifying the parts bins at the factory a bit. For instance if for any potential intro model, if you cut things down to only for base exterior colors and one interior color, and maybe even then make all the add-ons like mirror colors, dash inserts and any other inserts as only one color (say black or something) then you might simplify inventory issues etc.
 

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Hi,
I wouldn't be surprised if it might be possible to bring down some costs just a bit by simplifying the parts bins at the factory a bit.
I would be surprised - very surprised. The US gets European cars cheaper than every other market, as the makers hope to make it up in volume sales. Talk to buyers overseas about our models' features and prices and you'll find they're quite jealous - we get the biggest engines, the most features, longer warranties, free maintenance. Things we take for granted are quite rare in other markets. Fiat is making a lot less money on the 500 here than elsewhere, just trying to get into the market.
 

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fiat doesnt need a cheaper model. a pop model can easily be had for the cost of a new toyota yaris. how much cheaper does it need to be?
 

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fiat doesnt need a cheaper model. a pop model can easily be had for the cost of a new toyota yaris. how much cheaper does it need to be?
I agree. A totally stripped base model price leader would hurt more than help. FIAT doesn't need any more 500 variants for the USA. What they need to do is bring more models to their sales studios: Punto to compete against the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit, the Bravo to compete against the Ford Focus and Mazda3, the Doblò to slot in somewhere between the Kia Soul and Ford Transit Connect. They also need the Dodge Dart to be a profitable high-volume sales success. Then they need to relaunch the Alfa Romeo brand in the USA (the 8C barely made a splash so few were sold here) with high-volume models.
 
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