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For all the hype surrounding the Fiat 500, Ford's CEO, Alan Mulally, has become one of its most prominent detractors, condemning the car to failure before it's even launched.

Speaking to the Italian language magazine Panorama, Mulally remarked "I do not see large market in the U.S.A. for a smaller car than the Fiesta. Those that tried failed."

While Mulally declined to comment further, it's not unreasonable to expect such comments coming from the head of a rival firm. Not to mention, the Smart ForTwo has enjoyed dismal success in America, with sales dropping to a fifth of their highest levels in 2008.

More: Fiat 500 Will Fail, Says Ford CEO Alan Mulally on AutoGuide.com
 

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I plan on taking a second look at the Fiesta myself. More room, extra 20HP, 200cc more engine, same MPG & price. Insurance and financing will be the key unknowns for me at this point. It is let's make a deal time.
 

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I would've taken another look at the Fiesta. but it's a four-door and that's not what I wanted.
I'll bet they sell twice as many 500s in Canada as they do in the States.
 

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Penske screwed the fortwo from the start. Now that it's back under kraut leadership, things may change.

Unfortunately, I don't really see Fiat doing anything to make me disagree with Mulally.
 

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For all the hype surrounding the Fiat 500, Ford's CEO, Alan Mulally, has become one of its most prominent detractors, condemning the car to failure before it's even launched.

Speaking to the Italian language magazine Panorama, Mulally remarked "I do not see large market in the U.S.A. for a smaller car than the Fiesta. Those that tried failed."

While Mulally declined to comment further, it's not unreasonable to expect such comments coming from the head of a rival firm. Not to mention, the Smart ForTwo has enjoyed dismal success in America, with sales dropping to a fifth of their highest levels in 2008.

More: Fiat 500 Will Fail, Says Ford CEO Alan Mulally on AutoGuide.com
While I have a lot of respect for Alan Mulally and with his guidence he has turned around Ford. I have to disagree with Fiat will fail. The Fiesta and Yaris and all the other four door econoboxes are just that. The Fiat 500 is a much more refined car ment mostly for two much more safely than a Smart ever thought of being. Not to mention the features at the price point. 38 MPG Versus 40 is 5% difference. The Fiat even though is has less HP has more torque. Torque is what is needed NOT horsepower to move along a car.
 

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:confused: Head of Ford does not endorse a rival automobile - what is next in this crazy world?

I guess this means the Mini Cooper is larger than the Ford Fiesta, because that failed to fail.

Get to work, and stop crying in your beer, Mr. Mulally. Well, technically, your work does not directly create cars, so tell your subordinates to get to work. (Hint: Fiat and Chevy have 1.4 Liter engines...)
 

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The Fiesta and Yaris and all the other four door econoboxes are just that. The Fiat 500 is a much more refined car ment mostly for two much more safely than a Smart ever thought of being.
Have you driven the Ford? I agree that it is not as attractive as the 500 and 4 doors are ugly, but it is very well made.
 

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I have and the 6 speed AT is quiet and smooth. But it doesn't like to coast and when you do it takes a second to figure out what gear to drop it into. Inside it has the same problems as the 500, you can't fold down the rear seat flat when tall people are driving and it is a bit narrower than some of the competition (knee rub on the console).
 

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I would've taken another look at the Fiesta. but it's a four-door and that's not what I wanted.
I'll bet they sell twice as many 500s in Canada as they do in the States.
I'm in the same exact boat
Focus, comes in sedan and 5-door, no 3-door hatch= no thanks
Fiesta, comes in sedan and 5-door, no 3-door hatch= no thanks
Mazda 2, comes in 5-door, no 3-door hatch= no thanks
Mazda 3, comes in 5-door, no 3-door hatch= no thanks
Honda CR-Z, comes in 3-door and has a totally pathetic powertrain= no thanks
MINI, comes in 3-door and is to me ugly inside and out= no thanks

Fiat 500, comes in 3-door and will offer a real sport model in the Abarth= yes please, thank you very much

I love the car manufacturers here in the states :sarcasm: they claim nobody in the US wants a hatchback, so they don't make them, but to me the problem is none sell here because none are offered. I think people want a 3-door, but the choices we have are just too limited. I hope Fiat 500 does really well and foces other car companies to re-examine their assumptions.
 

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What is interesting is that if you drive down the wealthiest area of England, you find the streets lined with FIAT 500s. I wonder what Alan's response would be to that.
 

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What is interesting is that if you drive down the wealthiest area of England, you find the streets lined with FIAT 500s. I wonder what Alan's response would be to that.
The Brits are closer to Europeans than Yankees. Over here it's how well a car can survive having the accelerator and brake pedals slammed all the way to the floor. I hope they put strong motor mounts in them.
 

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I work across the street from Ford World Headquarters.I am SERIOUSLY considering a 500.I haven't seen any yet,but I'm hoping when I do buy mine I'll start to see many.The Fiat got some excellent reviews just 2 days ago on a local news segment,couldn't hurt.
 

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I looked very closely at both the Ford Fiesta and the Fiat 500. Without a doubt in my mind, the Ford is a much better built car.

I think Ford's CEO may be correct but for a different reason than stated. If Fiat doesn't do something quickly to improve their build quality, paint quality and general quality control they will undoubtedly fail here in the US. The way to reintroduce a car line back into a country where you have been absent for 27 years is not to over stock dealer lots with cars and hope that "cute" sells all the while having thin paint that flakes off, plastic interior seat releases that break when pulled, hands free communication systems that only work with certain phones and even then don't work consistently, etc... especially when those of us who are old enough to remember Fiat's last run in the US still have "Fix It Again Tony" running through our heads... "Fix Or Repair Daily" and "Found On Road Dead" don't seem to apply much anymore... The Fiesta is a fantastic car.

When I called my insurance agent to give her the details of the 500, she told me that her daughter had a Fiat back in the early 70s that she bought new... She talked about how much her daughter loved that car... and how little she could actually drive it because it was always being repaired for some reason or another.

When I brought the car home, one of the neighbors came over to see it and told me her father owned a Fiat when she was little and that she remembered him always being mad at the car because it was broken down... again... and again...

They should concentrate on quality instead of quantity at this point, but I think they are doing it the other way around... and in doing that, 100 cars on several dealer lots just sitting... hmmmm...

JMHO. YMMV.
 

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They should concentrate on quality instead of quantity at this point, but I think they are doing it the other way around... and in doing that, 100 cars on several dealer lots just sitting... hmmmm...

JMHO. YMMV.
$2000 rebates on a car that was just released may mean you are absolutely right.

It's Chrysler and Fiat we are talking about... from what I've read, even newer Fiats aren't known for their reliability in Europe. Ford, as much as I dislike their bland and soulless cars, is a much better brand than it ever was.

I bought my Fiat not because of the strength of the brand, but because of how cute the car was. Time will tell how wrong I was about buying a car based on my gut instinct.
 

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I bought my Fiat not because of the strength of the brand, but because of how cute the car was. Time will tell how wrong I was about buying a car based on my gut instinct.
Cute won out in my house as well... mainly because it is full of ladies who liked it better than the Fiesta. The 500 is the antithesis of every other car that I drive currently... so much so that a neighbor yesterday (another car nut like me) asked me exactly where in my life plans and car addiction this car falls, especially in light of the cars that are currently in my garage... "asking because I certainly can't figure it out and I've been trying. It just doesn't fit." When I told him that it was going to be passed down to and through all of my daughters to drive he replied, "Oh, ok... the only thing I could come up with was you had bought it as a sculpture for the flower garden... see how it would fit right in there? It's cute."

We'll both see how wrong we were.
 

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Ford... ...is a much better brand than it ever was.
I must respectfully disagree with you there. Like him or not, when old Henry was alive, Ford was far better than it is now or ever will be again. Planned obsolescence? No way. Model T - that thing was phenomenal. Built truly to last (any idea how many of those 100+ year old cars are still going strong? ;)) and extremely simple to work on with only basic hand tools by the average home mechanic. And quite honestly, one of the easier cars to restore to its original glory, at least when I compare my experience with the T to the other cars I have restored.

Now as far as the bland and soulless... well, Henry did say you could have your T in any color you like... so long as it's black. :D
 

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I must respectfully disagree with you there. Like him or not, when old Henry was alive, Ford was far better than it is now or ever will be again. Planned obsolescence? No way. Model T - that thing was phenomenal. Built truly to last (any idea how many of those 100+ year old cars are still going strong? ;)) and extremely simple to work on with only basic hand tools by the average home mechanic. And quite honestly, one of the easier cars to restore to its original glory, at least when I compare my experience with the T to the other cars I have restored.

Now as far as the bland and soulless... well, Henry did say you could have your T in any color you like... so long as it's black. :D
Oh... I know Ford used to be awesome back when Honda was making scooters. What I meant to say was that, compared to the Fords I grew up with (Tempo / Topaz and the rest of them all), the new ones are simply awesome, if absolutely bland.

I used to have a MazdaSpeed 3, which was stolen. Then I got a Volvo C30, which was as beautiful to look at as it was as bland and uninspiring to drive. The Fiat was my pre-mid life crisis move. My wife wouldn't accept a Miata in the house, so I chose the next smallest car (I love small cars).

I just hope it will last for a long time, since my mom already wants it. Who knows, if everything goes right maybe someday I'll step up to an Abarth... and then I'll have to make no excuses about my car. ;)
 

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I have seen nothing to suggest that a Ford is a better built car; I don't think that Ford ever wanted to build good cars; they just wanted to sell lots of cars. and comparing Fiat of today with Fiat of 1975 is not relevant. I like the new Fiesta, but remember that the same company told us the tempo/ topaz, taurus/ sable, pinto were good cars. They were not. Detroit simply does not have a credible record. I would buy any Fiat before I would buy any Chrysler product. Turbo mirrors and full-race ashtrays have been the staples of the Detroit engineering departments for many years. Remember the cars labeled 'ES' for 'European Sport'? Some black trim made all the difference.

And I am not alone in this opinion it appears. The long term ascendancy of Toyota supports that feeling, and the recent very strong growth of KIA and Hyundai also demonstrates that even Americans have lost faith with Detroit products. Fiat is the tenth largest car manufacturer in the world. Yes, Ford and GM are bigger, but Fiat doesn't sell (until now) in the US, the largest market in the world. I doubt they make junk and sell in markets competing with other very well engineered cars, large and small.

I have no reason to believe that a company that wants to sell 15 mpg trucks at huge profits will build efficient, economical, durable cars until there is no other option for them. It just is not in the Detroit DNA. I've had several Fiats in the past, and in my experience, they were as mechanically sound as VW's I've had. Yes, really. Durable, reliable, and no rustier than Honda's of the 1970's. An Olds and a Ford we had years ago were pitiful pieces of crude junk.

RoadDad: I do not discount your assessment of seat releases, or phone connectivity, but every mechanical device has flaws. The measure of the company is not that they have problems, but rather, how they respond to the problems. Let's see how they deliver before we assume that they cannot. VW slots in ahead of Ford, by the way.

The Fiesta is an excellent car, as is the Mazda 2, the new VW Jetta and the Honda Fit. Each can be had for a price similar to the 500. Hyundai's as well, but they are not the same class of car in my opinion for this cars in this price range (yes, yes, I know, the Sonata...). But we buy the Fiat because it is beautifully designed (rather than cute) and because it, more than the others, embodies a traditional European design attitude. And it offers a driving experience that no other car available in north America does. Yes, also different from the Mini.

Will the 500 fail? I sincerely hope not, because it is a good car, and a beautiful design. It does not require that the other small car options fail. I suspect Mr. Mulally knows he is trying to convince the North American public that his company can actually build good small cars. Frankly, their record is not convincing.
 

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Fiesta buyers are trying to squeeze as much into a car for their dollar as possible, thus 4 doors and a hatch. High school and college starter car. Both my daughters complained that the MINI and the 2 door Focus hatch we had for them were a pain because no rear doors. But that was our strategy-did not want our cars to be the general transport for all of their friends.

Ford will sell a lot of them now that Focus prices have been adjusted above Fiesta. I think the FIAT buyer is different, balancing style with practicality. Probably a slightly more mature and sophisticated buyer. FIAT will sell not die, but not as much as Fiesta or Focus, IMHO.
 
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