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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Based on some recent articles that I've read, some recent posts here and some recent posts on another board, I've been kind of wondering if there would be any potential room in the 500 line up for a sub-Pop model of the car that might help attract more potential buyers on the lower end of the price range by competing more directly against cars like the Honda fit, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, Chevy Sonic, and the like.

I guess the main reason I was wondering is that with the base 500 being less expensive than something like the Mini, and with newer models like the 500C, Abarth, and Gucci edition already poised to expand the 500's market upward, is there any room to also explore expanding the market space downward in price as well?

For instance, I know that when the decision was made to equip all 500 models with Blue & Me, a $500 discount was often offered on early Pops that had already been delivered without it. Similarly, I've seen references to Fiat offering a $500 rebate to those who might wish to opt out of the "Fiat Forward" program. As such, it seems that it may be possible that a sub-Pop level car could maybe potentially be offered for somewhere in the $14,500 range just by maybe deleting Blue&Me and making "Fiat forward" an option instead of standard.

I'm also old enough to remember that when I had just graduated from college, many car manufacturers would offer a very baseline version of their smallest car with a reduced features and a reduced price. Specifically, sometimes these low end models would come with a smaller/simpler engine, reduced color and interior options, and black plastic instead of chrome or color matching fittings.

It seems like maybe similar features could maybe be considered for a sub-Pop version that would maintain most if not all of the overall look and feel of the car but maybe open the market up a little more to those trying to stretch their money.

Looking at the Pop right now, in addition to maybe deleting Blue & Me and/or making "Fiat Forward" an option, other thoughts (for this sub-Pop version only) could include:

- limit exterior colors to maybe 5 (Red, White, Blue, Yellow and maybe Black or Silver?)

- limit the interior to only one color scheme

- maybe use an even more basic/simpler radio (with fewer speakers) than the base Pop radio

- maybe eliminate the rear window wiper

- replace all the chrome and any body color fittings (such as the rear view mirror covers) with black fittings regardless of the car color

- maybe even simplifying the interior seating arrangements (such as replacing the 50/50 split rear seats with a single full width fold down seat 9reducing the number of hinge assemblies and such)

- maybe even exploring a different engine (such as maybe a non multi-air version of the current 1.4L)

Overall, maybe not all these ideas would be needed, but I was just wondering if they (or some combination of them) might allow for a sub-Pop version in the mid to upper $13K range that might further allow for expanding the car into other market areas.

Anyway, I was just wondering what others might think or if they might have additional, or other, ideas as well.

Regards

Pat
 

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Interesting thought. Problem is some detractors think the car should cost 15K loaded.
 

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Might as well do away with all interior trim, power steering, a/c, radio, rear seat, etc. Give us a stripped down version. But they would probably charge more...
 

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I think the base Pop is priced lower than the base price for the Sonic Hatchback. Maybe a little higher than the Sonic Sedan. I'm pretty sure the Pop will be considerably higher than the Spark Hatchback when it's introduced.
 

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I would've bought one if it was about $1k less.

But at the same time, there are drawbacks to setting the price too low. It may give the car a "cheap" image, which I'm sure FIAT is trying to avoid.
 

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the current pop model is already in line with prices of all those subcompacts, and the closest studios around here are already discounting it down below $15k, and that includes destination.
 

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I just checked the local Hyundai dealer website. The least expensive Accent on their lot is a base 6-speed for about $15,000.00. This doesn't include many of the features of the Pop but is a nice enough small car.

But what you don't get is choices. They have only one unit in boring dark grey. One thing about the Pop is that you get plenty of choices and a number of options available and quite a few items that are standard, items unavailable in the Accent.

Don't get me wrong, I've owned an Accent and numerous other Hyundais and like the brand. But if you are talking purely price, dollar for dollar, Fiat can compete with anyone. As I stated on another thread, it's a marketing thing. Rebates for recent grads, military discount, holding events on campus, ads in college newspapers, etc. should get Fiat into that particular demographic.
 

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In Canada our Pop comes without A/C. Interestingly it still costs $15995+1400destination. Seems car companies are still gouging Canadian consumers.
 

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Around here (Northern VA) I've seen Accents going for $13,200 (base price), Yaris's for $12,100, and Chevy Sonic Hatchbacks for $14,300, compared to $15,200 for the 500.
My bad...Chevy website lists $14,635 as the base Sonic Hatchback price. However, I think equipped to the same level as the Pop it would be equal to if not more than the Pop.
 

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The invoice on the most base, stripped down Accent is $14,200 so the $13,000 one you are seeing has some fine print. Hyundai is offering $500 with $500 cash. Read the fine print.

I doubt you'll find any car priced more than 10% lower than a Pop when you compare comparably equipped models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi

The invoice on the most base, stripped down Accent is $14,200 so the $13,000 one you are seeing has some fine print. Hyundai is offering $500 with $500 cash. Read the fine print.

I doubt you'll find any car priced more than 10% lower than a Pop when you compare comparably equipped models.
Hi,

Actually, no the car I was looking at wasn't with any cash back. It was however (inadvertantly on my part) a sedan and not a hatchback, and to do a more accurate comparison I possibly should have selected the more expensive hatchback instead. However, it does bring up the question whether people cross shopping a Fiat are only going to consider other hatchbacks or whether they might also consider sedans as well, and/or whether they might be willing to do without a few features for a lower price (which is kind of where I was coming from when I started the thread). :)

Regards

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi,

PS. to the above posts, I didn't include all potential other cars, I was just trying to show what it appears that some other cars are currently going for in my area for reference. Looking more closely at the website I posted a link for previously, it also shows some Mazda2 Hatchbacks for as low as $13,300 as well, for example.

Regards

Pat
 

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I say no to the brand dilution that you are proposing.

Fiat is not supposed to be a no frills car in this market.
Doing so takes away all the character the car has in it for the bit of money that you pay.

There's a reason why we like the Fiat 500 more than a Toyota Yaris/Echo, Hyundai Accent, Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta, et all.

BC.
 

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Mini is positioned as a premium small car however they still have a budget model in Europe called the Mini One with a smaller engine and very spartan features. And of course in Europe, the 500 is sold with a variety of engines though I've not done my homework on how much that affects the price.
 

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Looking more closely at the website I posted a link for previously, it also shows some Mazda2 Hatchbacks for as low as $13,300 as well, for example.
Incidentally, I have one of these and it's a great car. Cost was the primary factor at the time I was shopping but I'm blown away by how well it drives. Better steering, brakes, and gearbox than the 500 Sport I test drove, although it's missing that "specialness" that the 500 has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi

I have to admit, I went back and forth a couple times over the months leading up to my purchase over whether I really wanted to spend the extra money that a base Pop would cost over what some of these other cars might cost. I have owned both Mazda's and a Hyundai Accent before, and really liked them (well actually I had a little problem with one of the Mazda's I owned, but I still felt that it was a nice car overall).

Regards

Pat
 
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