No It Isn't The End of Fiat in the USA.

Photo courtesy of Fiat

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced the end of Fiat 500 production in North America  on September 3, 2019. Some took this announcement as the total withdrawal of Fiat from North America. Maybe or maybe not.

Fiat will still sell the 124 sports car, the 500X, and 500L. 

The Fiat 500 was first introduced in 2007 - that is a couple of lifetimes ago in car speak. 

I haven't tested a 500 in a few years but it was a car I enjoyed, especially the Abarth version. I considered buying one but as someone who cannot afford multiple vehicles I decided that when we buy it will be something larger with more utility. It is a small car - under twelve feet in length - and for me that was a big part of the appeal. Despite being small the two front seats were comfortable and the cushion height of 25.6" made it easy to get in and out of. But maybe its size was a detriment for many potential buyers.

Its small rival, the Mini Cooper, is almost a full foot longer. In the cut and thrust of our freeways the 500 may have felt too vulnerable to some prospective customers. 

Maybe there was lingering doubt about a Fiat's reliability although their problems were in the distant past. I heard snide remarks from other auto makers about Fiat. I can't say one way or the other how reliable the 500 was, I just don't have any first-hand experience. All I know is that the Fiat 500 was a fun car to drive.

I don't know if anyone should read too much into the end of the 500's production in N.A. Very few car companies keep a model around as long as the 500. Fiat builds a wide variety of models in Europe. Maybe there is a replacement for the 500 in there somewhere.


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