Fiat sold a total of 2,594 cars last month, down 20% compared to the same month last year. Terrible weather throughout a large portion of the country along with a January with two fewer selling days versus the year before took its toll on sales this month. On top of that, January 2015 had record sales, so it was always going to be a tough month to match considering the bottom has fallen out of small car sales.
Ultra-low gas prices and a shift of buyer's preferences to crossovers have hit sub-compacts hard. The Fiat 500X crossover has arrived just in time but seems to have cannibalized 500L MPV sales.
Still, the 500X is selling relatively well. Consider this. During the last six months of 2015, Jeep sold 51,373 Renegades through 2,390+ dealers. In the same period, Fiat sold 9,458 500X's through only 210 dealers. One can imagine what the figures would be if Fiat had the same number of dealers as Jeep. If we extrapolate the numbers we could easily see that Fiat could have potentially sold 90,000 - 100,000 units.
Let's look at the popular Honda HRV. During the same six-month period, Honda sold 35,588 through 1,044 dealers. If Fiat had the same number of dealers selling the 500X, we theoretically could be looking at 47,000 cars.
Now obviously there is a difference in theoretical and actual sales, but there are two points here. One is that Fiat has substantially fewer dealers than most people realize. The other is you need to be careful when just looking at numbers. While actual figures would likely not be as high as the estimates, they do give an indication of how comparable sales would be if Fiat had an equal number of dealers as the competition.
Here are a few more statistics for fun:
Total sales in 2015 of cars the Fiat 500 outsold
Fiat 500 sales totaled 25,084 cars through 210 dealers
- Hyundai Veloster sales totaled 24,245 cars through 800 dealers. Estimated Fiat 500 sales could be 95,560 with 800 dealers
- Kia Rio sales totaled 23,742 cars through 755 dealers. Estimated Fiat 500 sales could be 90,184 with 755 dealers
- Mitsubishi Mirage sales totaled 21,515 through 373 dealers. Estimated Fiat 500 sales could be 44,554 with 373 dealers
- Scion tC sales totaled 16,459 cars through estimated 900 dealers. Estimated Fiat 500 sales could be 107,505 with 900 dealers
- Toyota Yaris sales totaled 16,779 through 1,200 dealers Estimated Fiat 500 sales could be 143340 with 1,200 dealers
- Volkswagen Beetle sales totaled 22,667 through 650 dealers Estimated Fiat 500 sales could be 77,643 with 650 dealers
Maybe Fiats should be sold through mainstream Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dealers? Take the poll at the top of the page and let us know what you think on the forum.
January Fiat News
Fiat is ramping up for the upcoming second quarter debut of the new 124 Spider, so keep an eye out on the official Fiat USA website, and of course, this site. We were given an in-depth preview of the car a few months ago, and it looks like it is going to be a hit.
Below is a look at the new Fiat 124 Spider, plus make sure to stop by the Fiat 124 Spider Forum for interesting discussions about the car.
Last month, Fiat 500 USA Blog examined the all-weather capability of both the Fiat 500 and Fiat 500X.
Speaking of the Blog, we are proud to mention that Fiat500USA.com hit 10 million pageviews a few weeks ago, and also celebrated its seven year anniversary in January. A big THANK YOU to all that have visited this site over the year!
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Fiat 500 Sales in the United States, January 2016
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Figures and sources: FCA US LLC. Automotive News, GoodCarBadCar.com
Images: FCA US LLC and author