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Posts Tagged ‘Fiat 500’

First Look: Updated Fiat 500

No immediate plans for U.S. market update.

by on Jul.07, 2015

The 2016 Fiat 500 gets a number of exterior and interior updates - in Europe.

While we Americans have only had access to the little Fiat 500 since the 2012 model-year, it’s been around the block for awhile – getting only modest changes since its European introduction in 2007. Considering the speed with which vehicles are being refreshed these days, that might suggest the Cinquecento is already overdue.

And, indeed, for 2016 Fiat is bringing some changes to the little car, making a number of modest exterior updates, introducing revised powertrains, and giving the 2016 Fiat 500 a much more user-friendly infotainment system based on the Uconnect system developed by the Chrysler side of the family.

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Here’s the catch: for now, the changes to the Fiat 500 are for the European market only. There’s no word if or when we’ll see the Italian maker tweak the U.S. version.

“The 500 revealed in Turin is a model produced in Europe for Europe,” explains FCA spokesman Bryan Zvibleman. “The Fiat 500 for North America will continue to be produced in Toluca, Mexico keeping the specific features for the North American market.”

So, what are you missing out on?

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First Drive: 2016 Fiat 500X

Small crossover makes big impression.

by on Apr.17, 2015

Fiat's new 500X small crossover may be the right mix of room and style to attract U.S. buyers.

Automakers are forever looking for a formula among that will win over the affections of increasingly fussy consumers.

For Fiat, which hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since it came returned to the U.S. four years ago, the challenge is perhaps more daunting if it doesn’t want to remain stuck among the also-rans in the contest for customers.

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But the Italian-brand is making progress and with the new Fiat 500X, the small crossover made in Italy, it is making a serious effort to win over the urban consumers, who are increasingly influential part of the car buying public. (more…)

Fiat Ready to Roll Out Third Member of the 500 Family

New 500X to share basic underpinnings of new Jeep Renegade.

by on Oct.02, 2014

Fiat debuted the 2015 500X, its new compact crossover, at the Paris Motor Show today.

The little Fiat family has just gotten a bit bigger, the Italian maker rolling out its long-promised 500X crossover-utility vehicle at the Paris Motor Show today.

If the look is a bit familiar, that should be no surprise. The 500X shares many of its underpinnings with both the Fiat 500L and the new Jeep Renegade, though it retains traditional Fiat styling cues.

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But Fiat is hoping that the new 500X will significantly enhance its brand appeal, especially in the U.S. market where it has been struggling to gain traction after making its return several years back. (more…)

New Car Sales Booming, But Good Deals Abound

KBB.com points out best August offers.

by on Aug.14, 2014

Looking for a good deal this month? The Fiat 500 can be gotten for as little as $99 a month, according to KBB.com.

New car and truck sales are still humming along in 2014, but if you’re searching for a deal, compact and midsize sedans are the segments where you should start the hunting.

There are deals for those looking to lease or buy, especially for the Fiat 500. Right now, according to KBB.com, a 2014 Fiat 500 can be had for as little as $99 a month for 24 months. It requires nearly $2,400 down. However, if you’re looking to buy, the same car can be had for $265 a month for 60 months using the $3,000 cash back the automaker is offering buyers.

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“Compact and midsize sedans are among the most popular segments in the United States, and this month consumers will be able to find red-hot deals on the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Cruze,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. (more…)

Chrysler Small Car Sales Slide

Maker hopes to boost demand with special editions.

by on Mar.10, 2014

Fiat hopes the 1957 Edition will help boost demand for the little 500 model.

It’s been a cold, cruel winter for the auto industry, even makers like General Motors and Toyota struggling to maintain momentum in the marketplace.  Chrysler has been one of the few automakers to remain in the black so far – but while demand has been strong for models like the Ram 1500 pickup and Jeep Cherokee, sales have been sliding like a muscle car on ice when it comes to some of the Detroit firm’s smallest passenger cars.

Demand for the once-promising Dodge Dart, in particular, has been weak enough to force a temporary shutdown of Chrysler’s Illinois assembly plant.

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The downturn is all the more striking when one considers that sales of utility vehicles and light-duty trucks have helped lift the Chrysler Group to year-over-year sales increases for 47 consecutive months — one of the longest streaks in the car business — even as rivals such as General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai lost ground.

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Smart Not Planning U.S. Version of ForFour 4-Seater

Betting a new version of the ForTwo can do the job.

by on Jan.22, 2014

Daimler AG's Smart brand will remain a one-model brand in the U.S. for the time being with the ForTwo.

Desperate to replace its aging ForTwo model and expand its appeal, Daimler AG’s Smart brand will nonetheless skip the U.S. market when it comes time to launch a second, larger minicar.

The troubled brand’s top executive told Automotive News she doesn’t think the cost of upgrading the planned ForFour model would be justified by what are likely to be modest sales, at best, in the American market.

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While a final decision has yet to be made, the likelihood that there’ll be no U.S. version of the ForFour is leaving some observers scratching their heads, especially when compared to what Smart’s competitors have been doing to expand their own appeal. (more…)

Fiat Dropping $12.3-Billion to Jump Start Europe Sales

Maker’s market share has dropped three points in four years.

by on Dec.10, 2013

Fiat is looking to pump up its European sales bolstering sales of its luxury lines, including Maserati.

Fiat SpA plans to drop $12.3 billion to breathe new life into the company’s sluggish sales in Europe. The plan is to put the Italian automaker back on the road to profitability with annual losses ending within the next three years.

The company plans to focus on jump starting the sales of its 500 subcompact and Panda small car as well as its pricier Maserati and Alfa Romeo lines, according to reports. In the past, Fiat said it planned to develop 20 new models for Europe by 2016, including eight Alfa Romeos. However, the company has repeatedly begged off providing any updates on its strategy, saying only it will provide more insight second quarter of 2014.

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In addition to the aforementioned products, it’s also introducing a lineup of Jeeps next year that will be built in Italy. Also expected is the replacement of the Fiat Punto with a five-door version of the 500, which will likely be built in Poland to save on labor costs. Wages for auto workers there are 75% lower than those in Italy. (more…)

Ford Reveals New Urban Car– er, Ka Concept

How small is too small? Ford tests the waters.

by on Nov.14, 2013

Ford brings back an old name in the form of the Brazilian-designed Ka Concept.

How small is too small? That’s something Ford is trying to find out with the unveiling of its Ka concept, a microcar design developed in Brazil that it hopes will gain some traction around the world in one of the auto industry’s fastest-growing market segments.

A good bit smaller than the current Fiesta model, the Ford concept revives a name first used on one of the maker’s more eccentric offerings in the late 1990s and targets a subcompact segment estimated to reach 6.2 million sales annually by 2017.

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The Ford Ka Concept is the second recent model developed by Ford’s Brazilian studio, following the new EcoSport that is rolling into showrooms from South American to Shanghai.

“Ford has a long history in Brazil, bringing development, jobs and growth to the region,” said the maker’s Chairman Bill Ford. “As an integral part of our global growth strategy, we are committed to bringing world-class products to Brazil and to helping the region create global vehicles for the rest of the world.”

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Fiat Ponders Future Product Options

Might microcar maker look to something bigger?

by on Jun.17, 2013

Two versions of the new Fiat 500L, the Lounge and the Trekking. The maker is now looking at future products.

With the 500L, its second distinct product line, now rolling into U.S. showrooms, Fiat is pondering where to go next.  The maker is hoping to broaden its appeal with an expanding array of microcars – but several senior officials hint that something a bit bigger could be in the cards, as well. The question now being debated internally is just how much bigger the brand can go.

After a painfully slow start, Fiat finally clicked with U.S. consumers in 2012, sales surging to 43,000, in line with earlier forecasts.  The maker is hoping that the new 500L could bump that volume up substantially, the little people-mover potentially generating as much as half of the brand’s U.S. sales, according to Jason Stoicevich, who recently took over as North American brand boss.

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He is quick to stress that doesn’t mean sales will double, as some potential Fiat buyers might switch from the little 500 coupe to the 500L – which is a full 27 inches longer and offers interior space nearly as big as the full-size Chrysler 300 sedan.

“We’re not going to set (unhealthy) numbers we have to chase,” Stoicevich told TheDetroitBureau.com during an interview in Baltimore where Fiat gave automotive journalists the first chance to drive the new 500L.  “We want to grow, but we want to be smart about it.”

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The 10 Best/Worst Vehicles for Auto Safety

Avoid small cars, according to new study.

by on Jan.30, 2013

The Fiat 500 fares poorly in new safety study.

There was once an old adage in the auto industry, “safety doesn’t sell.” Don’t try to convince today’s motorists.  Safety has, in fact, become one of the highest-ranked attributes for most car shoppers, whether they’re looking for a minivan or sports car.

So, a new study by Insure.com is likely to deliver more than a few surprises when it comes to listing the safest and least safe among 750 different vehicles now on the market.  Some of the results might seem intuitive, especially to those who equate size with safety.  The pint-sized Fiat 500 is the least-safe vehicle on the list, according to the study which was produced by Insure.com in cooperation with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  On the other hand, the GMC Sierra 1500 pickup was the top-ranked model.

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“If safety is a priority, you should avoid the smallest cars,” said IIHS spokesman Russ Rader. “Weight counts. Smaller, lighter cars are safer than they used to be, but all things being equal, people riding in bigger, heavier vehicles get more protection in crashes.”

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