What Can The Fiat 500L Do For Fiat USA?

2014 Fiat 500L black on white
Let's assume for a moment that the new Fiat 500L will undercut the Mini Countryman in price, just as the 500 undercuts the Cooper. With that assumption in mind, we'll assume that the stylistically-challenged Fiat 500L might sell at least as often as the Countryman. 

The 500L is only available with front-wheel-drive. Even the Mini is only available with all-wheel-drive at the top of lineup. Neither car is a faithful design follower of the iconic original; the Fiat less so. Neither car is particularly quick. Both cars feature highly stylized interiors, neither of which is roomy like a proper SUV. By Mini standards, the Countryman isn't pretty. By car standards, the Fiat is ill-proportioned.

Regardless of their stark differences and apparent similarities, it's safe to project approximately 20,000 annual U.S. sales for the 500L, based on the Mini Countryman's total. Fiat USA will likely sell around 43,000 500s in 2012.

If the 500L can find 20,000 buyers in 2013 while selling another 43,000 500 hatchbacks, where does this position the Fiat brand?

Strictly judged by volume,  Fiat would only barely be trailing Mini. Fiat would be selling nearly as many cars as Volvo and would be selling twice as many vehicles as Porsche. 
Even if the 500L becomes a 20,000-units type of vehicle, Fiat won't sell 20,000 in what will be an abbreviated 2013 launch year. Yet we can still expect to see Fiat's 2013 year-end volume climbing at least 40% even if the 500 posts no year-over-year sales increase.

Check out historic monthly and yearly sales figures for the regular Fiat 500, Mini Cooper range, Mini Countryman, and any other vehicle or brand by making your selection at GCBC's Sales Stats home. U.S. brand rankings, where Fiat ranked 29th in October and Mini ranked 24th, can be accessed here.

8 comments:

  1. Fiat says 40k of its 2013 production will go to NA. Usa counts for bit less of 80% of Fiat sales in NA. The 500L will arrive in mid 2013.

    --->Fiat's forecasting 4-5k per month.

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  2. Fiat also forecast 50,000 500 sales for 2011. They sold less than 20K.

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  3. Gotta get your figures updated. This year they will seel around 55k in NA.

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  4. The 20K is accurate for 2011. To sell 55,000 in the U.S. in 2012 they would need to sell an average of 9269 units in November and December, which would be more than double their highest monthly total (4176) so far. Seems unlikely.

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  5. That's why I said North America not US (since the 50k forecast referred to NA not just US). Anyway we're talking about 43k in US...quite successful for and A segment (sub-subcompact)if you ask me.

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  6. Are you saying that judging it by N.A. numbers means Fiat met its 2011 forecast? Fiat sold half its forecasted figures whether you call it American or North American in 2011. One way or another the point I am making is that history says their forecasts are meaningless.

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  7. Missed forecast for 2011 and achieved it one year later (plus 2011 was half year of sales). Meaningless forecasts? I wish all automakers could get so close to their meaningless forecasts.

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  8. Charles Lowe6/07/2013 11:04 pm

    .I think the 500L is a lovely car,but I love my 500 Abarh.I can see some 500 owners moving up the the L.I hope they got it right, and that sales will out do the Mini and VW Beetle.It should not take as long as the 500 did to get off to a good start.The 500 was the coming back to the USA for Fiat,now that Fiat has made a good return the L should be easier to sell..

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