Sales figures all point to one sad reality.
Fiat Chrysler has announced a slate of updates for the 2020 model year. And most of it is information we already knew. But noticeably absent from the new lineup is one of the automaker's core models.
As Autoblog reports, all forms of the little Fiat 500 are being discontinued in the United States for 2020. That includes both the hatchback and quasi-convertible models – and yes, we regret to confirm, the Abarth performance versions as well. So there goes not only the model that relaunched the Fiat brand in America a decade ago, but one of our favorite little hot hatches along with it.
The move, while potentially surprising on the surface, makes sense when you look at the 500's sales performance in America. Where Fiat sold over 40,000 Cinquecentos here in 2012, sales have fallen with each passing year. Last year it sold just over 5,000 of them in the US.
The apparent departure of the 500 – which would ostensibly also take the battery-powered 500e with it – leaves Fiat's US lineup populated only by the 500X crossover, 500L minivan, and 124 Spider. Of those, only the 124 is offered in Abarth spec, and that model's days being numbered, the Scorpion sub-brand looks to be on shaky ground as well.
The big question on our mind is whether the Fiat 500 will see a replacement on these shores. FCA is expected to reveal an all-new Cinquecento at the Geneva Motor Show next year as a purely electric vehicle to replace the 500e. Whether that model will eventually be offered in America, we couldn't say.
Chrysler's former owners at Daimler, for their part, have been reconfiguring the Smart brand with an electric-only lineup, but abandoned the US marked in the process. Whether FCA will find the business case that Daimler apparently hasn't, we suppose, we'll find out sooner or later. But for now we'll miss the 500 in all its retro quirkiness.