We'll miss you most of all, Cinquecento.
There was a part of us that didn't want to believe the signs we were reading that pointed towards Fiat pulling the 500 out of the North American market. But FCA has confirmed that to be precisely the case, and that part of us – the part that loves charismatic little hatchbacks – is sad to report on its demise.
"Fiat will discontinue production of the current-generation Fiat 500 and 500e in North America," reads the official statement, putting the matter to rest and confirming in the process that the decision extends to the electric version as well.
The Abarth models being marketed here as versions of the standard Cinquecento (rather than a separate model line as they are overseas) are going with it. And the canvas-roofed 500C, too.
Not that we can really blame the bean-counters in Auburn Hills, mind you. While the retro hatchback has proven a hot seller overseas, sales of the 500 line in America have dropped off dramatically in recent years, from a high of 43,772 in 2012 to just 5,370 last year. That's little over half the number of Dodge Darts and a quarter of the Chrysler 200s it sold in 2017 before pulling the plug on both.
"Current inventory of the 2019 Fiat 500 and 500e will last into 2020," said FCA. So if you want to get your hands on one before they're gone, you still have some time. But after that, the Fiat brand's lineup will be reduced to the 500X crossover, 500L minivan, and 124 Spider.
This may not spell the demise of the Cinquecento on these shores altogether, though, as Fiat's expected to roll out a completely new model next year. And if enough customers express their dismay at the 500's departure, and with enthusiasm for its successor, we may get a crack at the new one.
Join The Discussion