There's a window of opportunity for the Italians to top the Japanese but it's closing quickly.
The Fiat 124 Spider went on sale in June, and since then we’ve been wondering if the Italian roadster would be able to outsell the Mazda MX-5 on which it is based. Well, October’s sales numbers are out and the race between the two cars couldn’t be any tighter. The 124 Spider moved 444 units last month, right behind the Miata’s 505 sales. Losing always sucks, but losing by 61 sales is nothing for Fiat to be ashamed of. So, should Mazda be worried? The answer to that question unfortunately isn’t so black and white.
For starters, this was the 124 Spider’s worst sales month of the year; in June only one sale was officially recorded. But almost beating your competitor on your worst sales month is cause for celebration, right? Well, it turns out October was the MX-5’s worst sales month of the year as well. In fact, total units moved are down a whopping 53.5% when compared to the numbers from October 2015. That being said, don’t write the little Japanese roadster’s eulogy just yet. Overall the MX-5 is doing better year-to-date numbers through October 2016 than it was through October 2015 (8,345 sales vs. 7,153). Despite what the numbers suggest we still think there’s a chance the Fiat 124 Spider could outsell the MX-5 this year.
Both cars are going to lose buyers during winter, but only one automaker is offering cash incentives, albeit just through the month of November (so far). That would be Fiat, which is throwing $500 at customers. Previously the entry-level 124 Spider was the only trim level that cost more than its MX-5 counterpart. That’s no longer the case. The Fiat was already more powerful than the Mazda and equally as good looking. Now it’s $500 cheaper, and that may sway some buyers to siding with the Italians. The 124 Spider has a legitimate chance to overtake the Miata but it will need to move quickly. Deliveries of the absolutely stunning MX-5 RF begin in early 2017, at which time the window should slam shut on Fiat’s fingertips for good.