U.S. Fiat 500 Sales Fail to Meet Expectations

Industry News / Comments

Only 15,800 Fiat 500's were sold through October; well short of expectations.

There was much fanfare surrounding the launch of the Fiat 500 in the U.S. While there was a lot of initial interest, sales just never really took off. Compared to its sales in Europe, Fiat is obviously disappointed so far in the U.S. Partly due to slow sales of the U.S.-spec 500, Laura Soave, Head of the Fiat Brand for North America, has left her job and the company. She has been replaced by Timothy Kuniskis a 19-year Chrysler veteran whose speciality is in marketing.

The surprise announcement came on the heels of those disappointing results for the first year sales of the Fiat 500 in the U.S. Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne anticipated sales of 50,000 cars but as of October only 15,826 units were sold. Due to this lack of success, Fiat had to trim down the production levels in order to avoid an even larger inventory. In his new role, Kuniskis will be responsible for the Fiat Brand in North America which includes responsibility for all marketing, dealer networks and services. He will continue the reintroduction of the iconic brand including its newest vehicle, the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth.

"Tim brings broad expertise and leadership in dealer operations and marketing where he has been already working with the team to shape the direction of the Fiat Brand," said Marchionne. "As North American Head of Fiat, much of his immediate focus will be working with the dealer body where his fresh perspective from the operational side, as well as that on the commercial side, will begin the Fiat Brand's next chapter."

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