Ciao, Fiat 500! Instead of giving it a much-needed refresh, Fiat Chrysler is pulling the cute two-door car out of the North American market after the 2019 model year, including the adorable 500 convertible, 500e EV, and mighty-mite 500 Abarth models. Here’s the official statement from the maker:
“Fiat will discontinue production of the current-generation Fiat 500 and 500e in North America. Current inventory of the 2019 Fiat 500 and 500e will last into 2020. In North America, Fiat will continue to offer the new Italian-designed, fun-to-drive Fiat 500X all-wheel compact crossover, the Fiat 124 Spider roadster and the five-passenger Fiat 500L utility vehicle.”
The retro 500 has been offered in the U.S. since 2011 as a 2012 model; the car initially launched in Europe in 2007. Sales were good at first, with nearly 47,000 sold in 2012. But the numbers began a precipitous slide soon thereafter, and just 1,692 were tallied for 2019 through June. The 500 joins the VW Beetle, Smart brand, and Audi TT among the recent dead, either globally or in the U.S.
This news is yet another sign that America’s taste for bigger cars and trucks continues with no end in sight. The 500’s 1.4-liter turbocharged engine got a power bump from 101 to 135 hp and 97 to 150 lb-ft of torque last year, but it was a case of too little, too late. Per FCA’s statement, if you still want to buy a 500, there should be plenty of inventory on dealer lots until 2020, and we’d recommend trying to find a deal on an Abarth with a five-speed manual—that’s the variant we’ll miss.
Source: WORLD NEWS