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Fiat Loses $14,000 Every Time Someone Buys Their Electric Car

Illustration for article titled Fiat Loses $14,000 Every Time Someone Buys Their Electric Car

They say that every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. Similarly, every time someone buys an electric Fiat 500e, Sergio Marchionne loses $14,000.

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That's what Marchionne, the Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles CEO famous for his off-the-cuff remarks, said this morning on a panel about the after-effects of the bailout at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

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It's not often the CEO of an automaker tells you he'd rather you not buy one of his cars.

"If you are considering buying a 500e, I hope you don't buy it, because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000," Marchionne said.

The 500e is fun, tossable and torque-y, and it gets the electric equivalent of 116 MPG. Unfortunately, Fiat-Chrysler takes a bath on every one they sell. Last year Marchionne said they will lose $10,000 on every 500e sold, making it hard to do on a large scale. "Industrial masochism" is the term he used then. This guy!

It's not clear why the losses have increased by $4,000 since then, but production costs for the 500e remain quite high for Fiat-Chrysler. The car is sold for $32,300 before incentives, and can be leased for just $199 a month.

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Luckily, the losses shouldn't be too substantial. You can only buy a 500e in California at the moment, and that's largely because of the state's zero emission vehicle mandate.

Well, now we know how to bankrupt Fiat-Chrysler if we have to: We all go to California and buy 500e's. Good to know, I guess.

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tommcparland
Tom McParland