The late Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne famously told people not to buy the Fiat 500e, as each one loses Fiat $14,000. Were he still around, he’d be happy to see a new report from Autoblog that the Fiat 500e is dead in America after this year. But so are the 500, 500 Cabrio and 500 Abarth.
The plucky Italian microcar has not been fully redesigned since its reintroduction in 2007. At the time, Fiat had not yet returned to America. Following the merger of Fiat and Chrysler to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, FCA brought the 500 stateside in 2011.
The car is iconic for the brand, a recreation of the 1950s Italian people’s car. With the Volkswagen Beetle also dying after the 2019 model year, it hasn’t been a great year for retro cars of the people.
Sales have steadily declined for the 500 since 2012 when Fiat moved 46,999 500s. Last year, Fiat sold just 5,370 500s.
An old design, shrinking car marketing, poor dealer network and questionable reputation for reliability certainly didn’t help the car’s case in the U.S. Shockingly, it wasn’t the worst seller of Fiat’s four models. The 500L, Autoblog points out, recorded only 399 sales through June of this year. During the same period, 1,672 500s were sold.
And yet the 500L wagon-type thing lives on, as does the 500X crossover. Fiat also sells the 124 Spider, a rebadged Mazda MX-5 Miata.
Reuters has reported that Fiat is spending $788 million on the next-generation Fiat 500, which will supposedly be electric-only. It’s unclear if that car will come to the U.S.
Update: Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 at 10:46 p.m. ET: A spokesperson for Fiat Chrysler declined to comment on the report.
Update: Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 at 2:50 p.m. ET: FCA confirmed it. The Fiat 500 and 500e are dead in North America, while the 500X, 500L and 124 Spider will live to see another year.