The Fiat 124 shares underpinnings with the Mazda Miata, which is good, because the Miata is a great car. But what’s not good is that, according to Autocar’s interview with Fiat’s CEO with the Frenchest name in all of automobiledom, Olivier François, the current 124 probably won’t get a replacement once its production run comes to an end.
We at Jalopnik think the 124 is a fantastic little roadster, so even the thought of its disappearance makes me sweat a bit. That’s why Autocar’s interview with Olivier François has me worried. In the story, François calls the idea of a 124 successor “unlikely,” and then goes a bit more into detail:
“The 124 market is a niche one,” said François. “It is profitable business for us - but only because of the joint venture. It was an opportunity and we took it. It makes money and it adds a certain cool factor.
“But I accept that such a car may not be key to the future of the brand. It is not what I’d call a pure, absolute Fiat, but for now, it remains an interesting opportunity.”
That doesn’t sound good.
This comes after another Autocar story from earlier in the week that outlines Fiat’s future vehicle plan, which will focus on the 500-series of cars and on the Panda. The story included an interview with François about a high-level strategy meeting held at Fiat Chrysler’s facility in Turin last month. Here’s what the executive told the car website:
“For our future product plan, we need the right balance between the two dimensions: the Fiat 500 family and family transportation. There will be no big cars, no premium cars, no sporty cars because they have no legitimacy,” said François. “We will be present in the C-segment [Ford Focus class] but not much more. All models will sit within 3.5m and 4.5m. This is where Fiat will play. We need more EVs. And we need more 500 models that look legitimate enough to take higher pricing.”
If you want a sporty Fiat, it seems your time is running out. We’ve reached out to Fiat to hopefully learn that somehow this is all a misunderstanding.