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Old 03-11-2011, 08:20 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Fiat 500 Will Fail, Says Ford CEO Alan Mulally


For all the hype surrounding the Fiat 500, Fords CEO, Alan Mulally, has become one of its most prominent detractors, condemning the car to failure before its even launched

Quote:
Speaking to the Italian language magazine Panorama, Mulally remarked I do not see large market in the U.S.A. for a smaller car than the Fiesta. Those that tried failed.
While Mulally declined to comment further, its not unreasonable to expect such comments coming from the head of a rival firm. Not to mention, the Smart ForTwo has enjoyed dismal success in America, with sales dropping to a fifth of their highest levels in 2008
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:49 AM   #2
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I'll buy the part about the 'rival firm' explanation. Anybody who thinks the smart fortwo failing means all small cars will fail is an idiot. the smart doesn't get gas mileage as good as its size indicates it should, and it costs a buttload more than it should. as long as the 500 avoids those two problems, then its success or failure will have NOTHING to do with the reasons the smart sucks.

I will buy it's not going to be a huge success, though. it doesn't have much going for it other than 'cuteness', which is subjective, and i don't think it has much of anyway. the fiesta is a great little car. stylish too. kia and hyundai also have cheap small cars, and great warranty stuff to go with them. i see those as more important as why the 500 won't sell like hotcakes.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:57 AM   #3
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He's right. And higher mpg numbers in general are going to further weaken sales of sub-compacts and micro cars. The new Focus that is larger than the Fit and Yaris is going to get better mpg. If they have a real game changer, like an electric with a 400 mile range, that could change things.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:01 AM   #4
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The 500 will enjoy hige initial sales, but after a 6-12 months I bet sales will drop dramatically.
Definitely not as low as the Smart, but low enough that hopefully they'll bring us the Abarth to bump interest up.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:34 AM   #5
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I think it can enjoy the same success as the Mini without a problem. The real determining factor will be the initial year quality and reliability. If they nail that then they should be fine IMO.

-Mike.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:05 AM   #6
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One followed me on the the highway yesterday, I didn't think they were available yet?
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:11 AM   #7
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i might have to change my opinion on these as i see them coming out, but are the driving dynamics the same? how does this car compare to other cars in it's price range? the mini wasn't marketed as small. it was marketed as fun.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowphun View Post
One followed me on the the highway yesterday, I didn't think they were available yet?
I don't think so, but I've seen cars with MFR plates in Denver, Chicago, and across Michigan.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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I wish it would be a hit, but sadly, i don't think it will sell like hot cakes



I like were your heads at ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by justincredible View Post
The 500 will enjoy hige initial sales, but after a 6-12 months I bet sales will drop dramatically.
Definitely not as low as the Smart, but low enough that hopefully they'll bring us the Abarth to bump interest up.
One can only hope
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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I think what separates the 500 from the ForTwo is seating capacity. That alone has a huge influence on American buyers. Plus fold down the rear seats and it actually has some cargo capacity, unlike the ForTwo.

I would not call it huge volume seller but a niche market. It will see good initial sales but level out to the niche market. It will see good sales if gas prices continue to rise. And or course, pricing and reliability will be key.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:50 AM   #11
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Isn't Alan Mulally's Ka built on the same line as the Fiat 500 in Poland for Europe?

At the same time, I'm sure he'll gladly sell you a Fiesta instead.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:53 AM   #12
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I was extremely excited about the 500. Then I sat in one at the autoshow. The thing is a POS. Everything was falling apart.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:02 PM   #13
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The 500 is too small for the American market, I noticed that when I saw it at an auto show. That seems to be the consensus when polling the younger consumer base. So look for it to be bigger in the next generation.

To be fair, I love the Fiesta, but I don't think it's been a blockbuster in terms of sales. I see more new Imprezas/WRX's than Fiestas motoring around these days.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:10 PM   #14
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The Fiat 500 is a Tiny car and he is right will never make it in USA when you can buy a Japanese or Korean import for same price that is twice the size.
Come to think of it, if gas goes to $5. a gallon I might just buy one : )


Last edited by Masterauto; 03-13-2011 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justincredible View Post
The 500 will enjoy hige initial sales, but after a 6-12 months I bet sales will drop dramatically.
i said the same about rx-8 but apparently ppl are still buying them... kind of
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:36 PM   #16
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Mini has done well so I don't think you can dismiss the segment, the 500 may have the appeal and with it being Italian which most in the US can't afford (Ferarri, Maserati, etc) may have some appeal as well.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyeflyistheeye
Isn't Alan Mulally's Ka built on the same line as the Fiat 500 in Poland for Europe?
maybe that's why he feels it won't succeed in the USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuggernautTCW

i said the same about rx-8 but apparently ppl are still buying them... kind of
not nearly enough since mazda gave it the ax

Quote:
Originally Posted by design1stcode2nd
Mini has done well so I don't think you can dismiss the segment, the 500 may have the appeal and with it being Italian which most in the US can't afford (Ferarri, Maserati, etc) may have some appeal as well.
being italian might also scare people away. how much will maintenance and replacement parts cost?
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:26 PM   #18
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Wow, Ford's CEO did not have anything nice to say about a competitors product......how shocking and newsworthy.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSubaab View Post
Wow, Ford's CEO did not have anything nice to say about a competitors product......how shocking and newsworthy.
untrue. Mulally is probably one of the most honest CEOs i have had the opportunity to interact and talk to.

He brings up some very valid points. however, 25-40k units a year could be successful, whereas for him 100k units a year is the min for success.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaabaru View Post
i might have to change my opinion on these as i see them coming out, but are the driving dynamics the same? how does this car compare to other cars in it's price range? the mini wasn't marketed as small. it was marketed as fun.
The MINI Cooper is much more expensive and has a better suspension and way more options.

The 500 is stylish and most of it's options are along those lines. It's softer in response and ride than the Cooper.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowphun View Post
One followed me on the the highway yesterday, I didn't think they were available yet?

I think there was an initial run of 500 vehicles that were made available to the Fiat USA owners first, and all of them were sold.
I believe that the delivery for those was estimated for January of this year so you probably saw one of them
I saw one on I-76 in Colorado on Christmas Eve when we were on our way to Denver. It was a young 30ish guy.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhat View Post
being italian might also scare people away. how much will maintenance and replacement parts cost?
Fix it again, Tony!
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:45 PM   #23
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The MINI Cooper is much more expensive and has a better suspension and way more options.

The 500 is stylish and most of it's options are along those lines. It's softer in response and ride than the Cooper.
does this also hold true for the base cooper? And as for styling, I don't think most americans will think it's cool the way I do. Stylish, sure...but not the kind of stylish I want to buy. Like a great girl your buddy's in love with, but you don't see it. You get along great, even double date, but you'd never want her for yourself.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
The 500 is stylish and most of it's options are along those lines.
It's got a decidedly feminine appeal, which puts it in a niche of a niche. The size alone will kill the sale for a large segment of the population, the design will kill it for a large percentage of everyone else. I'd guess it will ultimately out-sell the Fortwo, but it won't get anywhere near the traction the Mini Cooper has.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:55 PM   #25
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I don't think it's going to fail, but I don't see it being nearly as successful as Ford Fiesta sized cars in the USA. I'd rather drive something a little bigger and get almost the same economy anyway.

Prime example is I am PRAYING we get the 1.6t Fiesta but 500 Abarath? Not so excited.
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