The FIAT brand has struggled in both the United States and Canadian markets. While the Italian brand has been successful in certain areas in Europe as well as Latin America, there have been a lot of questions regarding the future of the brand itself. Recently, FIAT introduced its all-new approach to the future city car with the electrified 2021 Fiat 500, and it shows a small glimpse into what the brand may be heading into the near future.
A recent report from AutoExpress is stating that the Italian automaker could be merging two of its two slow-selling vehicles into one. In a recent interview, Head of the FIAT brand, Olivier François told the British publication, that both vehicles could be merged into one electrified “500XL” vehicle.
“We need to think of the next generation with the same approach to the consumer that makes a lot of sense in an all-electric version, with a body that is obviously more relevant and in fashion. We’re thinking maybe a blend of the X and L is the way ahead, at the end of the day. But it is not for the near future – and when I say near, I mean not by the end of this year, for sure”, said François.
The lackluster 500L has been available in the North American market and never gained any traction in the segment. In 2019, the Fiat 500L only sold 772 units in the highly competitive United States market, while only 16 units were sold in Canada. Saying that 500L has been an utter failure in the subcompact market, is an understatement.
The compact 500X crossover has seen far better success in North America, then the 500L. It is not saying much, with sales of only 2,519 in the United States and only 50 sales in Canada, despite the 2019 refresh the vehicle received. It is also far less than the 13,000 units sold during the 2016 model year in the United States and Canada.
Last year, FIAT showed off an award-winning futuristic electrified crossover with the Centoventi Concept. The Centoventi Concept is a fully-customizable vehicle, which allows the interior accessories to be installed with a unique “plug and play” system. This includes everything from the instrumental clusters, storage compartments, seats, and even child restraint systems, by the customer. The exterior of the vehicle can be wrapped in a variety of colors, while the bumpers can be customized, and various types of roof options could be offered.
The innovative concept led many to believe that the Centoventi Concept could be headed to production. But we do expect a replacement for both the 500L and 500X to be making a debut in about 18 months.