As with the Chrysler brand, a lot of automotive industry observers believed that Fiat, too, could be facing an impending closure here in the United States. The brand represents only a tiny portion of FCA’s US sales; last month, Fiat was far outsold by expensive, premium luxury brand Alfa Romeo, moving 1,441 units of the 124 Spider and three Fiat 500 models to Alfa’s 2,377 total unit sales.
Yet at FCA’s Capital Markets Day presentation last Friday, CEO Sergio Marchionne said nothing of any plans to shut down Fiat in the United States – and in fact, the 65-year-old executive said that the namesake brand will have a role to play in the market. That could be especially true as Fiat – like the rest of the automaker’s brands – moves toward electrification.
In 2020, the Fiat 500 will premiere two brand-new electrified powertrain setups that will later trickle up into other models: a Belted Alternator Starter (BAS) mild-hybrid system for small FWD applications, and a new compact battery-electric system, which will power an all-new Fiat 500e.
But Fiat is being kept alive in North America despite its lackluster performance, and ultimately, Marchionne anticipates the Dodge, Chrysler, and Fiat brands contributing a combined less-than-20 percent of FCA’s revenues. The executive also seems more certain of Dodge and Chrysler’s respective futures in North America than of Fiat’s, saying the former two “are not in question.”
Yet for now, at least, Fiat is safe in the US. FCA did not announce any plans to expand the brand’s offerings in the North American market; currently, it offers the 500 city car, 500X crossover, 500L MPV, and 124 Spider convertible sportscar.