Car News

Fiat 500 Dead in North America

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has discontinued the Fiat 500 city car in North America.

In 2012, the Fiat 500 marked the return of a mainstream Italian automaker to North America after a roughly 30-year hiatus. It set its sights on the Mercedes-built Smart Fortwo with its tidy dimensions, used its retro styling to target BMW's Mini Cooper, and went after the sport compact crowd with the performance-tuned 500 Abarth. The convertible was notable for a retractable top more like a large fabric sunroof that left the car's roof rails and door pillars in place.

Fiat 500 production is ending with the 2019 model, but FCA says inventory will last into next year. Fiat built the 500 for North American consumption at its Toluca, Mexico, factory; FCA also makes the Fiat 500 in Poland for the European market.

Despite updates and upgrades, sales of the tiny 500 dropped off dramatically in the years following its arrival as the brand focused its attention on higher-profile models like the 500X crossover and the 124 Spider roadster. The Fiat 500 is also survived by the 500L compact wagon.