Fiat kills 500L compact, 124 Spider roadster in United States

Exterior of 2020 Fiat 500L Trekking. (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles/TNS)
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Breana Noble The Detroit News (TNS)

The Fiat brand will be down to just one vehicle in the United States after cutting the 500L compact car and 124 Spider roadster from its 2021 lineup.

That leaves just the 500X crossover in the Italian brand’s lineup, a blow to the ambitions of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ late CEO, Sergio Marchionne, who returned the small-car brand in 2011 to North America after a 27-year hiatus.

Now though, bigger is better, Americans say, as demand increases for pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers.

Fiat in the first three-quarters of the year sold just 392 500L cars, down 35% year-over-year. It sold 1,385 Spiders, down 37%. The 1,130 500X sales were down 46%. All three are made in and shipped from Europe.

Ram truck sales have fallen just 13%, and the Jeep SUV brand’s decreased by 17%.

FCA executives call the company a “house of brands” with each geared toward a specific niche. Approximately 80% of Fiat dealers are combined with other more popular brands like Jeep, Ram and Chrysler. Fiat also often is paired with Alfa Romeo.

Dodge in 2021 is paring down its lineup, as well, by cutting the Grand Caravan minivan and Journey SUV to hone its performance appeal. That leaves it with the Charger and Challenger muscle cars and the Durango SUV.

Fiat, meanwhile, has expanded its portfolio elsewhere, including the new electric 500 and hybrid Panda city cars in Europe.

The 2021 Fiat 500X in the United States starts at $24,840 plus $1,495 destination, the automaker said this week.

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