Fiat faces a difficult future in the U.S., less than a decade after an attempted comeback.
The Italian car brand and arguable style icon is suffering from extremely low sales in a market that has less and less interest in the tiny cars that has made it famous.
In 2018, Fiat sold more than 15,000 cars in the U.S., down from a high in 2014 of over 46,000. When the brand had first returned to the U.S. in 2010 after a 27-year absence, Fiat Chrysler and the late Sergio Marchionne, who served as CEO, had hoped to sell 50,000 Fiats in the country in its first year.
At the center of that strategy was the Fiat 500, a small but stylish city car that was invented in the years following World War II as a practical car for the masses of Europe. Over the years, the 500 has become something of a legend of automotive design, even earning a spot in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection in New York.
“I think [Marchionne] wanted the Fiat 500 to be the Volkswagen Beetle of the Fiat brand,” said Jeff…