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Fiat 500 leaving Toluca after final November run (updated)

by David Zatz on

Fiat announced today that it will stop making the little 500, its flagship car, in North America (a move that also affects the 500e and presumably the convertible 500C). The company reported that “Current inventory of the 2019 Fiat 500 and 500e will last into 2020.” — which is no surprise given ever-dropping sales figures. (Update: According to Detroit News, production will actually continue into November 2019, indicating that Fiat North America is not relying on slow sales to keep the small cars on dealer lots.)

Battery-electric 500e is leaving along with the gasoline 500

The continued sales drop of the Fiat 500 was something of a surprise to many people, since the company threw in a turbocharged engine in its final year and provided a good value overall. However, the small-car category has been having trouble, and even well-established cars like the Toyota Corolla and Mini have been struggling. (Toyota loaded up the Corolla with everything from LED headlights to advanced safety systems without raising the price, in a move parallel to Fiat’s.)

Fiat continues to make and sell the little 500 in other places, and will still import the 2020 Fiat 500X, 500L, and Mazda-built, Fiat-powered 124 Spider.  FCA is expected to import European-made Fiat 500s once the current inventory of North American-made cars runs dry.  The plant where the 500 was made, in Toluca, Mexico, makes the Jeep Compass and Dodge Journey; Journey production is expected to be stopped in the near future as well, with rumors pointing to a modified, Chrysler-badged Grand Commander as its replacement.  Whether the plant will get that vehicle (which could probably be made more easily alongside the Cherokee) or not, only FCA leaders know—and they might not know yet, either. Another possibility is the Neon-badged Fiat Tipo, sold in Mexico.

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