Fiat Reportedly to Export 4-Door 500 Small Car to North America; No ETA Disclosed

By Scott Doggett April 19, 2010

Fiat-500-in-a-four-door.jpgFiat will export a four-door version of the 500 small car to North America, Automotive News Europe reported today, citing three company sources.
 
The vehicle, which we assume would be fuel efficient given the emphasis Fiat is placing on making the two-door model fuel efficient, will appear in Europe at the end of 2011. Timing for the United States is still uncertain. Chrysler Group has not decided how many of its dealerships will sell Fiats.

Chrysler also may bring a subcompact sedan to North America from a factory Fiat owns in Serbia, Automotive News Europe reported.

On Wednesday, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, and other executives will spell out Fiat's five-year plan. The arrival in North America of the four-door 500 may or may not be announced, sources said, but it has been approved.

The four-door version of the Fiat 500 is code-named L0. The vehicle would be classified as a small minivan in Europe because it has a hatch in the rear and a high roof. In Europe it will compete with other small minivans, such as the Opel Meriva.

Fiat will build the vehicle for export at its Mirafiori plant in Turin on a longer and wider platform than the two-door 500. North American versions of the two-door 500 will be built at Chrysler's factory in Toluca, Mexico.

The four-door vehicle would be the fourth addition to the Fiat 500 lineup in North America:

  • Fiat will start making the 500 two-door in Toluca in the fourth quarter of this year.
  • In 2011 Fiat will begin selling the convertible version of the 500 in North America.
  • In 2012, Fiat will launch the performance version of the 500, marketed under the Abarth brand.
Chrysler, which is also working on an all-electric Fiat 500, is considering bringing a Fiat-engineered subcompact sedan from Serbia to North America under the Chrysler brand. The Chrysler brand product plan, unveiled in November, called for a Fiat-derived subcompact sedan to be imported in 2013. The vehicle would be built in Kragujevac, Serbia, where Serbian automaker Zastava Automobili once made the Yugo.

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dieseldude2 says: 11:25 AM, 04.19.10

Let's hope Fiat/Chrysler brings this car to the U.S. with a clean diesel option for even better fuel economy.

Back in 2002 the U.S. EPA estimated that if one-third of all vehicles in the U.S. were clean diesel, we could eliminate oil imports from Saudi Arabia. This still holds true. Until we get to the point when everyone is driving some sort of electric drive, we really should be trying to reduce our fuel consumption every way possible with existing technology:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUVpfcStWAg&feature=player_embedded#!

Scott Doggett says: 12:46 PM, 04.19.10

Hey DieselDude2,
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the top-five sources of U.S. crude oil imports for January (the most recent month for which figures were available) were Canada (1.882 million barrels per day), Mexico (1.033 million barrels per day), Nigeria (0.996 million barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (0.958 million barrels per day) and Venezuela (0.827 million barrels per day). And, no, I'm not saying the Canadians have us over a barrel, so to speak.
GotZip

dieseldude2 says: 2:59 PM, 04.19.10

Hey Scott,

Thanks for that. No argument from here. My point is that we need to reduce oil imports - period. I was just using that old line to make the point that diesel vehicles can definitely help.

Cheers

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