The new model Fiat 500 is a three door vehicle that's under 12 feet long. The car was expected to be a big seller in the U.S., rivaling BMW’s Mini. Even before the car’s launch, however, detractors were predicting failure.
Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford (F), stated in Panorama magazine, “I do not see large market in the U.S.A. for a smaller car than the Fiesta. Those that tried failed.”
He was right. According to online magazine DailyTech, “Fiat expected to sell 50,000 500s during 2011 in North America. Through the first seven months of 2011, Fiat sold fewer than 12,000.” Sales were so poor that Chrysler Group, which manages the Fiat brand in the United States, ousted U.S. chief Laura Soave this past November.