Fiat Temporarily Stops 500L Production

Fiat 500L 1 photo
Photo: Fiat
Does it surprise you? When someone at Fiat decided to name a family-oriented mini MPV the 500L and then the company put it on sale in 2012, many voices hinted that gluing an L next to the iconic 500 name isn't a sure shot recipe to big sales. It was a bad idea to put the 500 in the same boat with the 500L.
Moreover, while both models share a few dominant stylistic cues, the two are very different cars. Not even the underpinnings are shared - the 500 uses the Fiat Mini platform, while the 500L is built on the GM Fiat Small platform. And you know what some people say - beauty is only skin deep, and that's an idiom that also applies to the automotive world.

It only took two years for the inevitable to happen. The brand announced that the 500L will stop production at the Kragujevac plant in Serbia, the only facility that makes the thing. However, the Italian manufacturer didn't come clean with the temporary production halt. According to Fiat's statement, this matter is "related to the situation in the European and global automotive markets," which happen to revert back to new car sales volumes we haven't seen since the financial crisis came in 2008.

Sorry Fiat, but that argument doesn't really stand. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, some say, and this author thinks that the 500L looks pretty cool for a family-oriented car. But looks aren't enough to win the sales game, just like the 500 moniker isn't enough of a solution to raise the appeal of this nameplate. As a primary example of that, we'll mention that in the first eight months of 2014, the 500L, including siblings such as the 500L Trekking and 500L Beats Edition, sold a little over 8,000 examples.

Here's hope the upcoming Fiat 500X CUV will be a better proposition for the new car customer, both in Europe and on the other side of the pond. Last but not least, Fiat hasn't disclosed the date when production of the quirky 500L will recrudesce.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories