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Fiat Brand Sales for February 2019
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Thread: Fiat Brand Sales for February 2019

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    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Fiat Brand Sales for February 2019



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    Overall car sales in the US were down in February, and the Fiat brand was not immune. Fiat sales in the US totaled just 616, a 50 percent decline compared to the same month last year. This is the lowest sales figure ever recorded since the brand came back in March 2011 and 18 percent lower than last month, which previously held the lowest record. According to Reid Bigland, U.S. Head of FCA...

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    Enthusiastically Slow Lifetime Member Ando's Avatar
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    Haven't seen that photo in a while!

    I got a chuckle from the top photo on the blog. Partially because it's delightfully old school, and partially because the mouseover caption reads "A 500X in the snow" I'm suddenly much more interested in the X!

    On a more serious note, fretting about sales numbers is one thing, but what keeps me away from a second (and possibly new) FIAT is the horrendous depreciation. How difficult would it be to capture "Overall percentage of MSRP" as a metric for sales? It doesn't seem like FIAT can sell anything for full price in the US, and that immediately takes away from the resale value. Has the damage been done? Have dealers slashed prices for too long and we cannot recover the perceived value of our vehicles?

    Thoughts?

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    Oops. Here's a couple of 500X pictures in the snow to make it up.





    As far as the deprecation. it's funny for the past 35 or so years, nobody ever bought a Fiat or Alfa for the depreciation factor. In fact, that was one of the buying points when buying used. You could get a lot of car for the money. For example, in 1982, my GTV6 new cost 20K. I bought it a few years later for like $7500. In 1986, Alfa lowered the price on the GTV6 to $16,500 and that also killed resale value, but it was great 'cause you could buy a car that would destroy a humdrum BMW for cheap.

    Fast forward to today, all of a sudden the value is a big deal and it is a big deal if you pay list for a car. If you get a $5-$7k discount on a new car it is less of a problem. Also, a lot of people when you ask them what they pay for a car, they'll lump all the fees and taxes into the price to inflate how much they paid, and then it is even more shocking when they see what the car is worth used. If they compare what the new car cost minus all the discounts and the resale value, it isn't as horrendous.

    Unfortunately, in this market pretty much everything is conspiring against Fiat depreciation wise. Passenger car, hatchbacks, small cars, new nameplate, ghosts of the past, etc., etc., it all adds up. It's hard to see that turning around at least in the short term. One of the big problem with resale value for buyers are with residual rates and lease prices aren't as low as they can be.

    With all that, if resale is a big issue, buying second hand is the solution or just keeping the car. That's what I'm doing with my Abarth right now. The other way to think about it is you have to pay for entertainment and recreation and the cars certainly fall into that category. You kinda get what you pay for.

    We did have someone on the forum who did a great job plotting the resale value and when compared to the competition it was surprisingly not as bad as it sounds:


    Quote Originally Posted by aelfwyne View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Lil Blue View Post
    And again....feel the need to "share" this. But some people will always point out everything wrong with their Fiat because they made a bad decision and hate everything about the car, and try to justify it because of their background which to them is the only one that matters. Some people will never "get" Fiat. "Actual numbers on cost of ownership / depreciation.
    So... the big "WE GOT RIPPED" thread in the Fiat community keeps rearing its ugly head. I honestly don't think it's as bad as everyone's saying. I think we just all hate to have any depreciation at all, and new car depreciation is hefty. Worse, we drive a 2-door (bad for resale) small (bad for resale) niche (bad for resale) manual only (prior to '15) vehicle. All of these things work against resale value. Even resale red can't fix it.
    So what if we compare it to similar vehicles? How does it stack up on total cost of ownership and depreciation? So I spent some time doing research over on Edmunds. I included some 4-doors which are seen as competing with the Abarth, but in general a 4-door is going to hold value better than a 2-door. I'll use both the 5-year depreciation and the Total Cost of Ownership (which includes depreciation, purchase price, fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc). I recognize the Abarth hasn't been around for a full 5 years, but neither have some of these others. All are values quoted are Manual Trans, turbo model when available. I used 2014 MY info when available.
    So with no further gab, let's get to the numbers, starting from WORST depreciation to BEST.
    MODEL ---- 5 YR DEPRECIATION ---- TOTAL 5 YEAR COST
    9: Ford Focus ST ---- $13,985 ---- $36,827
    8: Golf GTi ('15) ---- $13,224 ---- $34,692
    7: Ford Fiesta ST ---- $12,785 ---- $33,276
    6: H. Veloster Turbo ---- $12,612 ---- $31,890
    5: Fiat 500 Abarth ---- $12,446 ---- $32,570
    4: Mini Cooper Turbo ---- $11,906 ---- $31,442
    3: Chevy Sonic Turbo ---- $11,620 ---- $30,625
    2: Subaru WRX ---- $10,898 ---- $34,994
    1: Scion FR-S ---- $10,538 ---- $33,698
    0: Porsche 911 ---- $35,996 ---- $74,625
    So what have we learned?
    Whoa. The Abarth is pretty much average for depreciation when compared to similarly marketed vehicles. There is a bump-up in TCO vs #6 and #4 which I find interesting. That appears to be due to insurance and repairs. But over a 5-year period, it's still a small amount.
    We learned that if you want the least depreciation, buy something with a flat-4 boxer. But you still won't save money, as other expenses (primarily maintenance) eat up your savings.
    We learned the previous rule does NOT apply if that boxer comes in a Porsche 911.
    We also learned that for the amount a Porsche depreciates in 5 years, you could throw away your first Abarth and buy another one fully loaded at sticker, and not worry about depreciation.
    And on THAT bombshell, good night."
    I recognize that ;0 ... I originally wrote that on Facebook...

    One could argue that not everybody gets the values posted to Edmunds. However, many people do, thus it's an average. You're never going to get as much at a "competing" dealer. Friend has an '06 Honda CRV with loads of miles on it and a bad scrape down the side which makes the passenger door misaligned. Fiat dealer offered them $2000, Honda dealer offered them $4000. That's the way it works. Take your Fiat to a Fiat dealer, and you're likely to get actual value. Take it to a competing dealer and you won't.

    Also, if you want that bargain basement price such as a car that stickers for $25,000 and you want to buy it for $16,000 - guess what? A good $4,000 of that's probably going to come off of the value of your trade. It's a big shell game. That's why it's important to know both the value of your trade AND the value of the car you're buying. A lot of the "super-hot" prices I hear people getting, they had a trade - and their trades were probably undervalued. Ever wonder why some people only get $7k or $8k for their low miles Sport/Pops when trading for Abarths, and I got $10k for my 32,000 mile example? Because I didn't dick them around on the discounts on the new car I was trading for. I knew it was a balance, so I had them come UP on the trade and DOWN on the MSRP at the same time.

    The fact is, this segment of car has never held its value in the USA. This isn't new to Fiats. It's just that many Fiat buyers have never bought cars in this segment in the past.
    Some interesting threads tagged: Resale
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    I recall seeing that post when I was green FIAT owner. I think I bought it at the time, but after continuing to research used, FoST/FiST/GTI/R/A500/MCS and now MX-5/Fiata prices over the last two years I'm going to call BS.

    FWIW I completely agree with you Chris, keep the car forever, or chalk up the cost to owning something that doesn't put you to sleep. My main point was I think the diluted value of the brand (even amongst us brainwashed FCA believers) is much more damning than poor unit sales figures.

    Didn't mean to open a can of worms with the whole resale conversation, that's just something we accept as owners of a niche and unloved car. I'm much more interested in how this metric bodes for the brand as a whole.

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    Bought my wife's '12 pop cabrio new for a little below sticker..no huge/deep discount. When Fiat was still new back in the states. New the depreciation was a "risk" for basically what was an "unknown". Going on 7 years now? Went from being originally a weekend toy to wife's daily. Still looks new when I wash it...and more importantly...she still loves her Lil Blue. Just new tie rods, new battery, and basic maintenance. Don't think she'll ever give it up...except for an Alfa Romeo 4C...or a classic 500. So...even at around 20K...think we're getting our money's worth out of it. And it still is a unique looking car.


    2012 Pop Cabrio (Lil Blue/Poco Blu) 2013 Abarth Cabrio (Poco Ribelle) 1980 Spider Pininfarina 2000 (Money Pit)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil Blue View Post
    So...even at around 20K...think we're getting our money's worth out of it. And it still is a unique looking car.
    Most definitely. I haven't had to replace anything on my 2015 1957 edition yet except tires. First pair got punctured, replaced with Nexen performance tires which wore out after 30000 miles. Put another set of OEM Continentals. Other that that, nothing has broken on it except adfoaieruaowejradlkf blue and me piece of s .... never works properly for more than a few days, but it always comes back though.
    I've been thinking about replacing it with another car, but I seriously cannot find another car model that makes me think "Man, that'd be worth giving up the 500"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ando View Post
    I recall seeing that post when I was green FIAT owner. I think I bought it at the time, but after continuing to research used, FoST/FiST/GTI/R/A500/MCS and now MX-5/Fiata prices over the last two years I'm going to call BS.

    FWIW I completely agree with you Chris, keep the car forever, or chalk up the cost to owning something that doesn't put you to sleep. My main point was I think the diluted value of the brand (even amongst us brainwashed FCA believers) is much more damning than poor unit sales figures.

    Didn't mean to open a can of worms with the whole resale conversation, that's just something we accept as owners of a niche and unloved car. I'm much more interested in how this metric bodes for the brand as a whole.
    Yeah, I think when that post was made, Fiat was still doing relatively well and things are different now 4 years later. For those who trade or sell their cars every few years, it hurts no doubt about that. I am used to cars that had no resale value so I've developed a callus I guess. If you buy used, it's great, though.

    I think these cars are going to go into the cult car category and are going to be the toys of knowledgeable, non-mainstream buyers. These are the same guys that know about cars like below and appreciate them. They are the kind of thing that you either get or don't get, and if someone is a cold hard numbers type, they don't compute what the deal is.

    As far as the metrics, the prices are pretty low now compared to when they started. FCA needs cars that get good gas mileage to boost CAFE, so that's helping keep the brand alive in the US, so far. I don't think that's going to change in the near future and even PSA is planning on coming back and they are not exactly mainstream cars, so people see a market for cars of this type. It would be great if FCA invested more in Fiat USA at the moment, but that may be happening in the future. We've got to keep our eyes open in the upcoming months. I would expect some news eventually.






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    Quote Originally Posted by Ando View Post
    On a more serious note, fretting about sales numbers is one thing, but what keeps me away from a second (and possibly new) FIAT is the horrendous depreciation. How difficult would it be to capture "Overall percentage of MSRP" as a metric for sales? It doesn't seem like FIAT can sell anything for full price in the US, and that immediately takes away from the resale value. Has the damage been done? Have dealers slashed prices for too long and we cannot recover the perceived value of our vehicles?

    Thoughts?
    For the most part metrics like "Best Retained Value" or "Best Resale Value" are bogus ones imho- unless you know the original transaction price, the metric is worthless. Once you start using the original transaction price, I think you'll find Fiat and host of of other vehicles (mostly domestic) are not anywhere near as bad as they are made out to be. Some years back I crunched the numbers on the '02 Ford Ranger vs the same year Toyota Tacoma we had looked at before buying the Ranger. The Toyota dealer wouldn't budge off of MSRP while Ford was discounted thousands off MSRP. The Toyota was worth more at trade in (I used KBB numbers for trade in values), about a $1000 more iirc but if you consider what I actually paid for the Ranger, the Ranger actually retained more of its value. My point is the "resale gap" is much smaller than it's made out to be and in some cases, nonexistent .... provided you're not an early adopter and paid full price.

    Those deep discounts are a culture thing, the American way to move cars off the lot. For domestic manufacturers it was often less expensive to prop up demand with heavy discounts and keep a plant running than to shut a plant down even temporarily. FIAT may be Italian but it's sales culture in the U.S. strikes me as definitely American. Honda and others do a much better job of sticking to MSRP- our leftover 2013 Honda CR-V was only $1000 off list .... take it or leave it. Where Honda does their wheeling and dealing is in financing- ours was .9% for 60 months. The Honda business model is the better one for manufacturers but I don't see FCA in the US, GM or Ford changing anytime soon ... U.S. consumers expect those discounts. I didn't mind the $4k off my '13 500 Sport (bought in Jan. 2014) - I got far more car than I ever expected.

    There are other factors in play that are also affecting resale values. The market is focused on trucks and SUV's. Cars and in particular the small car segment have taken a beating which depresses resale values. A few years ago GM's Lordstown, Ohio plant which makes the Chevy Cruze was running three shifts. Now more they are down to one and they are talking about closing the plant. Ford is going to stop selling the Fiesta in the U.S.. The Michigan plant that used to build the Focus is now building the new Ranger. The laws of supply and demand still apply. Trucks and SUV's are where the profits are. If gas goes to $4.00+/gal., expect that to change in a hurry.
    Last edited by rustbucket; 03-02-2019 at 12:25 PM.

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    My daughter is buying a new car this month. She is a traveling nurse. She wanted a Fiat so bad she could tast it. But due to the way things are going she will go with either a KIA or a Hyundai. It is not the reliability issue. She sees it as a strong car. It is the lack of a dealer network and the dealer standing behind the car. At first I thought it would be good to see Fiat at the DCJR dealers as it would make an instant network of dealers and service centers. But now I think Fiat, Alfa and Maseratti should be stand alone dealers. Go to a DCJR dealer and ask to look at a Fiat they look at you like you have a third eye and if you ask a question you get a blank look. I would rather see a dedicated line of dealerships that are smaller proud of what they have and knowledgeable. I am sad to see what is happening to Fiat.

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    Lol. I went into my local Chrysler/Jeep/Ram dealer. I asked if there was any chance they’d be adding FIAT to the branch. he asked what car I was interested in: “A 500 Abarth” I said. “What about this $90k Charger?” he says with a straight face. “Ah, no thanks”.
    I’m not giving up....

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