You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Serbian Factory Temporarily Halts Fiat 500L Production

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/10/2014 Karla Sanchez

Poor Fiat 500L sales may have prompted the Serbian factory that produces the overgrown hatchback to temporarily stop production.

Research

According to Reuters, Serbian media reported the plant in Kragujevac was putting the brakes on the 500L production from September 5 to September 9. However, the company hasn't yet confirmed those dates or revealed when production would pick back up again, but it did confirm that the 500L production was indeed stopped. System.Xml.XmlElement: 2015 Fiat 500L © Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Fiat 500L

"The causes of this temporary setback are external and related to situation in the European and global automotive markets," the company said in the statement.

That "situation" could very well be related to poor 500L sales. So far this year, only 8262 500Ls in the U.S. have been sold, with only 33 sold in the month of August. Fiat has previously cited the Mini Countryman and the VW Golf as the 500L's main competition, and compared to those two, 500L sales fall flat. So far this year, 15,142 Countrymans have been sold (not including the Paceman), while total Golf sales (including the GTI and Golf R) total 17,714. System.Xml.XmlElement: 2015 Fiat 500L © Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Fiat 500L

Based on a new “small wide” platform that also underpins the upcoming Jeep Renegade, the Fiat 500L doesn't really give U.S. buyers too many choices. A 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo-four tuned to produce 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque is the sole engine available, though buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmissions. The 500L is available in front-drive only, and once the upcoming 500X with all-wheel drive and higher ground clearance comes to market, 500L sales could continue to dwindle.

Fiat's struggle with the 500L is nothing new, since the brand had a shaky start when it first brought the 500 hatchback over in March 2011. The brand had high expectations for the retro-chic hatch, as it expected to move as many as 50,000 cars by the end of that year. Sales, however, were way off pace, with the company blaming the small dealer network and poor marketing for slow sales.

Source: Reuters

2015 Fiat 500L© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Fiat 500L
AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon