Fiat 124 Spider and Mazda MX-5 Miata Sales Point To Smart Planning
John Goreham's picture

Fiat 124 Spider and Mazda MX-5 Miata Sales Confirm Collaboration's Success

In Fiat’s second full month of sales, some things are coming into focus.

Mazda and Fiat are both benefiting from the collaboration that yields the Fiat 124 Spider. Mazda needed more volume to keep the Miata production profitable (viable?), and Fiat needed a new model to bolster its 500 series in the U.S. Last month we asked the question “Which car would sell better, the Fiat 124 Spider or Mazda Miata?” This month we look a little deeper at the numbers and history to see how the collaboration is working for Mazda.

In August, the Miata outsold the Fiat 124 Spider by a bit less than two to one. Mazda recorded 823 units sold, and Fiat recorded 460 spiders. Neither of those numbers are large by the standards of mainstream cars, but for subcompact convertible roadsters, they are pretty solid. Porsche only sold 474 Boxsters in August, so we have one metric to compare the Mazda and Fiat roadsters to.

Here’s the observation this Miata reporter caught. Last year, August was one of the first few months of full-production sales of the new 2016 MX-5 Miata. Back then, when this was the hottest drop-top car in the land, and the media was going bonkers, Mazda sold 1,344 of its new Miata. This year, the car has been selling in the sub-1,000 unit range most months since the newness has worn off and the Miata has returned to its historic sales in the high hundreds to mid hundreds per month. However, by partnering with Fiat, Mazda has re-created that hot sales month and thus, made better use of its Hiroshima factory. Together the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider and 2016 MX-5 Miata sold 1,283 cars. Thus, another great month of sales.

Anyone who doubted that Mazda’s collaboration with Fiat made sense may now have some proof that the concept of selling the same low-volume sportscar under two nameplates doesn’t just work for Subaru and Toyota with the BRZ and FR-S.

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