Why isn't the Fiat 124 selling?
John Goreham's picture

Why Isn't the Fiat 124 Spider Selling Well In the US and Will It Turn Around?

The Fiat 124 Spider's sales are not where they should be. We examine the possible reasons.
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If you think this story is intended as hit-piece on the Fiat 124 Spider, consider that its author is the founder of the Fiat 124 Spider Club. Also, if you think that there is no problem and that it is just the U.S. where sales are low, consider that Fiat sold 21 Spiders in February in Canada and that the Miata has been outselling the 124 Spider by 2 to 1 on the Spider's home turf in Europe.

Bad time for convertibles? Fiat 124 Spider vs Mazda Miata

One might think that winter is a terrible time for convertible sales, and there is sound logic to that thinking, but in the U.S., Mazda Miata sold 2,037 in January and February of 2017. Up 54% over the same period a year ago. Fiat sold just 542 Spiders in those two months. With the better looks, higher power, and similar prices, why did the Fiat's sales come in so far under Mazda's? Our first guess was "production limitations." Normally, automakers are quite happy to use this as an excuse for low sales. Tesla has made it an art. We reached out to some of our industry contacts at both Mazda and FCA US and could not get anyone to tell us Fiat's sales were limited in any way by Mazda's production schedule or Fiat's orders being limited. Nor could we find any indication of that in the press releases and other available information on the subject.

When the facts don't answer a question anecdotal evidence is sometimes helpful. We looked hard at the Fiat 124 Spider Club member notes for hints on this subject. We find mostly good news. The membership is very active, an aftermarket community selling bits for 124 Spiders is emerging and there are clubs making gatherings possible. On the other side of the coin, we read a comment by a member we will call SMT posted last week who said "So here I am with my husband in Italy. Twelve days, in Rome, Sorrento, Florence Perugia and a nice drive along the Amalfi Coast. I have not seen a single 124 on the roadways. What's going on? The weather has been nice." Where are the Spiders?

Fiat 124 Spider sales in Europe

So just how are sales in Europe? Surely the 124 Spider is doing better there. It is hard to prove that, though. For one, the market should be larger than the U.S. market, given Fiat's significantly larger footprint of dealerships compared to the U.S. The 125 Spider's legacy is also much stronger there than in America. Fiats have always been rare here, but in Italy they are common. From June to the end of 2016 Fiat sold 3,685 Spiders in Europe. By comparison, Mazda sold 7,224 Miatas in that period in that same market. (More on page 2)

A recent story by Steven Lang at The Drive asking if Fiat is a failing brand in the U.S. raised some hackles at the Facebook Fiat 124 Club. That shows a fanbase that is healthy, willing to defend its favorite car, and that wants to see the Fiat brand and the 124 succeed. But Steven is no hack. He has written for many of the largest publications and has decades of real-world automotive sales management under his belt. In fact, he singled out the 124 Spider as a bright spot among Fiat USA overall, and predicts it could survive as an Alfa model (which it was once considered for if my recollection is correct).

Regarding Fiat 124 Spider Promotions

Did Fiat drop the ball with regard to the 124 Spider in its promotions? As part of the link in that chain, I have to say definitively "No." FCA employs the top promotional people in the business to work with the media to get the 124 Spider's message out. Some other major brands have simply eliminated those jobs. In our relatively small New England Press fleet a Spider made the rounds and I read every story I could find on it. Without exception, the car was praised (despite being an automatic). Mazda brought two Spiders to the International Motor Press' Test days in New York last year, and remarkably, put the Abarth convertible on the track for testing. I drove it and my report was published as were many other stories about that car on that track. A quick read may dispel any doubts about my being a fan of this car.

There is no direct evidence that Mazda is limiting the sales of the 124 Spider and tiny Mazda is crushing it with Miata sales. The Miata frequently outsells not just the Boxter/Cayman, bet every Porsche model in the U.S. market. This despite the ND MX-5 having less power than the outgoing model, and for its first year of sales having no hardtop version.

Something is amiss with the Fiat sales model. We don't blame the car. We don't blame the folks at Mazda, and we certainly don't blame any lack of fan and owner enthusiasm. What does that leave as a cause for a car that seems to be selling at about half its potential in the USA, Canada, and isn't exactly making headlines in Europe for its sales numbers?


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Comments

For starters, inventory for more desirable models and content has been low in many areas as Mazda ramped up production of their new hardtop. An enthusiast may be willing to monitor Fiat's inventory list and drive/fly hundreds of miles to snap one up on short notice, but not the casual buyer who just wants a color other than black or gray. Then, January and February of this year saw the arrival of that much awaited MX-5 RF. Let's step back and revisit soft top vs. soft top sales in a few months. Perhaps adjust for market share and dealer foot print of both brands. I don't think anyone thought 124s would outsell miatas. The 124 is a niche vehicle for a niche brand. Anyone who is open to the fiat turbo 4 and then cross-shops the Club and Abarth soft top trims will like that they can get Brembos, Recaros, auto climate control and an LSD for less than the price of the Club. The fact that there will be fewer on the road is a plus, provided you can locate one that suits your needs.
Greg, I am so glad you took the time to post this comment. When I wrote the story I felt in my mind that there was a part of this that had to do with the Fiat 124's model trim availability, but I couldn't quite put it together. You did so, and your comments are spot on. Thank you for reading and going even deeper in this subject.
Just to add to this. I waited 8 months for an Abarth model to arrive that had the Abarth badge on the steering wheel and Abarth on the seats. I wanted a more EURO spec version. I now have that. Just bought one. Also again was waiting for the right color, and the fact that 9 out of 10 of these cars are Automatics and I wanted a manual shift.
I just took delivery of my Abarth 124 after an 8 month pursuit. Starting with a dealer in Santa Monica (where I have an apt), I put down my deposit sight unseen on my preferred Abarth 124 expecting delivery within a couple of months. In the middle of the transaction the dealer tried to increase the price $5,000 so I cancelled. My permanent residence is in Dallas, TX, so I went to my Fiat/Alfa dealer there, put in an order, and after 45 days was notified that Chrysler was closing the dealership and I would have to deal with one of two other (inconveniently located dealerships in the area). Even after being assured that my order was being transferred in its entirely, I found myself starting from square one explaining to the new dealerships what I wanted. What began to emerge is very limited visibility by the dealers of where the inventory was and when it would arrive. Apparently my car, equipped exactly as depicted in most of the marketing (Pearl White/Black decals/ 6 speed/Brembo brakes) was almost impossible to locate. My search was finally fulfilled by an awesome saleswoman at Nyle Maxwell in Austin, TX (one of the country's largest Fiat dealers); an order was placed in October 2016 and finally delivered this past weekend. Even with this dealer, she could not give me a delivery date or track my car from the factory until the past month. The decals had to be done locally (good job). No Brembo brakes. If my car was sitting on display at every Fiat dealer, they would see a dramatic increase in all 124 sales at higher prices. Way too many automatic 124's with limited options are in the showrooms. Abarth provided the sizzle, but the dealerships and the factory need to get their act together.
Jim, thank you for the detailed breakdown of your search. Clearly, the small Fiat footprint has a role in why customers cannot find cars to buy. The model trim mix of what is being brought to dealers also raises some concerns.
same here in west los angeles, santa monica...no 6 speed manual abarths to be had, not right color combination..quit searching and dealers offer little help..abarth a great looking car.
I had a 1983 Spider. When I heard these were coming out I was like a little kid at Christmas. Registered with Fiat and two dealerships about 120 miles away. They never contacted me and I decided I did not want the hassle of getting them serviced. Then a local Chrysler dealership started handling them. This is about the greatest toy I have ever had. But the only reason I found out about this new version is because my brother told me. The standard comment I receive, after the oohs and ahh is, " I didn't know they were making these". They showed the Alfa during the Super Bowl but the Spider only gets crickets. But oh, what a joy to drive on rolling winding hilly roads in northcentral PA. It is a beautiful sleek responsive and quick car.
I don't think you know what you are talking about. The Fiat X1/9 and 124 Spider were always primarily for the US market. I am an Italian and it's very rare to see convertibles like this in Italy. People just don't have the disposable income for toys like this as in the US. I've seen maybe one X1/9 and a 850 Spider in two decades. People mostly buy hatchbacks and scooters. Same disappointment when Ducati owners don't see Ducati all over the place. It's because people buy scooters and use them as cheap city transport. Hopefully the new 124 Spider sells better, but it's a very new car on the market, and Miata is an extremely well-established name in the US and certain areas of Europe (UK, etc). Also, Fiats dealerships are severely lacking in the US
I am seriously considering getting myself a 124. 45 years ago my dad drove me through Italy in a 124 spider. Since then I have owned a number of Fiats, both in Europe and Canada. They drive well! However I have a hard time with the limited color choices and would have to pick one that I dislike the least? This is supposed to be a FUN car, where are the fun colors? Like the 500? And what's with the fancy color names? This is not a Bentley. Black is for funerals, white for weddings, grey and silver too serious. And that red is the wrong shade of red. Wy not offer Ferrari red? I like the blue color, but why make it limited? Its like saying this is the exclusive color and you can't have it! Great designers should have to be able to pick one or two of their favorite colors when they design the car, but the rest of the colors should be chosen by the marketing guys, customers and fashion experts. Does anyone know if Fiat will offer more color choices soon? or recommend a great paint shop near Tampa?
I love the look of the Fiat 124 and I was considering buying one. After researching Fiat their reputation for services is awful and the reviews about the excessively turbo'd engine were damning. The introduction of the RF ended the debate for me. No offense but the math was good manufacturer reputation, good reputation of dealer network, strong, well suited engine, and a retractable hardtop were impossible to resist.
Thanks for the great post and comments. I like the styling of the new Spider. (We have a classic spider and a Topolino.). We like Fiat, but they seem to be working against me buying one. I dislike turbo engines-I HATE turbo lag, the reliability issues, heat,etc. So Fiat offers no engine choice (to be fair neither does the Miata in the US, but I'd love a Spider with a Mazda engine) While turbos are in style, I think they work against the raw open driving experience. Truthfully, i'd rather have the tiger shark (yeah, I know it's not the best big 4 on the market) and much rather a pentastar. (I have had z3s for years and the BMW NA i6 transforms the car over the i4 versions). I also agree with the other comments about the bland color choices for the new Spider. I also like lighter interiors, not a dark cavern: think Rosso Red/Crema. While it is a niche market, it seems that Fiat is trying NOT to sell the car.
All true. I'm 1,000 miles into my Abarth and NOT loving the turbo. Keeping the trans in sport mode all time helps. Overall it's a good fit for me. BTW, the small cockpit is not working for any passengers over 6' tall. Next step is after market tuning.
The car is simply too small. Period. Anyone who is 6 feet+ and over 200 pounds will not fit. How stupid to design a car that precludes 50% of the American men from driving it. Why spend $100M to design a car and make it 2" too short and 1:" too narrow. Stupid. They deserve to fail.
Per my dealership, there were only 2000 units shipped stateside for the 2017 model. Finding a 2017 Fiat Abarth with just the 21C ordering code (color irrelevant, save for the extra cost colors) was difficult; by extending my search to include the Safety and Comfort collection, was I able to snag one. Next goal is to source a secondhand donut and jack from a Mazda2 or Miata. And maybe a shop manual.
The 124 is a beautiful car. I've even read positives that its engine won awards etc. in Europe, but I must admit, I am not a TURBO Fan at all either, and I too HATE TURBO LAG. This TURBO LAG caused me to drop my interest in buying the car.
I would suggest you call 500 Madness and get a Go Pedal. I have one on each of my Fiats (2 of which are Abarths) and it basically gets rid of the turbo lag in my opinion. Costs 299.00 and it is worth the money. Doesn't negate your warranty or anything like that.
I sped to the dealer when the first ones came out... They only had Classica's with manuals... Took 6 weeks for my dealer to intercept a FULLY OPTIONED Lusso with stick and bypass it to Las Vegas... LOVE THE CAR !!!! but yeah.. Lots are Full of Auto's and limited options... Who wants Those?
I have had my Classica for the better part of the year, driven 23k+ miles and just saw another 124 Spider in the wild for the first time yesterday. There just aren't any in Sacramento, except presumably one other. There is no Fiat dealer in Sacramento (sorry, "studio"), which could be part of the problem. The dealers in the closest cities (30+ minutes away) take three or four hours for a "one-hour express oil change." Trying to get an appointment for service beyond a oil change means waiting weeks (really). It's not like there isn't a market for sports cars in the region. In the same time I have seen exactly one 124 Spider, I have seen five Alfa 4Cs, 10+ Ferraris, two Porsche 918 Spyders, three McLarens, and more than a dozen 2016+ Miatas. Clearly, dealers are a problem. The irony is that Mazda used to have a well-deserved reputation for a crummy dealer network.
We have been waiting for the new option packages and exterior colors on the 2018 spider since April, just went in and placed an order for the Blu Scuro - six speed manual Lusso with saddle interior. There were no pick and choose options as described on line. Could not get the interior color we wanted in Abarth model, and will be very happy to have our Lusso when it comes in..eleven months to wait!!!!! Hope fall 18 is as mild in New England as this year.
Okay rant coming. I just came from a studio and like the Spider a lot, enough to talk about trading my Abarth 500, which is a go-kart fun car. But after dealing with Kia over a lease for a $33k SUV that gets superb ratings Kia's lease absolutely kills the financing of Fiat's lease. For $30 less I can drive away the spider, hold on $30 less? - something seems off to me. I did a zero down, zero drive away for a $33k SUV with $5500 off in incentives. Spider is $27.8k I get loyalty bonuses, work for a preferential company, so more discounts, yet the lease is $30 less with an extra $1000 down? I even called the finance manager at Kia to check my facts and they were exactly right. Money Factor was slightly more in Fiat, but about 0.5%, not enough to cost that much. Acquisition fees were high, residuals were inline with the Kia deal too, nothing earth shattering to throw off the comparison - but it was enough to make me think I was getting taken so I left the car and went home unhappy. Wife (applying the negative logic) came with me, so emotion was not enough to sway the sale. Options sucked also, there's hardly any manual cars, no Arbarths in manual at all. Getting told manuals are dying off - in a sports car that's terrible news. Okay paddles and semi auto is okay but I find I'm driving like Miss friggin daisy in an auto Spider, just not got a soul if you can't shift car is soul-less.
I have the same "complaint" as several other posters. It was extremely difficult to find a 6 speed Classic anywhere in my area. They were several of the more expensive, loaded Abarths and Lussos with AUTOMATIC transmission. I mean, come on people. I'm a "senior citizen" on a budget (which I blew), but I found a Classica 6 speed about 75 miles away in West Palm Beach and drove down and test drove it. Bought it the next day, although I didn't get much of a deal. I was ready for another small sports car since I ditched my 2000 Miata back in 2011. Anyway, I'm extremely pleased with my car. Of course there are a couple things, like the chincy sunvisors and the (in my opinion) low quality of the stereo, and the excessive noise at highway speeds (70ish), I'm still very pleased with the styling, ride, power, and even the gas mileage, which is 30+ with mostly city driving. It just turned over the first 1,000 miles, and I'm getting used to the tiny bit of hesitation in the turbo. The majority of the time, I rarely notice it. The second it kicks in, man, it's like a rocket. I'm looking forward to seeing more on the road. Good luck with a fantastic little car. Thanks for KEEPING it little. Put more brochures in the dealerships. I NEVER GOT ONE! Finally, if fat people can't fit, they need to lose weight!
I purchased a 124 Spider Classica nearly a month ago. I loved the one I drove at my nearby dealer but they only had the Lusso with manual transmission, which was out of my budget and I didn't want to pay for unnecessary bells and whistles. I searched all over the internet and found one 100 miles south. I drove down and the car wasn't there, it was at a sister dealer another 60 miles away. I drove another Lusso they had and liked it also. I told them if they'd bring the Classica to me, and I liked it, I'd buy it. They did and I did. However, they nearly blew the deal by low-balling my trade, (I decided to keep it) then offering me a ridiculous 4+% loan with my excellent credit and 15k down! (I've seen similar remarks on the Fiat Spider owner's forums). Plus, there is such a limited supply of Spiders with manual transmission, many of the folks out there would buy one if they could FIND one! There are lots all over with automatics that are gathering dust. What's the deal with that? Finally, the word is getting around that parts are taking forever to get. No one wants to pile up rental car bills while they're waiting for a stupid windshield or other part. Come on guys, if you want to sell cars, give us the damn cars like we want them and give us parts to fix them if they break!
Purchased the Classica Model in Aug 2017 - the local dealership had maybe 4 Spiders on the lot - we opted for this model because it was an automatic ( wife can't drive a standard shift) - the limited supply of the 124's is a problem and a blessing - our little roadsters always turn heads - but getting service work done isn't easy as shop mechanics just don't have a lot of hands on time with our cars yet. My dealership screwed up the paperwork and the dealer prep for delivery was poorly done ( the don't drop the ball on ram truck!) Our local Fiat Club has better info! I've been back to the dealership and of the 4 they had on the lot only 1 is left and I don't see any others being dropped off anytime soon!
Most Americans are way too fat to fit in a car - they need huge trucks to haul themselves around.
I've bought the Fiat version here in the UK. Its a great little car - there's a but coming - but it is too short for tall people. I'm a bit tall, 6'3", and I knew it was a bit compact, but its not my only vehicle, so I figured I would manage for a while, and it would a fun little commute car. And I will, but I have to get out every hour, can't spend any longer in there. If my foot is hovvering on the clutch pedal then my hand near the centre console won't go past my knee easily. I agree with the poster who said this car is 2" too short in the leg room. That's about what I'd rate it at too. The pedal box and footrest just needs shoving back 2" Short people would be fine as the seat would move forward OK, and I think position to the wheel would be fine. It really needs another 1-2" in the headroom too. My father got in for a ride and he's shorter than me, only about 6' or just under, and he said he felt too high for it. The passenger side is just silly though. Presumably it has enough space for a pedal box there, because there are cars sold with the steering wheel on that side. But they've chosen to raise the floor there for some reason (footrest?), so its just too short. So unless I take my shoes off to gain another 1/2" of space, I can't be a passenger. Why did they choose to block off the bottom of the passenger footwell? Its crazy. I'll enjoy my 2 years with it, but unless Fiat sort this out with Mazda, it will be going back and I won't be buying another. Width wise, I don't agree with the people saying that if you can't get in then you're too fat. I'm not fat at all, I'm just tall, and width wise it is very tight because my frame is large, and the seats aren't really well suited to the wider shoulder. But my wife, who is not fat either, and is only 5'10", is also finding the seats a bit pinched because female hips are usually wider for the same height as a man. Obviosuly they have used the standard frame sizes for Japanese men and women as the Mazdas and not European-origin, who are often of a larger frame. I think this is the big reason this car isn't selling well enough in the US and Europe compared to the Mazda. The Mazda has a lot of younger buyers, who like the more modern appearance, and haven't filled out much yet. But the Fiat has more retro looks that appeal to the slightly older audience, but they're making a car that doesn't properly fit 50% of European origin people. As for the rest of the car. Well, the engine is great. I've the 140bhp Fiat, not the 170bhp Abarth (because i wanted the quieter car with slightly softer suspension). Driven normally I don't notice any turbo lag at all, it revvs freely and pulls well. Its fun. The only time I've noticed any lag is if I've been dawdling in 2nd gear with revs way too low (sub 1000rpm) and then tried to pull away. Its too low for the turbo to be spinning. But if you had popped it into first, its off like a little rocket. The roof works flawlessly, and the wind noise even at 70mph is fine if the side windows are up. A little blustery if they're down, but not bad if you're only doing a few mins at that speed. The Bose speaker system (i have the plus model) sounds great and its nicely audible with the roof down. Infotainment system is terrible. I understand its Mazdas and not Fiats. Its clunky and a bit slow and the nav controls aren't great. But the crowning glory of this is the sat nav system. Its shockingly bad. Consider that Google do a system that is free and really well sorted (so long as your phone can keep a GPS signal), this is going back ten years. You can't enter a postcode, its almost impossible to set waypoints to force it along a route, and if you enter an address it need the number of the property and unless you give it this it won't even begin the search, so you can't just get to an approximate location. So usually I just turn off the screen and listen to the radio and the car, because thankfully its soundtrack is pretty cool.
What I liked most about your comment L Smith is that it expands on J...Pifco's above which implies only Americans are tall and heavy. We didn't invent big, we just do it best. Kidding aside, yes, like many sports coupes, the 124 Spider does not fit all drivers. However, that does not explain why the smaller Miata outsells it by 4 to 1.
I think there are myriad reasons for the difference in sales. I think what I meant with the sizing, was that the target audience for the Fiat has ended up being larger older people than the target audience for the Mazda. Many of these decide they can’t live with it so this depresses the sales of the Fiat in relation to the target audience who may take the Miata (MX-5 over here). I also think the groups the cars appeal to have an effect too. I think the Mazda appeals more to both the younger, and much older driver. Both of which have no young children, so living with a car like this isn’t so difficult. The Fiat, I think, appeals to a more mid-age range. Those who hark back to the 1970s and 1980s, and they are more likely to still have children around, so a car like this isn’t yet appropriate. Even as a second car in the household. I have one colleague who loves it, but can’t possibly consider it for another 10+ years for this reason. Then we come to the big ones. First, is precedence. Mazda have a long history with the Miata (MX-5), going back to 1989. For years and years it’s been the only low cost little, basic, fun 2 seat roadster. Everything else is much more expensive and serious (TT, Z4 etc and the Toyota MR2 has gone). Certainly in the UK ‘Everyone’ knows if you want a little fun 2 seat roadster you buy an MX5. They’re very prevalent and everyone knows of their existence. I’m interested in cars, and I didn’t even know about the 124 six months ago. It just hadn’t popped up on my radar. When I was wondering what vehicle I might like my partner suggested an MX5. Compared to that, no-one has really heard of the 124. It hasn’t been well advertised, and unless you go into a Fiat dealership (which is unlikely for many people) or trawl around looking for what is out there (as I did) then you could be forgiven for not finding it. It’s amazing now I have got one, how many people have asked “what is it”. They just don’t know. Fiat needs to advertise some more, and just see some more around on the roads so everyone starts to see them and know they’re out there. Mazda have 20 years of this. Secondly, brand. Mazda are seen as dependable and reliable and everyone knows the MX5 has been around for 20 years. All the motoring press have always loved it. People trust it and the brand. Bring on Fiat. Not only does half the potential audience maybe not even realise that Fiat is out there, but it’s a new wildcard. They haven’t done anything like this for years. And those that read the motoring press know that many can’t tear away from the Mazda and still say it’s the better car and that they don’t like the smaller turboed engine. And never had the best badge for dependability and reliability. Coupled with this, for new cars people are considering second hand residuals too. The Mazda has a proven track record here. It’s a known entity. The Fiat is not. No-one knows if the value will plummet or not and how it will stand up. Will the car be around in 10 years time? Will they get dealer support? And of course the Fiat is more expensive. I think Fiat is too new in this area to expect the level of sales that the Miata has from its trusting and loyal fan base. It’s an unknown entity and not in many people’s minds when they are thinking of a car like this. I think if Fiat sticks with it, and keeps it nicely up to date, in time, it could be a good little car for them. But if they pull the plug too early, before its even got going, then it’ll be a shame.
I purchased 2017 Fiat124 Spider Lusso in July 2017. I live in Ontario, Canada. I’m 63 and I love the car. It’s a powerful 6 speed Manual. My Chrysler/Fiat dealership is 100Kms (60 Miles) from my home. Most Chrysler Dealers will service the Fiat124 but not the warranty stuff. Very poor Marketing. I had a Fiat spider in the 80’s and it was a good reliable car, and it could be driven in any weather. The 2017 Mazda Miata has an available Hard Top as an option, thus it can be driven in the winter. The 2017 Fiat124 Spider doesn’t have a hard-top option yet. My car is a summer car and stored for the winter. Fiat Canada could do better job at communicating with new owners of this product, this would help marketing the product. “Why Isn't the Fiat 124 Spider Selling Well In the US and Will It Turn Around?” Positive words from owner could turn around sales. It’s good value for your money, great fun car to drive, very comfortable, gorgeous looking. My Fiat 124 Lusso two-seater roadster, always turn heads.
I was looking to buy one or the Mazda. I ended up purchasing a great used Miata for a great price and haven't looked back. Living in Socal helped as there are plenty of well kept used Miatas, many with some nice upgrades. This is what I have noticed. First, you are dealing with the unknown reliability of the Fiat turbo engine and the generally poor reputation of Fiat. Second, you have Fiat dealerships vanishing or being folded into Chrysler dealerships who have little knowledge of the car which does not bode well for future service. On one occasion I went to the Fiat dealership and while there was a single 124 there (the special azure blue with automatic selling for $45,000!) no people were present except for a security guard who told me to go across the street to the Chrysler dealer.Third, when I was able to find one in stock it usually was an automatic classic with the tech package and always black or grey. Never even saw an Abarth and one of the salespeople never even heard of the Abarth but said it sounded "cool". Yeah whatever. And this is Socal where not having a convertible is practically a misdemeanor or at least should be. Mazda dealerships are plentiful and while they are heavy on automatics, about a 50/50 split, they have plenty of cars in stock, know the product and will be around next week. Its a miracle they are selling any of these cars. By the way, I owned a 1972 Fiat 124 and loved it. She was reliable but demanded above average care and attention like any gorgeous Italian.
If you don't advertise, NO ONE knows you have a product to sell. GET WITH IT FCA! The Spider is an AWESOME car! No one will buy one if they don't know they exist!!! Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!

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