Turn your wayback machine to the year 2011 and you may remember the big waves made by the littlest of Italian cars. The cheeky Fiat 500 arrived in the U.S., and it was — for a moment — the thing to have.
Flash forward a decade and Fiat, owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles,
is down to just one model for the U.S.: a still-characterful subcompact crossover called the 500X. Other models have come and gone, and Fiat’s sales have slid to a mere trickle.
Fiat has dropped the 124 roadster (which was really a Mazda
Miata with Italian power) and the 500L (an oddball, van-like tall wagon).
The 500 bowed out after 2019, and though a redesigned model is available in Europe, it hasn’t made it here yet. There are few indications that it will return.
The 500X’s future is questionable, too, though given it shares everything beneath its tailored skin with the chunky Jeep Renegade, it’s probably here to stay. Those Fiat dealers need something to do, after all.
If the 500X is dropped from American showrooms, it will mark yet another time Italy’s most popular car brand has bid arrivederci to the U.S.
Fiat remains a huge player in Europe and Latin America, markets where it sells relatively inexpensive cars, commercial vans, and even pickup trucks.
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.