Fiat’s CEO Says, ‘Don’t Buy The 500e!’
The CEO of Fiat Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, has asked potential buyers of the Fiat 500e electric car not to buy it as he is tired of losing money. In a recent conference in Washington, Sergio was quoted as bemoaning that Tesla is currently the only automaker capable of making money on their products due to the high price they are able to charge for the Model S sedan.
In the US, both state and federal bodies mandate that all automakers have to build electric cars; it is this requirement that Marchionne is complaining about and hoping that the public will stop buying his particular version.
‘I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000,’ he said to the audience at the Brookings Institution about the 500e. ‘I’m honest enough to tell you that.’
‘I will sell the (minimum) of what I need to sell and not one more,’ Marchionne added ‘If we just build those vehicles, we’ll be back asking…in Washington for a second bailout because we’ll be bankrupt.” Marchionne was referring to Chrysler’s US government bailout in 2009.
Fiat sells the normal petrol-powered 500 for almost US$17,300 whilst the 500e starts at US$32,650. Consumers are not willing to pay the true cost so the company loses money. To put this into perspective, the Ford Mustang starts at a little over US$24,000; now, this is the entry level model with about as much grunt as the Fiat 500 but, hey, it is a Mustang!
image: autoweek.com, usatoday.com