|Can the 500X help lead Italian car making out of the wilderness?|
They say every cloud has a silver lining and Italian car production sure needed that. Volume from the year 2000 to 2009 dropped 53.5%. It ended at 661,100 units in 2009. Was there any silver lining to be found?
Initially one would have to say an emphatic "No". In fact production dropped another 41% from 2009 to 2013. That was the lowest since 1958, when Europe was struggling to overcome the effects of a devastating war. This was a disastrous situation anyway you look at it.
In 2013 Fiat was producing the once popular Punto (116,000 units) and winding up the poorly performing Bravo/Brava (10,000). The Panda model (149,000) was reintroduced to give some semblance of respectability. Lancia was down to just the Delta (9,000) but that was finishing up. Alfa Romeo had just the Giulietta (56,000) and MiTo (20,000). Ferrari and Maserati were doing well, especially the latter but they couldn't save the situation.
Two cars saved the situation. The Fiat 500X and the Jeep Renegade which are both built at the same plant in Melfi, southern Italy. Between then they accounted for 45% of all Italian production in 2015. they brought much needed volume to Italian car manufacturing.
Data source: ANFIA.