Fiat 500e Won’t Get Diluted By Spinoff Models, Says Fiat’s North American Boss - SUV VEHICLE

Fiat 500e Won’t Get Diluted By Spinoff Models, Says Fiat’s North American Boss



  • The Fiat 500e is set to blend the benefits of an EV with the charm of the Fiat 500, but chances of success in North America remain uncertain.
  • Underwhelming spinoff models and failed strategies in the US and Canada have cast a shadow over Fiat’s brand image.
  • Fiat aims to redefine itself by focusing on maintaining the unique identity of the 500e, emphasizing brand image over record-breaking sales.

The return of the Fiat 500 in electric form – under the 500e nomenclature – is the obvious next step in that model’s evolution. I’ve always said that the cars that make the most sense to electrify are the Fiat 500 and the MINI Cooper due to their fashion-statement status. People don’t generally purchase these cars for rational reasons, but rather because they fit with their trendy lifestyle.

But while I’m sure the 500e will be a hit with consumers who’d like to blend the benefits of an electric vehicle (EV) and the charm of the 500 itself, I genuinely wonder if Fiat will be able to keep the momentum going with this car. At least, here in North America. Remember, the last 500 sold strongly during its first years of production, and ended its lifecycle with almost humiliating sales figures.

For reference, in 2012, the Fiat 500’s best model year on our market, the carmaker shipped just over 50,000 units in the US and Canada. By 2019, that number had melted down to less than 3,500 cars sold.

Curious to find out more about Stellantis’ new strategy with this third-generation 500, I sat down with head of Fiat in North America, Aamir Ahmed, for some insights. He claims that this time around, the company won’t dilute the 500’s image with underwhelming spinoff models.

Can The $30,000 Fiat 500e Finally Be The Success Story For The Italian Automaker In America?

An affordable and reliable all-electric vehicle, even if it’s a small size, has the potential to be a big hit in the United States

Treat The Brand In The Proper Way

2025 Fiat 500e Launch Program Miami

By underwhelming products, I am, of course, alluding to the Fiat 500L and 500X. Not only was the design of these vehicles an insult to car designer Frank Stephenson’s original concept, they failed at truly making ripples within their respective segments.

These vehicles, through a bad conception, poor build quality and an incapability to truly compete in the market, cast a shadow over the 500. The result was a car brand that quickly lost its way and didn’t manage to maintain the pace that was originally expected by its product planners. If one were to compare the Fiat story to MINI’s in the US and Canada, it’s obvious that MINI has had a lot more success at creating an actual, palpable and, perhaps more importantly, competitive brand.

My first question to Aamir was therefore the following: what’s different now at Fiat, and what’s the new North American strategy to relaunch the brand?

I don’t see it as relaunching Fiat. The way I see it, we’re just going to do Fiat. I say that, because when you look at who we are as a brand, we’re a 125-year-old brand. Of the 14 brands within the Stellantis constellation, Fiat has been the best-selling brand for the last two and half years. This means we have scale, we have the toolbox and toolkit available to us. That success comes because the vehicles are marketed a certain way and because the vehicles are good.

Aamir went on explaining to me that he and his team will do everything they can to prevent Fiat from trying to be something that it isn’t. They want to prevent making it somewhat of a cartoon and treat the brand in the appropriate way, with the same kind of respect it’s been given in Europe.

Chasing The Pursuit Of Happiness

2025 Fiat 500e Launch Program Miami 1

One of the 2024 Fiat 500e’s key slogans used in its marketing campaign is La Dolce Vita, an Italian phrase meaning “a life of heedless pleasure and luxury.” For Aamir Ahmed, Fiat’s mission is the ultimate pursuit of happiness, and he believes that transitioning the car to a fully electric format will really help solidify the brand’s image. Fiat wants to sell a car that will make the life of its owner easier due to its very small carbon footprint.

For instance, the carmaker is proud of the fact that the 500e is the lightest EV sold in North America, but also because it’s doing EV uniquely thanks to the car’s small-capacity battery. During our interview, Ahmed made sure to underline the fact that the 500e’s 42-kWh battery only takes up a small amount of the resources required to build electric vehicles.

2025 Fiat 500e Launch Program Miami 4

He believes that the auto industry has an ethical obligation not to waste resources by selling larger-scale products like trucks and SUVs. Aamir Ahmed therefore sees the 500e as a great opportunity for the Fiat brand to set itself apart in the electric space.

Every Brand Needs A Strong Heart

2025 Fiat 500e Launch Program Miami 2

So what’s next for Fiat? How will the company manage to recapture the hearts of North American consumers and, more importantly, sell cars in large numbers again? From what I understood while speaking with Aamir, the priority for Fiat in the US and Canada, at least for now, doesn’t seem to be record-breaking sales, but rather making sure that the brand’s identity isn’t lost.

In order to have a flourishing Fiat brand, we need a very strong heart. The heart of the Fiat brand, around the world, is the 500e. So long as I’m here, we will never do anything to jeopardize that product. What I would hate to see happen is a shopper going into a store, wanting to buy a Fiat 500e and seeing something else that might look kind of like it, but not have the same passion and soul, and they don’t fall in love with it because they had originally fell in love with another car.

To that, I felt obliged to ask Ahmed if he felt that the last-generation car had been diluted through the 500L and X. Interestingly enough, he admitted that they did, in a sense, have a negative effect on the 500’s image. He went on explaining that this new 500e is like a fresh sheet of paper to improve the car from an engineering standpoint, but also to get the branding right this time around.

We ended the conversation chatting about the potential return of the Abarth high-performance brand on our side of the pond. While the European market already has an Abarth version of the 500e, nothing has yet been confirmed for our market. Rest assured, Aamir Ahmed is a car guy and a performance addict. He worked on the Dodge Hellcat vehicles and personally owns a Viper. He wants to see the Abarth name come back.

Fiat 500e Abarth

But before doing so, he wants to make sure the product is truly different and unique. His main focus is first to make sure that none of the Abarth products are diluted in the electric era. For Ahmed, Abarth needs to be about more than just branding, which is not an easy feat in the realm of high-performance EVs.


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