Fiat 500 electric: plant at a standstill due to falling demand

As we pointed out a few weeks ago, the Fiat 500 electric struggles to win over the internal combustion model. In fact, even if it achieved the honorable figure of 66,732 sales in 2022, the first half of 2023 was likely to be stagnant, if not slightly down.

This feeling is now confirmed by the fact that Stellantis has decided to put the Mirafiori plant, where the electric 500 is assembled, on short-time working for two weeks.from October 19 to November 3, 2023. This represents 2,400 employees. Several Maseratis are assembled at the same plant: the Levante since 2016, the Ghibli and Quattroporte since 2022, and the new Granturismo since 2023.


Stellantis informed the unions that sales forecasts are lower than production volumes. A clear signal, once again, that demand for electric cars is struggling to take off. Stellantis is expected to announce a drop in production from the 500 electric to 80,000 models in 2023, instead of the 100,00 initially forecast. In our opinion, this is already a lot, since if the second half of 2023 is on trend, the 500 electrics could barely exceed 60,000 units.

For the time being, the Mirafiori plant is heavily dependent on the success of the electric 500, and on Maserati models such as the Ghibli, Levante and Quattroporte, which are nearing the end of their careers, and the new Gantursimo, which is just being launched. In the future, it should be entrusted with the manufacture of the future Quattroporte and Levante... but that's not for tomorrow.



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  1. After VAG on the brink of collapse because nobody wants their electric garbage cans... it's Fiât's turn to suffer!!!
    Who called me crazy for not wanting to believe that it wouldn't work?
    We're seeing the results day after day, and this is just the beginning.

    • Tesla cars are selling very well, thanks to them. Besides, if the electric car fails, it'll be walking, cycling and public transport. I'm fine with that, are you?

  2. I prefer horse and carriage. Apart from Tesla (which is American), how many brands in Europe are as successful as them? You have 1 month to submit your presentation.
    The latest news is that internal combustion cars are on the road every day and still have a long, bright future ahead of them.

  3. That's surprising, because I see Fiat 500e's everywhere. But there's a practical problem for a lot of people, and I'm one of them.
    I'm not opposed to electric cars for short journeys and for the city (I was quite convinced after driving a rented Fiat 500e for several days, and trying out an Abarth 500e), but I couldn't buy one at the moment because I wouldn't have an easy recharging point, not having a house.
    And Alfa Romeo, which is going to electrify its entire range by 2026 or 2027, sounds crazy. To the point of announcing that the future Giulia and Stelvio will be all-electric.
    We need alternative solutions to electric: hybrid models, hydrogen, engines running on synthetic fuel, as proposed by Porsche.
    The British have understood this and have already postponed all-electricity by 5 years. Other countries will follow.

    • It's not just Porsche that's researching synthetic fuel: even Ferrari, Stellantis, Honda, Lexus, Mazda, Toyota and Subaru are getting serious. The solution is a whole, and not to focus on the same type of fuel, as was the case at the beginning of the 20th century.

      • Hydrogen will never be used for cars (making "green" hydrogen consumes more energy than it yields) and synthetic fuel is the same thing. In any case, it will remain marginal.
        What's more, by the time these technologies are perfected, it'll be too late (and I think it's too late anyway).

        In addition, Great Britain has postponed its ban on new combustion-powered vehicles until match the date chosen by the EU (2035).

        Finally, the problem with cars is that there are too many of them. If we just do substitution (keeping two or three cars per household), we'll hit the wall (not enough resources anyway, and keeping CO2 emissions too high). We'll have to reduce the number of cars per household... (and in that case, carmakers won't be able to bring prices down).

        • It remains to be proven that hydrogen will never be used in cars, and everyone is realizing that with the all-electric ⚡️... they're heading straight for disaster, and even the European Commission is asking the question (probably too late, as the damage has already been done).

          • Once again, it all depends on usage: in urban/suburban/expressway environments, it's possible to divide your fuel costs by four compared with a combustion engine, if you recharge at home or at your destination within a 300/350 km radius without worry. For this kind of use, we already have the Fiat 600e, which is quite reasonable in terms of weight, dimensions and fuel consumption (and maybe even price one day). In this case, there's no point in redeveloping a gas factory when the stations don't exist...

          • All "green" hydrogen projects have stalled for the moment... and come up against the limits of physics/chemistry. The amount of energy needed to manufacture hydrogen is too great, and so it's not profitable at all.

            As I was saying, electric cars are not a solution if we want to replace all cars. We absolutely must reduce the number of cars on the road.

            The individual car (to get to work alone at rush hour in traffic jams and to struggle to find a parking space - all concrete - to park your car all day to pick it up again at rush hour and go through traffic jams again to get back to your suburban bungalow far from the shopping centers) is an aberration that must come to an end (and frankly, it's so sad to organize your life like that that we won't cry).

            Obviously, today it seems complicated and impossible... but the fall of the USSR or the end of the old regime in 1788 seemed impossible too.
            (It hasn't been painless in the past, but it probably won't be this time either. In any case, the cost of inaction will be much higher).

            And I don't spit on cars in general... (I even have a gt 1300 junior and a 1954 giulietta sprint... ^^)

          • Oli, I understand that we have to use public transport to make the most of space and time, but last week I took the bus to a rugby match, and the first thing I noticed was that it was more than full, we were standing and packed tightly together. But at one point the bus lurched, we were thrown forward and an elderly woman fell, she had a severe headache and was shocked to the point of having difficulty responding to us. We had the same experience some time ago in a tramway on a boulevard des maréchaux in Paris, when everyone ended up on the floor. In an electric car, I have a seat (and a clean one), I can choose my musical ambience (thanks to portable speakers, but no thanks), I don't have to put up with the smell of my neighbors' perspiration, I have air conditioning if I need it (which I don't abuse) and I don't run the risk of being catapulted since I'm the one who manages the brakes.

          • Once again, we're not all in cities and we don't all travel 10 kilometers to work, and we don't all want to spend our time in stores waiting for gas for at least 30 minutes (if it's not already busy) or find ourselves unable to use our cars because there isn't enough electricity for everyone, as was the case in Canada and California, or have a battery that doesn't charge or only charges halfway because it's too hot 🥵 or too cold 🥶!
            There's no point in creating useless terminals if you know full well that you can't power them because there isn't enough current.

          • Oli
            Not profitable for the moment, but the internal combustion engine is capable of it, as has been demonstrated for over 20 years, not to mention the 1-stroke engine that has just been designed for fuels or hydrogen. Which means that when hydrogen becomes viable... we'll have a real solution.
            Where I agree with you is on the means of locomotion and in many countries the 2-wheeler (I'm one of them) is preferred to get to work and it's a solution that we should have pushed to exploit in France, but everything has been put on 4-wheelers since the motorcycle brands 🏍️ in France have disappeared, whereas when it comes to getting around and relieving congestion on the roads and in towns... there's nothing better.

          • When we see that now we want to ask people who have an electric car to use it to power something else... it's clear that we're going round in circles... or even hitting rock bottom.

          • @Fredo: I use public transport a lot and frankly, it's fine... (the streetcar is really ideal). What's more, when public transport uses its own right-of-way (and isn't caught in traffic jams), it's really, really good for getting around town.
            Individual comfort comes at a price... and we haven't paid it for a long time (and now we're going to take it in the neck, us -a little- and our children -a lot-).

            @Ced: ahh but we agree, we don't all live in cities. We gave people the illusion that it was possible to work in the city and live in the country, or to live more than 40km from home without any problems... it was wrong and now we need to find solutions to get back on a sustainable trajectory (and the longer we wait, the more impossible it becomes).
            And of course, it's not just about cars and travel. But I suppose everyone likes to watch Netflix in a warm house with a full fridge - and for all that, you need a salary-.
            And once again, "when green hydrogen becomes available"... well, it'll be too late. We no longer have 20 or 25 years to get back on track (which will only allow us to limit the damage). We have 5 or 10 years.

            The smartgrid, using your car as a battery, is very smart indeed. The problem with electricity is storing it. You can never have enough batteries!

          • Oli

            No, the problem isn't telling people they can live in the country and work in the city, it's that we've all been banking on one type of fuel for a century. We're not all on Netflix and so on (fortunately for our brains 🧠) and believing that there's just 10 years to go is a mistake in itself, because no one can predict how much oil is actually left and no one can estimate how long it will take to put hydrogen in place.
            We've seen what it's like to recharge a vehicle in the USA, and the disasters that ensue. To believe that if we had a billion batteries to store electricity is heresy, because that's without taking into account the immense losses from creation to journey, and that no battery is capable of storing electricity over the long term, given the daily losses that batteries have, even without using them, which proves that this system is an abject failure.
            What's more, you have to supply artificial energy, which requires a lot of energy (just like hydrogen) and is not stable over the long term. Add to this the problem of aging batteries, which have a derisory lifespan and can't withstand heat or cold (as Elon Musk explains), and there's no shortage of examples. Not to mention the ever-increasing demands on power grids, which can lead to overloads and states being entitled to prohibit you from using your vehicle 🚗 as happened in Canada and California (my neighbor can talk about it, he spent 14 years there and has just come back). To this we must add the problem of instant combustion which makes these vehicles real time torches and don't work properly (we've seen this with the buses and minibuses 🚐 we've been entrusted with in Geneva, which arrive in front of a light with a slight incline... impossible to get going again and even worse the vehicle instead of moving forward backs up and we're obliged to call a tow truck to tow it (so your idea of a bus 🚎 poses a serious problem in the future).
            Believing that electric is the solution is really a chimera, and all the evidence proves it.
            Just look at the city of Paris, which is pulling out its electric vehicles because they're all burning up one after the other, and there's a huge number of videos to prove it.

  4. It's perfectly possible to recharge your car in France's shopping malls, more and more of which are equipped with charging points, as are cinemas in these complexes. For city cars like the 500 and 600, this means they can be driven during the week. Electra also installs stations in cities. Personally, I think electric cars are perfect for the city, with less noise, fewer emissions and more than enough range. The fact is, they're expensive to start with, even though we were promised simpler cars (although for the 600, the trend is towards parity). We'll have to see what effect the Stellantis battery factories have... In my opinion, Fiat is one of the brands that will suffer the least, especially with the replacement of the Panda.

    • Except that you don't necessarily want to spend your life in a shopping mall, just to recharge your electric car.
      It's still much easier to fill up.

      • I know it's much more convenient to recharge at home, but supermarkets have a PDM of 92% for food in France, and most people go there to do their shopping. So, in my view, this is the most obvious solution, and retailers are making no mistake, installing charging stations. Of course, this won't suit everyone's habits...

      • I totally agree with you Stanislas, we don't spend our lives in stores and filling up with fuel takes 5 minutes at the most and there's no risk of damaging batteries with rapid recharging... there isn't any.

  5. Hello,
    With the price of electric cars rising all the time, inflation is getting in the way. Chinese competition is also taking its toll. A perfect cocktail for lower sales.
    The 500 has a lovely face and this neo-retro mix is really trendy, but everything has its limits...

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