The electric 500, which has been on the market for 3 years now, has achieved respectable sales, but mainly in two countries: France and Germany. What are the main reasons for this? How to convince other countries to switch Fiat where the hybrid model is still selling very well? That's the question we put to Guillaume Clerc, Fiat and Abarth Product Manager, on the occasion of our trip to Italy to learn more about the collaboration between Fiat and Disney
Last time I checked, the 500 electric is at the top in France and slowing down in other countries. In the first 9 months of 2023, that's almost 48,000 electric Fiat 500s. were sold in Europe, including 17,450 in France alone. In France, it even accounts for 72 % of registrations compared with the internal combustion model, while this score stagnates at 35 % throughout Europe.
Lately, articles have been talking about Germany, which for the first time places the electric 500 at the top of the electric sales charts in October 2023 with 1,760 registrations. Over 10 months, this represents 17,877 registrations. It's a respectable score that places this country just behind France. However, with 3504 registrations for the hybrid model in October 2023, the electric version represents "only" 32 % of registrations.
By the ladleful, France and Germany therefore account for over 70 % of Fiat 500 electric registrations. But how to explain this?
"Fiat's projection of the future is an electric future. This car has convinced many customers in France and Germany, but less so in Italy, for example. That's a real challenge we have to take up. The electric model should account for less than 5 % of registrations in Italy.
The reasons for this difficulty are not linked to the product, but to the low premiums for the purchase of an electric car, an underdeveloped recharging network, higher electricity prices and therefore higher running costs. When you add it all up, it adds up to a number of constraints, which are a challenge for Fiat in Italy, but also throughout Southern and Eastern Europe.
It's a real difficulty for a manufacturer like Fiat to suffer on its flagship model, in its market. Discussions with the authorities are therefore essential.
An explanation that coincides perfectly with Carlos Tavares' latest statement to the Italian government that he is ready to increase production of electric cars in Italy, provided that increase financial incentives. He did ask the Italian government to hurry up and intervene immediately, and not in a few years' time, when it will be too late. And yes, the electric 500 won't be able to live forever thanks to two countries.