Fiat aims 500L at families
Fiat says it added the 500L to provide a car for customers who have grown out of the three-door 500, the tiniest variant in the model range. The 500L is specifically aimed at couples who have started families.
The 500L – the L stands for large – is a five-door small minivan that is 602mm longer than the 500 hatchback (4147mm vs. 3545mm).
Fiat plans three derivatives of the 500L: the five-seat minivan; the SUV-styled 500L Trekking; and the seven-seat 500XL, which is 200mm longer than the 500L.
Fiat started sales of the 500L in continental European last November. The UK gets the car in March and the United States in June. The 500L is the first Fiat model developed from its conception to be sold in Europe and the United States.
The 500L Trekking, which will compete in Europe against subcompact SUVs such as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, Ford EcoSport, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur, goes on sale in Europe and the United States in June.
"We think the 500L Trekking version could account for up to 50 percent of 500L sales in the United States compared with about 15 percent we expect in Europe," Fiat brand global head Olivier Francois told Automotive News Europe.
The seven-seat 500XL variant is expected to go on sale in Europe in July. The 500XL won't be sold in the U.S. because Fiat doesn't believe there is a market for seven-seat small minivans.
Fiat builds the 500L and its variants for global markets in Kragujevac, Serbia, in a factory that once made Yugo cars. Fiat has invested 1 billion euros to upgrade the plant.