5 of 5
BACKNEXT
Maybe a squeeze for Americans
Maybe a squeeze for Americans
While Americans are downsizing their rides, the 500 may be taking things too far, said Erich Merkle, an auto industry analyst and editor of the Web site Autoconomy.com.

"A Ford Escape is smaller than an Expedition," he said, "but it's a lot larger than a 500."

The 500 also faces a familiarity problem. While retro cars are supposed to recall memories of another time, few Americans have ever driven a 500 or, for that matter, have even seen one in the flesh.

"If you look at the Mini Cooper, it has a retro look to it," he said, "but Americans remember the Mini Cooper."

Given its challenges, Fiat's decision to build this car in Mexico is a smart one, Merkle said, because Mexico has free trade agreements with Latin American countries as well as with the U.S. and Canada. That means there's not too much pressure to sell a lot of 500s here. If it flops, the factory can simply send more cars south and fewer north.

"I think it's a great car for Mexico and Latin America," he said.

NEXT

Last updated November 12 2009: 6:15 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
Find Your Next Car
More Galleries
7 epic gadget flops From the Microsoft Zune to the BlackBerry PlayBook, the Fire Phone is following in some unfortunate footsteps. More
What I gave up to save $1 million They may have million dollar-plus nest eggs, but they had to make some big sacrifices along the way to get there. Here's what these four savers did without in order to save seven-figures retirement. More
World's Top Employers for New Grads For an exclusive CNNMoney list, research firm Universum Global surveyed college students around the world to see where they most want to work. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.