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
Awesome car options for first-time buyers There are lots of good options for millennials shopping for their first car. These models might not be the most popular, but they're worth considering. More
6 surprising things for sale on Taobao Consumers can buy just about anything and get it shipped to their door from Alibaba's Taobao, China's most popular online shopping platform. More
Most notorious recalls ever It's not just automakers that issue massive recalls. From lawn darts to Pokemon balls, plenty of other consumer products have been deemed dangerous, or worse, deadly. More

Special Offer