Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

5 of 5
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.


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
The best Black Friday deals of 2015 This year's best Black Friday deals include some Apple products and a free Samsung smartphone. More
Delahaye - Behind the wheel of a French masterpiece This 1951 Delahaye represents the end of an era in gorgeous French car design. More
Slingshot is a three-wheeled thrill ride The Polaris Slingshot drives like a car with the excitement of a motorcycle. More

Special Offer