Electric cars are the thing of the future and Fiat's 500e series has received a lot of hype over the past few months, but the Fiat Chrysler CEO has a different idea and surprisingly isn't interested in people buying the vehicle at the moment. It is a strange happening at Fiat, which has come into the American market on a positive note with solid sellings.
Apparently, despite the positive media coverage of the 500e, the company continues to lose money on the vehicles, prompting CEO Sergio Marchionne to ask people to stop purchasing the vehicle in order for the company to turn the corner on revenue.
He was speaking in Washington and revealed that only California-based electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors is on the profitable side, claiming that state and federal rules have put a damper on many companies able to compete in the electric market at the present.
"I hope you don't buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000," he said to the audience at the Brookings Institution about the 500e. "I'm honest enough to tell you that."
It appears customers are ready to dole out more money for the car, and even at its over $32,000 price tag is not enough to cover costs. It is not a luxury car like Tesla's and that has made the high price tag for many shy away. It's gasoline run Fiat 500 has excellent gas mileage and is nearly half the electric version at $17,300.
Sales for Fiat Chrysler are down some 15 percent when compared to the previous year, although the company does not reveal the 500e breakdown.
"I will sell the (minimum) of what I need to sell and not one more," Marchionne said of the 500e.
Chrysler received a 2009 financial bailout from the United States after it filed for bankruptcy. And Marchionne argued that if the trends and high cost of electric cars are continued to be pushed upon companies without the market coming around, he warned that another round of bailouts for the auto industry may be needed.
"If we just build those vehicles, we'll be back asking ... in Washington for a second bailout because we'll be bankrupt," Marchionne said of electric cars.
Despite the call not to buy, the electric car model is still a feature on Fiat's website.