The CEO for Fiat Chrysler (remember how an Italian company helped save Detroit?) is begging Americans to kill more polar bears, pollute the air, and continue to melt the polar ice caps… Or something. There’s also an outside chance that he’s just being a responsible CEO by trying to keep his company out of bankruptcy. Whatever the reason, Sergio Marchionne is asking consumers to steer clear of the company’s all electric Fiat.
Under the direction of Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler is apparently taking a new approach to keeping the company solvent: Sell cars that people actually want to buy. And he is letting everyone who will listen know that the automaker’s electric version of the 500 is not a car you want… He hopes. As it turns out, each 500e that rolls off the showroom floor costs the company money. A lot of money… And that’s after all of Obama’s cute little tax credits and manufacturer “incentives”.
“I hope you don't buy [one] 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…I will sell the (minimum) of what I need to sell and not one more.”
Being green isn’t easy, but it’s also not cheap. The gasoline version of the same car sells with a starting price (including delivery charges) of roughly $17,000… DealerFeesSalesTaxesAndFinancingChargesExtra. (Did you just read that with a fast paced announcer voice? Because that’s how it sounded in my head.) The electric 500e has a starting price point of roughly $32,650… And that’s without any thrills like heated seats, voice controlled navigation, or extra cup holders. Heck, I’m not even sure that model comes standard with turn signals. And even with this highly inflated price tag compared to its fossil-fuel sibling, the company takes a substantial loss with each rare sale.
Lucky for Fiat Chrysler, it seems the CEO’s wish is being answered. As it turns out, a $32,650 electric version of a $17,000 car is really only marketable to a niche sector of the American public. In a sane world, such a product would quickly find itself relegated to the ash-heap of corporate history. But, this isn’t a sane world. After all, we live in a world run by liberals.
Which, really, is the only explanation for Chrysler’s continued production of the 500e. Due to government regulations, CAFE standards, and “environmental consciousness”, the company must produce a certain number of electric (or highly fuel efficient) vehicles. Basically, progressive leaders in government have decided that it is more important to follow some questionable science about saving polar bears, than taking steps to keep people employed.
Marchionne also said that the company may have to increase its electric vehicle fleet to over half of its total sales by 2025… That’s a lot of red ink if Fiat can’t convince people to start shelling enough money to at least cover the cost of production. He hit the point home by saying that, unless something changes, Chrysler will be begging for another bailout because of government mandates driving down their profits. As Steve Martin once said: “Ah… So it’s a profit deal!”
Of course, if Marchionne really wanted to keep people from buying the 500e, he could just follow the example of the Chevy Volt… Nothing turns away would-be consumers like a little spontaneous combustion.