Fiat won’t replace the Mazda MX-5-based 124 Spider when its life cycle ends, as it is looking to re-invent its line-up.
Earlier this week, chief executive Oliver François revealed that the company will focus much of its energy in the future to expand its city car business and growing the 500 family. The executive went on to state that Fiat won’t build any big cars, premium cars, or sporty cars, seemingly ruling out the possibility of a successor to the 124 Spider.
During a recent interview with Autocar, François added that, while the 124 Spider is profitable, it isn’t particularly important for the future of the Italian car manufacturer.
“The 124 market is a niche one. It is profitable business for us – but only because of the joint venture,” he said. “It was an opportunity and we took it. It makes money and it adds a certain cool factor but I accept that such a car may not be key to the future of the brand. It is not what I’d call a pure, absolute Fiat, but for now, it remains an interesting opportunity.”
Earlier this year, Fiat’s UK branch announced that it would stop selling both the Fiat 124 Spider and the Abarth 124 Spider claiming it wasn’t making any money with the two sports cars.
Sales of the 124 Spider have never been particularly strong; in 2017, only 7,800 units were sold across all of Europe. We suspect that some buyers have been put off by the fact that the 124 Spider is more expensive than the MX-5 despite essentially being the same car but with small design changes and a different engine.