Marchionne Expects the 500e to Be a Success image

Sergio Marchionne believes that Fiat 500e will be a success as long as it stays close to the styling of the gasoline-powered 500.

After Fiat returned to the US in 2010 with its 500 subcompact, it will now unveil the electric version of the model at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. Chrysler will begin selling the 500e in 2013 and Marchionne expects the car to be a success, as long as it keeps the gasoline-powered 500 styling, promoted by Charlie Sheen and Jennifer Lopez. This is a totally different move compared with Nissan which chose to attract buyers with its unconventionally styled Leaf electric car.

“Let’s be honest, ugliness is probably one of the worst forms of pollution,” Matt Davis, head of Fiat brand product marketing, told reporters this month during a briefing at Chrysler’s domed design center in its Auburn Hills, Michigan, headquarters. “The Fiat 500e proves that you do not have to give up on good looks to deliver an electric car.”

Currently sales of natural gas and diesel engines are still low and MArchionne said the company will lose about $14,000 on each 500e sold. During the first ten months of this year Nissan’s Leaf sales dropped 16% to 6,791 units and the automaker announced it will miss to reach this year’s target of 20,000 vehicles.