One of the more
traumatic moments every child faces in school is being chosen last
for a team in gym class.
Itís similar with
automobiles. For every F-150, Camry or CR-V, thereís a vehicle
like the Fiat 124 Spider piling up like cordwood in August. While
Fiat had grand hopes for this car to burnish its image in America,
dealers have a 461-day supply, seven-and-a-half times more than the
Then again, Americans
dislike Fiat. Retailers have a 250-day supply of vehicles, making
Fiat the least popular brand in America selling the least popular
car in America. Itís like being chosen last for the dodgeball.
Contrast this with Subaru, with a 42-day supply, or Mercedes-Benz
with a 48-day supply.
At the beginning of
February, 4,015,500 unsold vehicles remained in dealer inventory, an
88-day supply. Of those, these are the 10 least popular vehicles in
America, ones that were invited to a party that no oneís
attending. (The list doesnít include the Chevrolet Blazer and
Honda Ridgeline, two new models reaching showrooms for the first
time, and thus have high inventories.)
Fiat 124 Spider:
Based on the Mazda
Miata, the 124 Spider uses an exclusive Fiat turbocharged engine,
more relaxed suspension tuning and a richer interior than its
Japanese identical cousin. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
and the Miata wins. And the 124 Spiderís more relaxed driving feel
isnít what buyers expect from a two-seat roadster.
Dodge Viper: 425-day
ended in 2017, itís surprising that thereís a 425-day supply of
Vipers ($99,800). Credit the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT
Hellcat ($58,995) and Charger SRT Hellcat ($65,545), along with the
808-horsepower Challenger SRT Demon ($83,295), which offer more
power and practicality for less money.
Dodge Dart: 358-day
If you want to know
how unpopular the Dodge Dart was, consider this: Production ended in
2016. Three years later, thereís 358-day supply languishing on
dealer lots. Astonishingly unpopular, it shows that no one looks to
Dodge for a small, economical sedan that looks like a bland Dodge
Fiat 500L: 329-day
To those buyers who
consider European design and manufacturing superior to the rest of
the world, I offer up the slow Fiat 500L as proof you are mistaken.
With lumpy looks only a pope could love, the 500L is proof of former
CEO Sergio Marchionneís contempt for his customers. He actually
thought they would buy one.
Itís hard to find a
more superb sports car than the Chevrolet Corvette, but younger
people have neither the money nor the desire to buy it, whereas
older people who can relate to it canít justify the cost. Then
thereís the arrival of the rumored mid-engine Corvette, which
promises more performance and a better driving experience.
Jeep Patriot: 217-day
Launched in 2007,
this bargain-basement Jeep survived until 2016, when it was
mercifully put out to pasture. Clearly built to a price, its best
attribute was fooling consumers that it was a Jeep when in fact it
was a Dodge Caliber in disguise. A poser at best, itís hardly
surprising that so many await unsuspecting buyers three years later.
Acura RLX: 210-day
had any luck peddling its sophisticated flagship sedans since it
started favoring alphanumeric names over proper ones like the Legend
and Integra. The RLX remains a solid sedan in search of an identity,
proof that automakers still fail to understand the power of a
popular model name.
While itís not true
that this Lilliputian hatchback comes in an R.I.P. trim level, it is
still a hard sell. Credit its barren interior, miniscule size,
meager performance and unremarkable fuel economy. Its best feature
is that, at 143.1 inches long, itís among the shortest cars you
can buy, making parallel parking a snap.
If the Envision seems
unremarkable, it is notable for its distinction as the first
Chinese-built vehicle sold in America. Is this what Americans hold
against this handsome, if unremarkable crossover? No. More likely
itís the price, which ranges from $31,995 to $43,600 for the 2019
model, a drop of about $2,000 from previously. Clearly, GM never
envisioned this turn of events.
Buick Regal: 182-day
Based on the
European-market Opel Insignia, the Regal lacks the athleticism
youíd expect given its European genetics. Add the superannuated
name and itís little wonder that the Regal holds little appeal
with younger buyers, while this premium sedanís older clientele is
moving to crossovers that make getting in and out easier.
Fiat 500X: 180-day
In an era when the
popularity of crossover SUVs grows unabated, the 500X, a vehicle
brimming with Italian brio, remains an also-ran despite its stylish
demeanor. The issue arises from its window sticker, which gets
fairly spendy once you pile on the optional goodies. It proves how
few Americans desire owning a Fiat of any kind.