So here we are well and truly into Spring, the sun is shining, temperatures are on the rise, no doubt many a person who is thinking of purchasing their next car who will be considering a roadster. And why wouldn’t they? I would, we road tested the Fiat 124 Spider last year and although being based on the (quite frankly very good) Mazda MX-5, the 124 is more stylish, better and most of all it give’s you a nice warm feeling inside because you have an Italian roadster – Fantastico!
Then of course you have it’s louder more brash brother, the Abarth 124 Spider, with a slip-diff it is a bit more fun, more focused and yes louder, it is brilliant, we love them both.
However before you start searching the internet for the best deal on one or the other of these fabulous 124’s we have to break the news, that according to FCA UK boss Arnaud LeClerc, in a recent press interview LeClerc has said there is no profit in bringing the 124 Spider to the UK, (although he does admit this could change) so they will no longer be for sale, as either Fiat or Abarth.
Oh well that’s fair enough then, after all if no profit can be made then don’t bother, er no actually that is wrong, wrong, wrong. A carmaker should always have something in its range which brings people into the showrooms, a halo model and Italian brands more than any others should have a car that makes you want it, stirs your soul, makes things happen in the loin area. The 124 Spider does that, the Abarth version by the bucket load.
FCA might not be the most cash rich carmaker in the market but between its various brands it should be more than able to cover any small profit loss it makes from the 124 Spider in the UK, we are after all it’s biggest Abarth market outside of Italy.
There could be of course another reason for the group dropping the roadsters in the UK and that is emissions, we have mentioned this previously, when we heard the Fiat 124 was no longer on sale here that this was due to new emissions coming in and the existing engine not being compliant. If that is the case more so than any profit scenario then you can be a bit more understanding, kind of, although the phrase ‘short-sightedness’ springs to mind.
In all we hope this is just a temporary glitch by the company, for all it’s various 500 model’s, Fiat need’s the 124 Spider, it is a brilliant roadster and keep it competitively priced, both the Fiat and Abarth version’s could get the kind of customer loyalty the 500 has seen, with Abarth 595’s having almost a cult status amongst petrolheads, the 124 Spider can quite easily follow suit…