In times of crisis, sales figures are sluggish. We can no longer afford mid-range limousines and prestige cars, but in Germany at least, one market segment is having a better time of it: here, the government premium for scrapping your car is giving a particularly powerful boost to small car sales.
Of course, offering the right product to meet this demand is important, which is why Fiat are introducing their new 500 Cabrio. Admittedly, we would have been happier with a completely open-topped version, like the Mini, but it would presumably have cost considerably more, so we are prepared to view the Fiat 500 Cabrio as a successful compromise.
From a design point of view, little has been changed. The solid metal roof and rear window have been replaced with a rolled material roof stretched over the heads of its fashion-conscious owners.
Obviously, we're not going to forget its historical background, as the original Fiat 500 drove around with exactly the same design concept and won the hearts of thousands.
And this soft-top is sure to be a success too, as the less sophisticated structure of this version must surely keep the price lower than a completely open-topped Fiat 500. This should also make it affordable for a younger buying public. Perhaps we should not view the new Cabrio baby as a compromise solution in these times of economic downturn but as a natural successor to the original 500. It makes saving money fun. We eagerly await the Fiat 500 roadster.