Fiat to discontinue 124 Spider after first generation?

Brand chief Olivier Francois says the roadster isn't a "pure" Fiat.

Fiat apparently has doubts about the 124 Spider's future after the first generation reaches the end of its life cycle.

The roadster was born from a platform-sharing agreement with Mazda, taking the MX-5 Miata's underpinnings and adding an Italian-designed body and Fiat engine.

Speaking to Autocar, Fiat chief Olivier Francois suggested the collaboration with Mazda has been successful in making the 124 Spider a profitable offering for the brand. He says the company has "no legitimacy" in the niche segment, however.

"It makes money and it adds a certain cool factor," he said. "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."

In the US market, 124 Spider sales fell by 21 percent to 3,515 units last year. Notably, the seemingly poor performance wasn't nearly as bad as the 55-percent drop in sales across the Fiat 500 lineup.

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