Nissan has shot back at Fiat after the Italian automaker referred to the Nissan Leaf EV’s styling as visual pollution, pointing out recent Fiat offerings such as the Doblo. Fiat’s statements came ahead of the 2012 L.A. Auto Show, Automotive News reports.
“Let’s be honest, ugliness is probably one of the worst forms of pollution,” head of Fiat product marketing Matt Davis told Bloomberg prior to the Fiat 500E’s debut at last week’s L.A. Auto Show press days, “The Fiat 500e proves that you do not have to give up on good looks to deliver an electric car.”
Nissan head of global marketing communications Simon Sproule responded to Davis telling Automotive News, “Let’s face it, Fiat has not shied away from controversial styling themselves. Many [people] would describe many of their products as visual pollution. Take a long, hard look at the Fiat Doblo.”
Sproule also called out the Fiat 500E’s diminutive size and the automaker’s perceived lack of effort to bring it to market, saying, “They chose the smallest vehicle in their range with the least amount of passenger functionality. I don’t think they have the credibility or the hardware to stand behind these kinds of statements. Either you’re committed to it or not.”
Where Nissan has invested billions of dollars developing the Leaf EV, Sproule feels that Fiat is only making an EV to appease regulators. Fiat expects to lose $10,000 on each 500E it sells as the EV was developed to meet California emissions requirements and will only be sold in the U.S.
While Nissan Leaf sales haven’t lived up to the automaker’s expectations, Sproule cites range anxiety and charging infrastructure are the biggest hurdles to sales, rather than looks.
Which EV do you think is uglier? Tell us in the comments section below.
Source: Automotive News