Monday, August 8, 2011

Fiat has returned to the American market after 28 years – and it has done so in style with its colorful city car, the 500. Besides having already sold 7,982 cars since March with 3,038 deliveries in July alone, Fiat seems to be reaping great profits from its small model.
That’s because American buyers apparently like to personalize their 500 by choosing pricier editions and adding numerous options. As a result, prices go up generating bigger profits for the Italian brand.
For example, the Sport version accounts for almost half of the 500's sales, despite being $2,000 more expensive than the base Pop version, according to the brand’s chief, Laura Soave.
Moreover, the $19,500 Lounge accounts for 20% of total US sales in the first five months of 2011. Apparently, customizing seems to be the rule rather than the exception.
“A lot of what we ‘re seeing is customers really wanting to build their car” said Soave. And they’re willing not just to pay more, but also wait patiently for six to eight weeks to get their personalized 500 delivered.
The 500 is offered in 14 exterior colors and numerous options that allow for 500,000 different combinations.
Fiat already has 94 US dealerships through which the 500 is sold, and until the end of the year this number will reach 500 across the States. Finally, the high demand of the 500 has forced Fiat to increase its US inventory from the initial target of 60 days to 90 days by the end of July.


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