Fiat 500 buyers snapping up pricier options

After 28 years, Fiat is now back in the U.S. with its 500 model, which is doing well for the automaker.

American buyers are opting for the more expensive of the many packages available for the car, which is driving up revenue for Fiat overall. A Fiat 500 can be picked up for $15,500 for a base model, but the Sport model that goes for $2,000 more has so far made up for around half of the U.S. sales to date.

Another 20 percent of sales goes to the Lounge line, which has a price tag of $19.500. The extra thousands get the consumer a satellite radio, glass roof, larger wheels, and leather seats.

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The 94 dealers throughout the country are all seeing the same trend: that American buyers want to customize their cars. It is such a priority that people are waiting up to eight weeks for their personalized rides. Since March Fiat has sold 7,982 units in the U.S., with 3,038 in July alone.

Fiat is expecting the tiny car to produce sales numbers of over 50,000 per year once all the anticipated 130 dealers open their doors. With over 500,000 customization options available, the possibilities must seem endless to consumers, and the automaker is considering opening regional yards to stockpile the cars across the U.S. to keep up.

Refresher: Hitting dealerships in spring 2011, the North American version of the Fiat 500 is powered by Fiat’s 1.4L in-line 4-cylinder engine featuring MultiAir technology. The system delivers an increase in power up to 10 percent and a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions up to 10 percent when compared to competitor engines. Prices for the Fiat 500 will start at $15,500.

2011 Fiat 500 (North America):


– By: Alexandra Koken

Source: Automotive News