Fiat is really excited about its re-launch in the United States, however the first batch of the Fiat 500 subcompact vehicles will carry a manual transmission. This is the second hiccup in the launch of the Fiat 500, which is launching later than first expected.
To make matters a little more challenging, only 20 percent of the 130 Fiat dealerships will be open when the first units arrive, said Laura Soave, head of the Fiat brand in North America.
“We will really start to ramp up in March and April,” Soave said. “That’s when 500s with six-speed automatic transmissions from Aisin Seiki Co. will begin arriving in dealerships.”
Chrysler expects most of the Fiat 500 to be sold in the United States with an automatic transmission.
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 2012 Fiat 500 will start at $15,500.
– By: Omar Rana