American consumers buying the Fiat 500 are choosing pricier packages and customized options. The mid level Sport ($17,500) model accounts for almost half of the model’s sales in the first five months of the Italian brand in the U.S.
The top level Lounge ($19,500) model represents 20 percent of sales which features bigger wheels, leather seats, satellite radio and a glass roof. ”A lot of what we’re seeing is customers really want to build their car,” said Laura Soave, head of the Fiat brand in North America. ”Customers are willing to wait the six to eight weeks to get the one they want.”
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler, aims to merge both automakers to reduce costs and generate over $142 billion by 2014. Chrysler predicts selling more than 50,000 500′s annually in the US. Fiat has delivered 7,982 500′s in the US since March and has sold 3,038 units in July. Fiat will open 130 initial dealerships and hopes to attain its sales target by 2011. The 500 is built in Chrysler’s factory near Mexico City.
[Source: Automotive News]
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