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 |  Jun 24 2011, 2:25 PM

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Sales for the Fiat 500 are picking up after a slow start in the US market. The Mexican built US version was off to a slow start after only selling 3,141 units through the end of May, but the cute Italian car is gaining momentum. Chrysler has just 70 Fiat dealerships nationwide however there are plans to open another 60 by the end of the year, which should help move more units.

The original Fiat 500 was introduced in July 1957 and was then called the ”cinquecento”. Now in North America, Fiat is planning on launching a national marketing campaign for the new model on the Fourth of July, which will hopefully improve the the cars sales figures even more.

Three different trim levels are available including the Pop, Sport and Lounge models. The Pop base model retails for $15,500 which comes with power windows/ locks, power heated mirrors, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, cruise control and 7 airbags. The Sport model retails for $17,500 and comes with stiffer springs and shocks, 16-inch aluminium wheels, a more performance oriented exhaust, a Bose sounds system, leather wrapped steering wheel and hands free voice controls. The Lounge model retails for $19,500 and features a 6-speed automatic transmission and higher grade interior trim.

The 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine produces 100-hp and 98 lb-ft of torque. The 500 is rated at 30-mpg in the city and 38-mpg on the highway for a 33-mpg combined number.

[Source: USA Today]