Fiat has some ambitious plans for their 2012 Fiat 500 in the U.S. market. The automaker wants to sell a minimum of 30,000 Fiat 500s in the United States this year, but delays in dealership openings have put that plan in jeopardy. Through June, Fiat sold just 4,944 500s in America; to reach its goal, it needs to average 4,176 sales per month for the remainder of the year.
Since the planned 130 dealerships won’t all be online until the end of the year, Fiat is helping its existing 93 dealerships move cars via an aggressive lease plan and discounted financing. Leases start at just $199 per month for the entry-level Pop version, and go up to $279 per month for the range-topping Lounge model. All leases require $1,999 down at signing, and the lease term is 39 months.
If you’d rather buy a Fiat 500, the automaker is offering 1.9-percent financing for 36 months, and interest rates of 2.9 percent for 48 months, 3.9 percent for 60 months and 5.9 percent for 72 months.
Both plans will be backed up by a television ad campaign, due to start in the coming weeks. There’s a catch to all this, though: the brand’s popular Fiat 500 Cabrio, which currently accounts for up to 20 percent of sales, is excluded from the special financing and leasing programs.
[Automotive News (subscription required)]