By Andrew Ganz
Friday, Jul 22nd, 2011 @ 9:05 am
 
To kickstart national sales of its 500 minicar in North America, Fiat will begin offering a new $199 per month lease and special financing as low as 1.9 percent.

The lease deal requires $1,999 at signing and lasts for 39 months. It applies to the base 500 Pop with a five-speed manual transmission, a model that would generally be considered the kind of car used to get people on dealer lots. But Fiat has said that about half of all 500 buyers are choosing to shift things themselves. A Pop with an automatic will run $20 more a month, while the range-topping automatic-only Lounge will run $279 per month.

As for the financing rates, they apply to a wider range of 500s. Those who want 1.9 percent, will need to sign on to a 36 month term; Fiat will also offer 2.9 percent for 48 months, 3.9 percent for 60 months and 5.9 percent for 72 months.

Fiat isn't offering the deals on its 500c convertible models, which have been especially quick movers on dealership lots.

While Fiat says it has been happy with sales so far, the company has acknowledged that its dealership network hasn't built itself up quite as fast as it anticipated. But with more dealers coming online every week, Fiat hopes that the special deals will mean more 500s on the road and less on dealer lots.

References
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