Fiat 500 Abarth sells out in US
NEW YORK, June 6 — It was with some trepidation that Fiat launched its compact 500 in the US, and for some time it looked as if the Italian firm had seriously misjudged the US market.
Sales floundered, and by this time last year, many were questioning whether Americans were ready for such a tiny car — but this week came a further confirmation of an incredible turnaround since then.
The Fiat 500 Abarth, a high-performance tuned version of the model, has already sold out in the month since its launch in late April, reports the Detroit News, with Chrysler halting orders from dealers.
As showrooms run dry of the models, customers are to be put on a waiting list for the 2013 version, the report says, with the factory unable to produce more than the 3,000 vehicles it promised.
Although the production capacity is low, the surge in demand for the high-performance version will allow Fiat to breathe a sigh of relief for the fate of the 500, which suffered from what Chrysler executives called an ‘awareness problem’.
A high profile campaign featuring Jennifer Lopez appears to have helped the problem, with sales of Fiat models up 432 per cent in the US last month, according to Chrysler figures.
A total of 4,000 Fiats sold in May, the brand’s fourth consecutive sales record this year, creeping up to Fiat’s original (hugely ambitious) sales goal of 6,000 sales a month.
Interest in the Abarth was also reportedly boosted by a Super Bowl commercial starring model Catrinel Menghia, which proved to be among the most successful of the sporting spectacle’s line-up. — AFP/Relaxnews