Fiat bypasses dealers

Time 4:50 pm, December 5, 2008

Fiat bypasses dealers with web 500FIAT is stepping up its innovative use of the internet – by retailing a special edition 500 exclusively online.

The ‘500byDIESEL’ will see global production limited to 10,000 cars. All of these can only be bought through a fully automated website.

This includes a car configurator, payment tool, factory order service and progress tracker.

So where do dealers come into it? Only in the final stage, when the customer takes delivery. The dealer nearest to them will be searched for, and contacted via Fiat UK.

This online ordering service was trialled on the Abarth 500. There, customers could pre-order 1 of 200 models 6 months ahead of UK availability. It was so successful, all the cars were allocated within 3 months.

The 500byDIESEL model is the next step in Fiat’s e-commerce programme.

3 engines will power the special 500 – 1.2, 1.4 or 1.3 MultiJet. What makes it special, then? Metallic green, black or brown paint, for starters. There are DIESEL-logo’d 16-inch alloys, yellow brake callipers, DIESEL logos and special door mirrors.

Inside, the seats are finished in denim. There are DIESEL logos everywhere. Even jeans-style pockets on the side of the front seats. Prices start at £11,150.

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