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No Need to Haggle Over a 2012 Fiat 500

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author photo by Autotrader January 2011

A taste of Italy is coming back to U.S. car showrooms in the form of the Fiat 500 subcompact. However, despite the presence of good espresso coffee, there will be no gesticulating or exaggerated hand movements when working out the price with the salesman (or saleswoman). Fiat is making it all a haggle-free process.

"The younger generation doesn't haggle," said Laura Soave, head of Fiat North America. "They don't feel comfortable with it. They hate the experience." And it's the younger generation Fiat is aiming for with this cute, retro-styled three-door, the hip city dwellers who tend to be taste makers.

And so Fiat has decreed that what you see on the sticker is what you pay. "The pricing is the pricing," said Soave. This starts at $15,500 (plus destination) for the Pop trim level (there is also the Sport and Lounge). Buyers can then choose various personalization options on top of that.

Between wheels, interior and exterior colors, badges, roof decals, racing stripes, kick plates and all manner of things, it works out to around 500,000 permutations. Chances are, no two 500s will be identical. Indeed, the traditional role of sales person will also be ditched in favor of sales "consultants" who will guide buyers through the manifold ways to make a 500 their own and also be the contact person when it's service time.

Dealers are allowed to set their own prices to an extent, but Fiat has located its franchises so that competitive discounting would not be necessary. These sales areas are called Fiat Studios and will usually be within Chrysler showrooms, since Fiat is running things over at Auburn Hills, Michigan, these days. Carl Galeana, who runs Chrysler dealerships in Michigan, South Carolina and Florida, has already noted that "the passion for a Fiat is much bigger than I thought." He used to sell Saturn vehicles, another brand whose no-haggle policy was received favorably by his customers.

Rebecca Lindland, an industry analyst with IHS Automotive, calls this "a really smart move" and thinks it can be effective if buyers feel they are getting a good deal in the first place. Such things bode well for Chrysler in the wake of its bankruptcy, since the award-winning Fiat 500, available now, is a cornerstone of the company's renaissance.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
No Need to Haggle Over a 2012 Fiat 500 - Autotrader