Fiat’s got Europe whipped into a frenzy over its new 500 supermini, so much so that it’s just announced a plan to increase the number it can make by 20,000 cars a year.
Turin’s re-imagined city car is proving a sales phenomenon. Fiat took 10,000 deposits on the car on the first day it went on sale. To date it has 57,000 dealer orders from Italy and France, the only territories where you can currently order one; that means almost all of the cars Fiat was intending to produce this year have already been snapped up.
So understandably, Italy’s biggest car-maker is going to ramp up the 500 factory in Tychy, Poland. It will now knock out 67,000 units this year, and 140,000 units in 2008. It could rise even further in 2009, by which time the 500 sister car, the new Ford Ka, will be on sale.The order books open for us Brits on 15 September, and the increase in production will mean we stand at least a distant chance of getting a new 500 sometime in 2008.