Fiat boss takes COTY prize at awards ceremony in Berlin
29 January 2008

Fiat Group boss Sergio Marchionne last night accepted the most coveted accolade in the European car industry – the Car of the Year award – for the firm’s new 500 supermini.The Fiat 500 becomes only the second new car from the market’s A-segment (that of the Ford Ka and Toyota Aygo) to pick up the gong, having been voted favourite by 33 of the members of COTY’s 58-strong jury of motoring journalists. The first “city car” to win the competition was the Fiat Panda in 2004.The Fiat 500 has also become the first car of its size to win five stars for adult occupant protection in EuroNCAP’s crash tests, coming as standard with seven airbags, electronic stability control as an option, and with a range of Euro V emissions-compatible engines.It was a good day for the Fiat Group yesterday, it having also published financial results which showed that it has cleared its debt to the banks and is beginning to build up reserves of capital.Picking up the prize, Marchionne said: “We have gone a long way in a short space of time, and I am proud to be able to underline that Fiat was the fastest growing car brand in Europe last year.” “The 500 is not a final target for the brand, but just the first stage in the ongoing development of the ‘new Fiat’. Which is why we see the 500 as not just a car, but as a ‘travelling agenda’ of what we want to achieve.”So far, 140,000 orders have been placed for the Fiat 500 Europe-wide; the car had its UK launch earlier this month, and initial fears about poor UK supply have been allayed. “If you ordered a factory-built car today, you could expect to take delivery in April,” a Fiat source told us.

Our Verdict

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The Fiat 500 is a deserved success story for the brand, offering bags of style, a fine drive and low costs

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Our Verdict

Fiat 500 review hero front

The Fiat 500 is a deserved success story for the brand, offering bags of style, a fine drive and low costs

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week