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Fiat Bucks Trend, Sees Sales Rise

Posted Thursday, Apr 16, 2009, 12:05 pm in Employee News

Italian automaker Fiat outpaced its European competition last month, reporting a 14.7 percent increase in March sales amid an overall drop in European car sales of 9 percent.Fiat was the only European automaker to see sales grow, to 131,315 vehicles last month, increasing its market share from 7.4 percent to 9.2 percent in March 2008.

Fiat sales were up more than 200 percent in Germany, where the market was up 40 percent thanks to a government incentive program giving car owners $2,500 to trade in older cars for new models. The program is believed to especially benefit makers of small cars like Fiat as consumers turn to models that are less expensive to buy and operate.

Fiat grew at three times the market rate in France for a 25 percent increase in volume.

The German auto club and lobby ADAC gave the Fiat Panda high marks for reliability (equal to the Toyota Aygo) making the Panda the third-most reliable small car on German roads.

The Fiat Punto placed in the middle of 32 small cars ranked by the ADAC, when the last six model years were averaged in. The Fiat 500 was not ranked, since it has not been sold in Germany long enough. (Associated Press)
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