The first batch of Fiat 500Ls intended for consumers in North America has finally arrived. Around 3,000 Fiat 500Ls started their long-haul journey from the carmaker’s Kragujevac site in Serbia in March 2013. They were then taken by train to the port of Bar in Montenegro, where they were loaded on a vessel on May 10, 2013.
The vessel then headed for North America, arriving in the port of Baltimore in the United States on May 23, 2013. After unloading the US share of the Fiat 500L shipment, the vessel then proceeded to the port of Halifax in Canada, where it unloaded the rest of the new vehicle units on May 26, 2013.
In February 2013, Fiat was named as the 'Companybest 2012' by a jury from Autobest, an organization for the auto industry in emerging European markets, for the carmaker’s investment in the reconstruction of Kragujevac site in Serbia, turning it into one of the most modern car plants in Europe.
Fiat Automobiles Serbia (FAS) is planning to build between 110,000 and 150,000 500Ls this year to cater to demand from over 100 global markets, including North America, Asia and the Pacific region. Kragujevac site has hired around 600 extra workers to keep up with increased production and exports of the Fiat 500L. The site currently employs more than 3,000 people and provides job to 1,200 workers in supplier companies. The Fiat 500L boasts of being compact outside but roomy inside.
Exhibiting exceptional versatility, the 500L also boasts of all-round protection, evidenced by its EuroNCAP 5 star safety rating. The 500L is the only model in its segment that has been posting increasing sales in Europe, where demand for vehicles has been slumping.
Fiat has already sold and registered almost 34,000 500Ls since it was launched in Europe late last year. The 500L can be described as Fiat's 'City Lounge,' thanks to its unique characteristic – it has the compact external dimensions of the B segment and the performance, interior and equipment of the C segment.
The 500 has been quite popular with 800,000 units running in 110 countries across the globe. And to catch up with the fast-paced market, the 500 offers new experiences to meet with its customers’ needs. While the super-compact 500 is perfect for young professionals in the city, the Fiat 500L is the first in the 500 family to accommodate the simplest pleasures and emotions in life – children and friends, journeys and songs that accompany them, and the community in general.
Fiat’s automobile history is built on a core topic which links “moments and experiences”. These, along with its profound sensitivity and ability to evolve, are contributors to its success. Fiat’s design team has drawn inspiration from Dante Giacosa – well-defined products with rich technical and design experiences and a distinctive “inventive aptitude” that has catapulted this Italian design to success worldwide.
The success of the Italian brand started in 1956 with the 600 Multipla which have then given birth to the 500L project – recovering different “archetypal” elements as basis of its multifunctional and morphological root – and to the 1957 Fiat 500, 1972 Fiat 127, the 1980 Panda, the 1983 Uno and the 1998 Multipla, all of which have displayed radical and innovative car tuning.