Under the scheme, outlets will be able to sell Fiat-badged vehicles to sub-100 fleet operators with the support of the company's corporate sales team. The network will be created by existing retailers with the facilities and the infrastructure to support fleet sales and servicing.
As well as Stilo, volume models driving the initiative will be the new-look Punto and a new supermini which will revive the Panda name. Powered by a 1.3-litre multijet petrol unit – also in Punto – and a Euro IV compliant diesel engine, the three-door and five-door hatchback, which was to be called Gingo, will go on sale early next year.
So far, Fiat has signed up 34 specialist fleet retailers and hopes to increase this to 50 by the end of the year. The programme was given a successful trial run last year at 22 sites in the UK. Qualifying dealers will be required to employ a specialist sales person dedicated to the development of fleet business with sales and finance training. In return, Fiat is offering basic salary and activity support as well as providing a laptop for sales and presentations.
Tony Dittli, Fiat fleet operations manager, says: “For an average fleet specialist dealer who meets all the criteria, we offer a package that contributes about 50 per cent of total potential earnings for the sales person employed.”
He expects fleet specialist dealers to achieve at least 25 per cent fleet mix of their total target volumes. Retailers will be targeting taxi firms, local authorities, driving schools, Motability customers and small to medium companies.