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Fiat puts new car sales online

Fiat is following in the footsteps of Vauxhall by retailing a special edition of its 500 exclusively through its website.

The 500byDiesel, developed by Fiat and fashion label Diesel, is based on the 500 Sport trim. It goes on sale in the UK from March.

It’s Fiat’s first venture into selling new cars directly via the web. But the company said exclusive online sales may be repeated with other special edition models in future if this trial is successful. However it has no plans to change its traditional dealership sales channel.

Customers can configure the 500byDiesel, which is priced from £11,150, pay a deposit, order it from the factory, track the car’s progress, make the final payment and arrange collection from their local dealer. The dealer gets a £350 fee for the handover.

Vauxhall launched a dot-com initiative in 2000 on select models, but sold fewer than 250 from a target of 1,500 in its first year. It no longer offers the service.

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