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Fiat hopes for 5% Stilo share



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Fiat Auto UK is confidently predicting Stilo sales of 32,000 this year, up 60% on the 1996 peak achieved by the Brava/Bravo models. It goes on sale this month.

The company has invested £10m promoting the important 3- and 5dr Stilo, which includes a TV ad filmed in New York.

Jim Blades, Fiat Auto UK managing director, said: “We have gone overboard launching Stilo. There has never been a Fiat launch of such intensity. Our staff have been totally immersed in it.”

Fiat is aiming for 5% of the C-sector market share, compared to the Brava/ Bravo's 3.5%. Mr Blades claimed that with estate car and MPV variants the Stilo could match Punto's 9% share of the B-segment.

The build up to the Stilo's arrival in UK showrooms includes 'backstage' previews and specialist staff.

Demonstrators have been with dealers since the start of the year.

Mr Blades said the Stilo was central to a major assault on fleet sales, particularly leasing and contract hire. Fiat has revamped its network's used car operation to strengthen residual values.

The Stilo, featuring a variety of high technology equipment, is priced from £10,835 for the 3dr 1.2-litre Active to £16,135 for the 5dr, 2.4-litre Abarth. It will also be offered with 1.6 and 1.8-litre petrol engines – a 2-litre option will be launched later this year – and a 1.9 JTD diesel, with a 1.2 diesel in the pipeline.

Its promotional push includes using the world's largest billboard on the Birmingham Ford Dunlop building alongside the M6 for a three-month period.

That stretch of motorway carries 3.6m vehicles a month.

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