Fiat Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

Jack R. Nerad | May 11, 2020

After seeing the small car market evaporate over the past few years as fuel prices fell, Fiat was in the midst of trying to rejuvenate its fortunes on the strength of the 2020 Fiat 500X small SUV when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020. Largely as a result of the economic fallout associated with the pandemic, the first quarter was a lackluster one for Fiat. Sales of all four of its models were down, and the brand's overall sales for the quarter were off 49% versus the prior year.

Fiat Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

But though all automakers are struggling right now, Fiat looks for better days ahead. Fiat joins numerous automakers offering coronavirus car payment plans and programs to provide financial relief and incentives for customers. Its dealers are participating in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) "Drive Forward" initiative unveiled April 1, hoping to change the momentum.

One key element of "Drive Forward" is brand-new support for recent Fiat customers who might benefit from an adjustment to their payment plans based on a job loss or a cut in paid hours. For those interested in buying a new Fiat, the program features special financing offers and deferred initial payments that are compelling reasons to sign on the dotted line.

Fiat Customer Relief Programs - Find the best deals!

Many Fiat dealers rely on Chrysler Capital and Ally as key finance partners. Those two companies fund a significant share of Fiat car loans and leases here in the United States. Now, with financial hardships, unemployment, and disease rolling across the country both Chrysler Capital and Ally are offering payment relief options to consumers. 

Depending upon the circumstances of each customer, Ally Financial is offering its auto loan customers the opportunity to defer payments for up to 120 days. The company says no late fees will be charged, but finance charges will accrue over the deferral period. Ally Auto loan account holders are advised to contact Ally Auto customer care at 1-888-925-2559 to initiate the process and learn their options.

In a similar fashion, Chrysler Capital is offering its loan and lease customers potential help on a case-by-case basis. The company's customers can talk to a representative who can outline their options by making a phone call to 855-563-5635. Currently, wait times are lengthy due to the large number of callers, but getting personal questions answered is the best way to come to a successful resolution of individual issues. 

Fiat customers who didn't lease or finance their vehicle through Chrysler Capital or Ally Auto should contact their lender or leasing company directly. Many lenders are willing to assist with various payment options that include payment deferral, and a conversation will help customers to find out what their options are.

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Fiat New Car Incentives - Find the best deals!

For potential Fiat buyers, FCA's "Drive Forward" initiative offers 24/7 customer support, 0% APR financing for 36 months in addition to cash allowance incentives, and no payments for 120 days on some 2019 and 2020 models. These offers are available through June 1, 2020 but may be extended.

Many Fiat dealers are also offering home delivery and online shopping to assure an experience that stays within the social distancing guidelines. The Fiat “Drive Forward” online retail experience allows customers to select from the entire Fiat new-car lineup, choose trim and available packages, select a warranty, apply for financing, and request a credit check all from the safety and comfort of home. The program enables customers to schedule an at-home test drive through participating dealerships. 

When you’ve selected a vehicle, trade-in valuation, credit approval, application of incentives, and even the final document signing process can be done at home. Delivery is available through participating dealerships.

Fiat Factory Closures - Find the best deals!

All FCA U.S., Canadian, and European manufacturing plants closed in response to the pandemic, suspending more than 100,000 manufacturing employees in North America and Europe. The automaker began re-starting Fiat factories in Italy and Serbia at the start of May. Production of the 124 Spider, which is made by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan, was also interrupted for several weeks.

U.S. Fiat dealers have remained open for service business, and many are also selling vehicles both online and from their showrooms. Mopar Parts distribution centers also remained open, staffed with paid volunteers, and most Fiat dealer parts departments are open as well.

Fiat Economic Outlook & Sales Forecast - Find the best deals!

State and local social distancing guidelines led to a sharp drop in auto sales in March and contributed to FCA’s reported $1.9 billion loss during the first quarter. In the U.S., FCA sales fell 10% during the first three months of 2020.

FCA spokespeople we contacted were not willing to comment on the outlook for Fiat, FCA sales or on the overall outlook for 2020 calendar-year sales. Reports indicate that the FCA and PSA Group merger remains on track. When the two companies combine, they will form the world’s fourth largest automaker.

In contrast to a pre-virus forecast of 16.9 million sales in 2020, the most recent outlook from J.D. Power is for total vehicle sales is 12.6 to 14.5 million units.

The information in this article is from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and was accurate as of May 8, 2020. Plans and programs may have changed since that date. Be sure to confirm with your Fiat dealer that offers discussed in this article remain valid.

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