Fiat Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

Jack R. Nerad | April 8, 2020

After seeing the small coupe 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 revised 2020 Fiat 500X small SUV when the coronavirus scare 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 auto brands are struggling right now, Fiat looks for better days ahead as it joins the list of auto makers offering coronavirus car payment plans and programs. 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 with 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 'round-the-clock customer support, zero-percent financing for 84 months and no payments for 90 days on some 2019 and 2020 models. For precise information on the models that qualify for 84-month zero-percent financing and 90-day deferred payments in your area go to or contact your local dealer.

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 the vehicle is selected, 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. and Canadian manufacturing plants have been closed, and Fiat's European plants are closed as well. More than 100,000 manufacturing employees in North America and Europe are idled by the production suspensions. Fiat Chrysler headquarters, manufacturing plants, and construction projects are currently expected to remain closed until at least April 14.

At the same time, the majority of U.S. Fiat dealers remain open for service business, and many are also selling vehicles both online and from their showrooms. Mopar Parts distribution centers remain open, staffed with paid volunteers for their employee rolls, and most Fiat dealer parts departments are open as well. FCA will continue to evaluate conditions and could extend production suspensions if deemed necessary.

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. In contrast to a pre-virus forecast of 16.9 million sales in 2020, the March sales total translated to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 11.2 million. With continuing business disruptions and lockdowns as the virus spreads, the April sales decline could be even worse than the March results. 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.

According to J.D. Power, sales results going forward will be affected by the course of the pandemic itself, vehicle production lost to plant closures, and the legal restrictions on business activity designed to fight the pandemic. Despite some hopeful signs that the pandemic may be peaking in the U.S. as this is written, J.D. Power's most recent 2020 outlook for total vehicle sales is 12.1 to 14.8 million units.

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