London: Seventy two all-black Fiat 500 superminis have been acquired by communications specialist Nokia, in a UK fleet deal that will see the distinctively liveried Fiats help kick-start a new high profile promotion by the phone manufacturing giant.
This summer, Nokia UK is launching ‘Nokia Connectors’ – sending teams of student brand ambassadors on to UK streets, parks, beaches and parties, to help the public unlock the full potential from their phones. Based all over the UK in 18 key cities and armed with Nokia handsets and Fiat 500s, the aim is for brand ambassadors to entertain and connect with potential consumers, particularly in relation to Nokia’s new 6220 phone.
The vehicle purchasing brief was for a great looking car that fitted Nokia’s youthful brand image. The 500, currently Car of the Year 2008, is rapidly becoming a lifestyle must-have, and was selected over stiff competition.
Models purchased include engine sizes of 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 litres and with Sport or Lounge specification interiors. All engines boast outstanding performance and economy, coupled to ultra-clean green credentials, as illustrated by the 1.2 Pop version, which scooped top honours in the Green Supermini category at the What Car? Green Awards held in London last month.
Of special interest to fleet buyers, residual value guides for the Fiat 500 have recently increased, due in part to the model’s huge success. Current estimates rate the entry level 500 1.2 Pop as having a retained value at 47 per cent after three years.
“This business win is typical of the fleet interest being shown in the Fiat 500 right now by companies large and small,” says Fiat Auto Financial Services’ Business Finance Manager David Joyce. “The retro-styling of the new 500, which has already captured the public’s imagination, is now filtering through to fleet users.”
Alex Leoni, National Sales Manager for Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa, echoes this sentiment: “Although the Cinquecento has only been on the market for one month we’ve already had several enquiries from corporates – the attraction is the 500’s ultra-hip ‘persona’ which makes it the perfect fit for many a trendy brand.”