Behind the wheel of a Fiat 500

Fine craftsmanship meets award winning safety features

The Fiat was first manufactured in Italia in 1899 and introduced into America 27 years ago. Now, it has made a come back in America as the Fiat 500. The Fiat 500 was manufactured in Europe in 2007 and over 500,000 of the 500s have been sold since.

Alex Mahalak, general sales manager of Fiat of Winter Haven explains, “We refer to our building as a studio, not a dealership. The customer is the focal point during the development.” Fiat of Winter Haven’s motto is “let the customer have control during the entire process.” Mahalak adds, “We are here to provide the customer with all the information they need to make a decision on the vehicle they would like to own.“

Aside from its fine craftsmanship, the Fiat 500 is equally as safe as it is stylish. One of the safety features of the Fiat 500 is the number of airbags it carries. Seven airbags not only help to protect the driver and front seat passenger but additional passengers as well. Daytime running lights along with fog lights have been added for better visibility. Another characteristic of the Fiat 500 is the four-wheel anti-lock brakes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has bestowed the Fiat 500 with the Top Safety Pick Award. Top scores have to be earned in both front and side impact tests for a vehicle to ascertain such an exceptional safety recognition. Rear-impact whiplash protection is another test the Fiat 500 had to endure and pass in order to receive this title.

Electronic stability control, a computerized system that helps drivers maintain control during abrupt maneuvers, is another requirement to be selected for this outstanding award.

Fiat of Winter Haven has all the necessary departments for the convenience of their patrons. They are a full service studio with a sales, service and parts department for all makes and models. For the customers’ convenience, a detail department and body shop are also onsite.

As a member of the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, various events are hosted by Fiat of Winter Haven to support to the community. They generously commit their time and effort the Big Pink Ribbon for breast cancer research. The Chain of Lakes Bicycle Race, which proceeds benefit the Humane Society, is another program that Fiat of Winter Haven gives time and energy to support.

The Fiat 500 comes in three trim levels: 500 Pop, 500 Sport, and 500 Lounge. The entry-level trim (500 Pop) has been the best seller. A convertible has also been added to the selection of the Fiat 500s to give the customer yet another choice to add to its diversity.

Mahalak states, “We want all of our customers to feel they are part of the Fiat family when they leave in a new vehicle. When customers come into Fiat of Winter Haven, the art deco studio is a very relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy a cappuccino or espresso. We want everyone to know that the Fiat is a well-built, eye-catching, fuel-efficient vehicle that is elegant and affordable as well as safe.”


story by DALE BLISS

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