Fiat’s $49-A-Month 500e Lease Deals Are Never Coming Back


The last time Fiat made an electric 500, the late (pre-Stellantis) Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne actively encouraged people not to buy the car. The brand was losing a five-figure amount of cash on each unit sold. The result was that Fiat could offer a lease deal for as little as $49, with state and federal incentives. It was an amazing deal. But Fiat’s North American Lead Aamir Ahmed said it’s never, ever coming back. 

Out of 6 Tested Vehicles, Fiat 500e Emerged as

According to Ahmed, the new 500e is far better than the old 500e. It’s a ground-up fully electric model with no shared development costs against a gas-powered car.  “You know, actually we’re cash-positive on this product. Other competitors that we’ve looked into that play in this price range, are loss leaders. We actually will make money on each unit sold,” said Ahmed—a far cry from the claimed $14,000 per unit loss that Sergio Marchionne complained to the media about in 2014

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Fiat Boss Says That Super Cheap Lease Deals Aren’t Returning

In the mid-2010s, Fiat offered stunningly cheap lease deals for the 500e, as low as $49 in some places. Aamir says that because of market conditions and the strength of the new 500e, Fiat won’t ever bring back those lease deals. 

The overarching theme of our conversation was Ahmed’s confidence that the 500e is positioned just right, and thus won’t need heavy incentives to move units. Because of this confidence in the product, Fiat will be avoiding the fire sale pricing strategy that made the original Fiat 500e surprisingly popular around 2014.

It was hard to resist in California, where you could find that $49-a-month deal. That kind of deal wouldn’t even be possible today, Ahmed said. “I don’t even know how we’d even do that again,” he said. “Considering the [500e’s] pricing, the banks, and everything else—I feel confident that the 500e is right where it is supposed to be.” The new car starts at $32,500.

2024 Fiat 500e Front 1

That’s a pretty bold claim considering that on paper, the Fiat 500e does not feel like a great value. It gets only 149 miles of range from a 42-kWh battery. Even among small premium hatchbacks, the Mini SE is cheaper and more powerful, although it can’t go as far. Ahmed isn’t concerned though.

He said that Fiat and Stellantis heard positive feedback from 500e intenders, excited that “someone finally made a small EV good at short distances.” That could be general PR pomp and circumstance, but it does have a ring of truth. In a sea of oversized EV trucks and crossovers, the Fiat 500e certainly stands out. Yet, in a price-sensitive market, it’s not clear if the 500e’s numbers will resonate with the market as a whole.

At the very least, Fiat plans on offering DC fast charging credits and a free Level 2 charger upon the vehicle’s release. Ahmed said that about 60% of 500e hopefuls have opted to accept the charging station. We hope that’s incentive enough, as it sounds like Fiat isn’t betting on heavy discounts to move units. 


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