PDA

View Full Version : $199 lease is a lie on the Fiat 500e, its 22% more!



tpoltron
07-17-2013, 12:30 PM
Hi Domenick,

As you made the most recent Autoblog Green post on the Fiat 500e I'm sending this to you.

I was very excited that my 500e arrived at my dealer Fiat of Burlingame yesterday July 16 but that quickly turned to disappointment and anger when the dealer placed the lease papers in front of me. Months ago I put a deposit on the base model (orange on white with no sunroof or sport package) and asked for the $199 lease but the dealer said it was $263.50! Adding tax to the $199 lease gets it to $216.16 but this was $47.34 higher. I took issue with this and the dealer used their usual misleading monthly payment language 'it's only $47 more' to which I replied but that's an outrageous 22% increase that's the same as jacking the price of the car from $33 to $40k!

I told this dealer the $199 is clearly false advertising and that he took my deposit on the $199 deal to which he replied that you might have told us you wanted the $199 deal but that is not on your deposit receipt. I then said its advertised on the Fiat website in bold letters and he then drew my attention to a little pop up window that only appears when you mouse over a tiny + which says among other things "Offer requires dealer contribution". Of course they refused to make that contribution saying that 'the car is sold out and I have a waiting list, so you want it or not?' I'm pretty sure that no dealers are 'contributing' so no one can get the $199 price so it is a lie and false advertising.

The sad thing is that $264 is still good lease on a great $33k car and this nasty deceitful practice just unnecessarily kills much of the goodwill and brand equity the car's launch created.

Regards,
Trent


Pop up disclaimer on page linked below attached.
http://www.fiatusa.com/en/2013/500e/

7098

Tweak
07-17-2013, 09:18 PM
Welcome to the forum, sorry things are not as they seem.

Andree
07-17-2013, 09:45 PM
Did you ask the dealer if they were contributing to any lease deal? Is anyone at that dealership getting the $199?

I was just looking at the build area earlier, where it gave me a $92 estimate to lease the 500e.

Posting here, Flickr is down:
7101

Probably the image will be too small to see it, but it's above and to the right of the usual $199 lease ad. It also says that I might not be able to lease a car at that price. Gee, no kidding?

So did you get the car or not? If so, congrats.

Fiat500USA
07-17-2013, 10:56 PM
Hi Trent, welcome to the forum. By the way, who is Domenick?

Andree
07-18-2013, 01:20 AM
Trent, usually there is a "well-qualified lessee" thing attached to lease rates. Sometimes you can get more info on it by clicking around on their site, where it may have a minimum credit score requirement and the stipulation that the vehicle be financed by Chrysler. The low interest rates are tied to the same kinds of qualifying statements. Not everyone will qualify.

Here's an autoblog green post that says "starts at $199" in the title:
http://green.autoblog.com/2013/04/13/fiat-500e-$32,500-lease-$199-month/

I've come to the conclusion that credit is kind of bogus. A little scheme to make money off the people who can least afford it. Just like bank accounts and fees and such. Many years back I worked for a bank, and remember a young fella who'd come over and pull out a few dollars for his lunch. Usually we wouldn't check on the balance for known people, but for some reason I did that day. This was when things were different at banks, and a lot of paperwork was hand done.

Even though he only pulled out like $5.82, he would have been overdrawn by around $1.50, meaning he would have had a fee charged to his account more than the amount he would have been overdrawn. Like $15.00 or so. Ridiculous. I wasn't rich, but *I* made a deposit in the guy's account for the amount he would have been overdrawn. I told my boss I wanted to do it and she let me.

Meanwhile, those with plenty of money got to keep plenty of money because their accounts were free and they never had overdrafts because they weren't down to their last $5.82 for lunch. They're the same people who get the low/no interest and the "well-qualified lessee" rating. Good jobs long enough to have enough to put aside. I'm glad for them, they work to earn that status. But it still hurts to see people whacked with fees, higher rates, etc.

I've learned to hate disclaimers. Fine print. Because SOMEONE somewhere is going to get billed a lot more than this fairytale dream rate of $199. per month. Perhaps a lot of people, or ALL of the people. If NO ONE qualifies or gets the rate, then it's a sham in my opinion. Like that totally bogus rate on the build-it page of $92 a month. Who would qualify for that? Not me.

tpoltron
07-18-2013, 01:56 AM
I learned about the 500e from green.autoblog.com so I sent this to one of their writers Domenick as well. The second time I posted this (I didn't read that it needed approval the first time and thought I just screwed something up so tried again) I copied and pasted this posting from that email and forgot to remove the Hi Domenick part.

Separately, I do really like the car. Its fun and practical.

And something that really made me happy is I learned tonight that leased vehicles can apply for the $2500 California rebate:
http://energycenter.org/index.php/incentive-programs/clean-vehicle-rebate-project
But don't delay as they only have 10% of their funds left.

In the next few days I'll be let everyone know if a standard 500 hitch fits (for my bike rack) and how the Madness HID kit works.

Regards,
Trent

tpoltron
07-18-2013, 02:03 AM
Hi Andree, my credit is rather good, almost 60 points above the credit limit, so the issue really lies with Fiat's deceitful marketing on this one.
Its a bummer cause I really like the car and this this was such a downer to start with. When will big companies learn to run with the goodwill instead of nickel and dime? The brand and social marketing people need to chat with the bean counters.
Regards,
Trent

Andree
07-18-2013, 02:48 AM
Hi Andree, my credit is rather good, almost 60 points above the credit limit, so the issue really lies with Fiat's deceitful marketing on this one.
Its a bummer cause I really like the car and this this was such a downer to start with. When will big companies learn to run with the goodwill instead of nickel and dime? The brand and social marketing people need to chat with the bean counters.
Regards,
Trent

I'd say it was the dealer who dropped the ball. Not the manufacturer. The manufacturer somehow made it possible and had to have consulted with the dealerships in order to even suggest that the dealers would contribute, right? It's not just some bogus offer where they make a promise that dealers don't know about. The dealers obviously DO know about this "contribution" and each DEALER choses whether or not to contribute.

What I would have liked to see is advertising from the dealer individually if they were planning on offering the special $199, AND if they weren't going to contribute, to say that too. So no one would feel misled.

I'd rather see blatant honesty, like "We're not doing those contributions, because we know we can get you to pay more". It would make me mad, and chuckle at the same time.

Anyway, it's a great car, and may you have many years of enjoyment as you pass by gas stations, laughing.

tpoltron
07-18-2013, 03:08 AM
My impression is that Fiat has been very poor about communicating with their dealers on the 500e (timing, volumes, options, pricing etc). I think the dealer just slapped the normal lease computer print out in front of me and then when I showed them the $199 lease featured on the Fiat site spent the next 30min trying to justify the price difference until they stumbled across the "Offer requires a dealer contribution." Great car either way.

tpoltron
07-30-2013, 12:20 AM
Well looky here. Autoblog green, where I first learned the 500e would be coming, has picked up my lease post. Others seem to be getting ripped off even more by the dealers. I read about one guy's first offer from the dealer on the lease was $399 a month - a 100% markup!

http://green.autoblog.com/2013/07/29/fiat-500e-199-lease-deal-sounds-great-is-nearly-impossible-to/

Andree
07-30-2013, 12:36 AM
Meanwhile, in the other thread, there ARE some dealers who DO honor the $199:
http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?10919-They-re-out-there-waiting!&p=620834&viewfull=1#post620834

Small&Wicked2013
07-30-2013, 12:51 AM
Most if not all lease specials require dealer contribution. I don't know the particulars but maybe the guy($399)didn't qualify for the best lease rate. These lease payments are generated according to the leasing banks guidelines. The rates, residuals, money due at signing are all determined by the bank. These specials also state what MSRP they are basing the lease payment on. A $199 lease payment on the 500e is not gonna happen. Anything under $300 mo. Would be a great deal on the 500e. If you were selling your car and knew you could get $20000 for it would you sell it for $15000? I don't think so. I wouldn't expect studios that are in the business of making money to either.

Raindrops
07-30-2013, 01:14 AM
Most if not all lease specials require dealer contribution. I don't know the particulars but maybe the guy($399)didn't qualify for the best lease rate. These lease payments are generated according to the leasing banks guidelines. The rates, residuals, money due at signing are all determined by the bank. These specials also state what MSRP they are basing the lease payment on. A $199 lease payment on the 500e is not gonna happen. Anything under $300 mo. Would be a great deal on the 500e. If you were selling your car and knew you could get $20000 for it would you sell it for $15000? I don't think so. I wouldn't expect studios that are in the business of making money to either.

Actually, the $199 lease payment IS happening. You always have to pay taxes, and some people put additional options on the car, so they are paying $7 to $14 more per month. Not $50, not $70 and certainly not $200 more.

No one is expecting the studio to be in the business of selling at a loss. And yes, the fine print did say for "qualified lessees"... many weeks ago I asked forum members to pipe in their opinion if they thought that was some lofty never to be reached ideal of 900+ credit score as a way for the dealer to weasel out of the deal! or a more reasonable say 750... and the fine print does say "dealer contribution" and the P24 or base model.

That being said, if a person with an excellent credit score leases the P24 model, they should be able to get the rate, assuming the dealer pipes in their part which is "dealer contribution". I read somewhere else that the $1500 dealer contribution was supposedly the dealer's profit.

Ok, see what is wrong with this picture then? Of course, we want the dealer to make some profit. After all, they have employees, and they are in the business to stay in business. So now I would blame FIAT for releasing such a ridiculous lease price that would essentially make their studios into car mills, working for free, no one Chrysler went bankrupt!

So, I know that dealers have other givebacks or takebacks whatever, so maybe the full 1500 isn't their only profit but would be icing on the cake, so then there is a little room here for the dealer to not be so greedy.

You bring up an interesting point about the bank setting the rate etc... that is also correct and why there are always end dates on the promotions... but the dumb website still shows the $199 rate.. why not adjust it based on interest rate or whatever? The Feds already said they were going to stop that QE3 or whatever, so go ahead and price in it. And by the way, that is NOT the reason the dealer is giving to the consumer when they come in to lease.. they are not saying look here, see what the bank rate is for the lease? It is different now then it was on July 4th or whenever. No, they are flat out either putting the dealer markup (that would be more fair, at least the consumer can see it) or just not giving the contribution and setting up a higher lease rate. At least that is what it seems from the people who went in to try to lease the car.

And some people don't mind paying a little more that is fine. But most people with excellent credit probably went in thinking they could get the lease rate and what a waste of their time to find out price is more than that.

Again, we are still a capitalist country, the dealers may charge what they want, and the consumers can choose where they do business. So GO to the dealers that are honoring the price.. they are making a much smaller profit but counting on repeat business and good will.. and its a lot of work for them too.. McKevitt Berkeley up north here seems to be a good one. Down south.. not hearing much from anyone who picked up their cars.. Mid state -- any good news folks? Pipe up and help your fellow 500e to be drivers.

There are probably many other dealers who are honoring the rate, so I'd like to give them a shout out in these forums.. get the business to their studios. And the ones charging more? Well, they will always find a customer willing to pay more for the convenience.

Andree
07-30-2013, 04:30 AM
Everyone take a deep breath and let's go back in time...

We know where we are right now. 500e is a hot car, that a whole lot of people really want, and want the car out-of-state as well. Everyone gives it rave reviews.

But I posted a thread the other day in which an article was posted in November of last year, 2012, in the Wall Street Journal. A fairly respected/respectable news outlet. Right?

Here's a quote from the article, a scant 8 months ago:

"Chrysler Group LLC next week plans to unveil an unusual automobile—an electric car that doesn't stand a chance soon of turning a profit and is unlikely to draw many customers."

I posted the quote and link here:
http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?11047-Old-news-haha-and-500e-numbers

Remember Chrysler is REQUIRED to sell the vehicles in California. There's more info on the numbers in the article/link. Well, for crying out loud, I just checked the wsj link, and now it won't let me read it without logging in (as if). But the video works (right now).

Based on the WSJ premise, pricing the cars at a loss would still result in few people buying them. The video goes on to make a joke about heading to California to get an electric car for a dollar after incentives.

If you believed that the 500e would never sell (like wsj, and maybe even Chrysler/Fiat themselves), but the cars are REQUIRED to be sold, what's the best way to do it?

Yup, it's the $199 lease. Leased cars for at least three years count for the rebates from the state and work towards the requirements of electric vehicles being sold in California by Chrysler.

What's more, since the dealers would be stuck with these cars that would never sell, might as well eat the potential profit to move the non-selling cars off the lot via a cheap lease price. Right? Just get 'em out of here, so we don't have to sit on these dusty 500e models all next year too. That's what you'd have to do if you thought you were making an unpopular required-by-the-state electric vehicle.

Except no one foresaw that THIS electric is THE electric that will draw in 1000s of people to lease AND BUY.

It never actually occurred to Chrysler and Fiat that it could be a HOT HOT HOT seller.

It wasn't priced at a loss because they wanted to lose money. They actually didn't think the vehicles would sell at a manufacturer level of profit. They made these vehicles ONLY for the California requirements. And dealers would go with the lease pricing and contribute, so the dealerships could stay in business. No Fiat electrics sold means no Fiat at all being sold in California. That also includes all the Chrysler products too.

So if you're a good dealer, you eat the profit, bite the bullet, take the fall, etc, so you can continue to sell the regular Fiat line.

And then it turns out to be popular.

What do you do then? The good dealer continues to eat the profit, get the cars out on the road, give the customers the best lease deal they can.

BigT
07-30-2013, 08:56 AM
a lease for under 300 I don't think I would complain about that at all. yeah 199 would be super sweet but 260's isn't that bad. Considering what you will be saving in fuel costs annually it all balances out in the long run.

Andree
07-30-2013, 10:19 AM
a lease for under 300 I don't think I would complain about that at all. yeah 199 would be super sweet but 260's isn't that bad. Considering what you will be saving in fuel costs annually it all balances out in the long run.

It really is a good deal, even at what some have paid.

This year's model will probably be the least expensive (to lease or to buy) that Fiat will ever make.

Fiat could easily bump up the car $1,000 next year.

The lease price will probably go up a bit.

And I posted an idea in the "old news" thread about making a luxury 500e. With the fancy seats and the leather stitched door trim, with minimal hard plastic showing. Not all the 500e's would be luxury models, but I think there is a market for an electric with a price tag around $40,000. Number them each year. Make maybe 100. That's the vehicle the manufacturer doesn't lose money on, and neither does the dealer.

Small&Wicked2013
07-30-2013, 10:46 AM
Look at it this way you could lease a Pop with a Manual Transmission for $199 a mo. For 42mos. With dealer contribution. Tax, tag, and licensing fees are extra. And that is on a $16900 MSRP. Also if you bought the base 500e at 0% financing for 60 mos. your payment would be $550. Just trying to put in perspective how good a deal even at a $299 payment..on a 500e would be. I would lease one for that in a heartbeat if they were available here.

Raindrops
07-30-2013, 02:35 PM
Look at it this way you could lease a Pop with a Manual Transmission for $199 a mo. For 42mos. With dealer contribution. Tax, tag, and licensing fees are extra. And that is on a $16900 MSRP. Also if you bought the base 500e at 0% financing for 60 mos. your payment would be $550. Just trying to put in perspective how good a deal even at a $299 payment..on a 500e would be. I would lease one for that in a heartbeat if they were available here.

When you factor in the gas savings, HOV sticker, the 500e is really a great deal at $199.. the frustration I think is that many people (with excellent credit score) were thinking they could get the $199 + tax + any options (so around $250 ish)/month and instead were being offered something higher or much higher...

When the monthly payments start getting close to $300 or over (because of lack of dealer contribution, not because of markup), it makes sense to think about buying one, assuming you can take full advantage of the $7500 tax credit... the advantages is no worry ever about excess mileage, or the nice white interior getting stained by blue jeans or the like.. of course you are stuck in a few years, but you can always sell it, or perhaps buy a new battery (who know what the technology would be like) and it will be like new...

If one lives in San Joaquin Valley in California, they have a $3000 rebate also! So you get $3000 + State of California $2,500 (hopefully will be renewed) + 7500 (tax credit, assuming you owe that much) ...

tpoltron
07-30-2013, 02:59 PM
In my original post I said that '$264 is still a good deal on a great car' because of the especially high 71% residual Fiat put on the car's value a the end of the 3 year lease. My point though is that Fiat heavily promoted a $199 lease - which no one, or at lease very few, can actually get and manufacturers should not be allowed to get away with such deceitful practices. Also this manufacturer vs dealer blame game is a bunch of BS. In the eyes of the consumer there is only one brand - Fiat - and they are screwing it up again.

Andree
07-31-2013, 01:34 AM
In my original post I said that '$264 is still a good deal on a great car' because of the especially high 71% residual Fiat put on the car's value a the end of the 3 year lease. My point though is that Fiat heavily promoted a $199 lease - which no one, or at lease very few, can actually get and manufacturers should not be allowed to get away with such deceitful practices. Also this manufacturer vs dealer blame game is a bunch of BS. In the eyes of the consumer there is only one brand - Fiat - and they are screwing it up again.

I don't know about screwing up the brand entire. I think it's because we watch the Fiat news very closely. I personally am not watching other company news or checking in on their vehicle availability, lease terms, rates, etc.

If Fiat is the ONLY one, after checking multiple manufacturers and models, then there could be a problem. But unless all those other manufacturers and models are checked, it's not fair to say that Fiat is screwing up.

cmj912
07-31-2013, 09:59 AM
I don't know about screwing up the brand entire. I think it's because we watch the Fiat news very closely. I personally am not watching other company news or checking in on their vehicle availability, lease terms, rates, etc.

If Fiat is the ONLY one, after checking multiple manufacturers and models, then there could be a problem. But unless all those other manufacturers and models are checked, it's not fair to say that Fiat is screwing up.

I agree with you, Andree.

In fact, I think the only disappointing element of the whole 500e is the fact that it is not available everywhere.

Andree
07-31-2013, 11:34 AM
I agree with you, Andree.

In fact, I think the only disappointing element of the whole 500e is the fact that it is not available everywhere.

Best hope I can give today is to mark your calendar. June/July 2016. That's when some of the leases will be up, and the first batch will hopefully be resold by Fiat. And that's when people who bought for the discount via rebates can turn around and sell their cars. Three years for both.

Here's what you do now. Pretend you have a 500e, and sock away $199 (or more) every single month. Deposit everything you would have had to pay if the car were available right now at a local Studio. Into a savings account, so it gets a tiny bit of interest. Don't forget insurance.

In three years you have a nice sum, enough to make a down payment, and can transport the previously leased/owned 500e back to your area.

Unless you were planning on leasing, which I can't help with.

I'm kind of hoping they make a small scale model of the 500e. Then I can have one too!

cmj912
08-01-2013, 08:46 AM
Best hope I can give today is to mark your calendar. June/July 2016. That's when some of the leases will be up, and the first batch will hopefully be resold by Fiat. And that's when people who bought for the discount via rebates can turn around and sell their cars. Three years for both.

Here's what you do now. Pretend you have a 500e, and sock away $199 (or more) every single month. Deposit everything you would have had to pay if the car were available right now at a local Studio. Into a savings account, so it gets a tiny bit of interest. Don't forget insurance.

In three years you have a nice sum, enough to make a down payment, and can transport the previously leased/owned 500e back to your area.

Unless you were planning on leasing, which I can't help with.

I'm kind of hoping they make a small scale model of the 500e. Then I can have one too!

:) That's a good idea! But what I meant is that there are no electric charging stations in my city (or state) and e-versions of cars in New England are extremely rare and difficult to find/not offered for sale or lease here.

Andree
08-01-2013, 11:28 AM
:) That's a good idea! But what I meant is that there are no electric charging stations in my city (or state) and e-versions of cars in New England are extremely rare and difficult to find/not offered for sale or lease here.

There are three years for a bunch of charging stations to be built. Start socking away that money.

New England, way to be specific. LOL. I had to look up "New England" to see what states were included. Plus I needed help with "Massachusetts". Heh.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England

CHARGING STATIONS!

Connecticut, 82
Maine, 14
Massachusetts, 182
New Hampshire, 14
Rhode Island, 13
Vermont, 18

I am NOT clicking on every single link to find out exactly WHERE the chargers are, like what business they're at. That's your job. You know what state you live in, I don't. (starts randomly clicking on charger locations, just for fun...)

View results here, just enter your state name to see the map:
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_locations.html

If you live in Northern Maine, you're out of luck, for now. Most of what I'm seeing are the Nissan dealerships, probably for their Leafs. And if they're selling Leafs, then more chargers will come. For sure. Parking lots, airports, hotels, grocery stores, drug stores, schools, restaurants, public works/city departments/utilities/police departments.

Now, if Fiat does branch out the electrics, are you in one of the California Emissions-type states? And is there a Fiat dealer nearby? Because the Fiat dealer will have the chargers if they make the 500e available. And you'll have your home charger too.

Vince
08-02-2013, 10:29 AM
I just picked up my 500e from Premier Fiat of Fremont and they honored the advertised lease price of $199. I got the orange paint and white leather interior which added about $800 to the price of the car and $12 to the monthly lease price. Then there is $19 a month for taxes, so the total monthly lease price was $230.
Vince

cmj912
08-07-2013, 02:00 PM
There are three years for a bunch of charging stations to be built. Start socking away that money.

New England, way to be specific. LOL. I had to look up "New England" to see what states were included. Plus I needed help with "Massachusetts". Heh.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England

CHARGING STATIONS!

Connecticut, 82
Maine, 14
Massachusetts, 182
New Hampshire, 14
Rhode Island, 13
Vermont, 18

I am NOT clicking on every single link to find out exactly WHERE the chargers are, like what business they're at. That's your job. You know what state you live in, I don't. (starts randomly clicking on charger locations, just for fun...)

View results here, just enter your state name to see the map:
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_locations.html

If you live in Northern Maine, you're out of luck, for now. Most of what I'm seeing are the Nissan dealerships, probably for their Leafs. And if they're selling Leafs, then more chargers will come. For sure. Parking lots, airports, hotels, grocery stores, drug stores, schools, restaurants, public works/city departments/utilities/police departments.

Now, if Fiat does branch out the electrics, are you in one of the California Emissions-type states? And is there a Fiat dealer nearby? Because the Fiat dealer will have the chargers if they make the 500e available. And you'll have your home charger too.

Rhode Island/Massachusetts.
You are correct in that all charging stations are at
1) Nissan dealers
2) airports
3) train stations
4) giant parking garages

Can't have a home charger, I live in a condominium without a garage. :)

Cheri500e
08-08-2013, 12:51 PM
I got my 500e 2 weeks ago for a monthly of $223 after taxes etc. My out the door for taxes, down payment and registration costs was only $1750. I was happily surprised that I am going to receive the state refund of $2500. I figure that is paying my lease payment for the first 10 months. I was paying $200 a month for gas and upkeep on my previous car ('04 Focus Pzev) so it really is a wash. My only financial surprise was the insurance bump of $900 a year but I should have known that was coming.