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Fiat UK is confident it can keep waiting lists for the Fiat 500 down to acceptable levels, even though its popularity is set to soar even further after it was named European Car of the Year.
A company insider has revealed that 1000 UK customers have already put down deposits for the distinctive supermini, even though the order books don't open until December 4.
Fiat UK has been allocated 15,000 cars to sell in 2008 and the European Car of the Year nomination is set to spark an even greater rush among buyers.
'The number of deposits already laid down suggests there is a keen interest,' said the insider. 'Until the order books have opened, though, it's very hard to judge just how much demand we will have.
'We've got an allocation for 15,000 cars, which was based on sales estimates - now we'll have to see how accurate those estimates were.'
Asked if Fiat would deliberately cultivate a waiting list in order to whip up more interest in the 500, he replied: 'Any manufacturer would like to have a waiting list for a new product. We'll work to keep waiting lists acceptable, but demand could outstrip supply.'
Waiting lists for the 500 across Europe have already led to the car being sold at a premium on internet auctions sites.
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