With retail sales up 53% year-on-year, Fiat Auto's success story in the UK continues to gather momentum. This sustained success is being spearheaded by the Punto, which is currently achieving the highest sales ever of a new Fiat in the UK.

It is seen by the company as a testimony to customers' recognition that Fiat Auto continues to offer remarkable value in a market place which until recently has been marked by considerable uncertainty, prior to publication of the DTI's Order on the sale of new cars in the UK.

"Transaction prices on Fiat cars have been in line with market expectations for some considerable time now," says Andy Rowe, Sales Director, Fiat Auto (UK). "The offers available on our range through our UK dealer network have consistently exceeded or matched the terms of the DTI Order, and fully reinforce our commitment to ensuring that customers get the best possible value for money, along with the style, panache and driving pleasure for which our cars are rightly renowned."

With Punto riding high in the UK market, reaching the overall Number Six position in July, Fiat Auto recorded an all-time-high market share of 5.30%. Compared with cumulative figures last year, Fiat cars are up almost 10,000 units and 18.86% market share in a market that has increased by just 2.14%.

"This remarkable performance is testimony to the fact that we are committed to being very competitive and in-line with market expectations. Our customers have correctly identified that there is no better time to buy a new Fiat than now," says Andy Rowe.

The award-winning Punto range, current holder of the What Car? annual Safety Award, now includes the addition of electric front windows, central locking and a passenger airbag to entry level versions. ELX, HLX and Sporting versions all benefit from the addition of ABS anti-lock braking and a passenger airbag as standard, while Punto HGT now has passenger and side airbags as standard equipment.

These enhancements, which represent an average added value of 6%, have incurred an average increase of just 1% to the price of Punto, further boosting an already excellent value-for-money package.