Special Coverage

Greater L.A. Auto Show

LOS ANGELES – If Chrysler Group LLC began production of the Fiat 500 today, it could take more than five years to build every conceivable color combination.

The North American version of the iconic minicar will be available in three trim levels and 14 exterior colors. It also will feature two interior themes – black and ivory – along with 14 seat colors and material choices.

The result: more than 500,000 buildable combinations, says Laura Soave, head of Fiat Brand North America.

Annual 500 production capacity at Chrysler’s assembly plant in Toluca, Mexico, is 100,000 units. But even then, you may not ever see two 500s alike.

“Personalization is the key to the 500,” says Pietro Gorlier, president and CEO-MOPAR service, parts and customer care.

In Europe, the 500 is one of Fiat’s most highly customized vehicles, says Gorlier, whose division will supply MOPAR- and Fiat-branded parts and accessories for the North American-market car. “We will leverage some of the accessories that we have in Europe,” he tells Ward’s on the sidelines of the L.A. Auto Show here. “Not all of them, due to homologation.”

Expect graphic “wraps” to be popular, Gorlier says. Also key fobs. “You can take out the standard cover and replace it with a color that you like. The key fob is something that you have every day in your hand. It’s like the calling card of the car.”

Exterior striping packages and interior accessories also will be available, along with swag ranging from coffee mugs to cufflinks.

Soave invites consumers here to begin exploring the various ways the 500 can be configured by visiting a dedicated website thatalso serves as an ordering portal.

The auto maker will begin taking orders in January. The car starts at $15,500.

emayne@wardsauto.com