MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - The "People's Pope" stepped out of a Fiat 500L on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. and the world took note. Some felt the frugal vehicle was a symbol of his views. It only costs about $20,000. Others see it as a sign of his Italian heritage. No matter why he chose the car, his decision is driving interest in the vehicle.
"Phones have been exploding, we're getting text messages, getting chats, emails, you name it," said Jason Haring from Faulkner Fiat.
Fiat just became available in the U.S. again in 2011, when they purchased Chrysler. Corporate did not let dealers know the Pope would be riding in one. The dealers were excited when they saw it and so were customers.
"I had a customer who called me. 6-8 minutes conversation. She's going on and on saying the Pope is driving my car," added Haring.
The Fiat 500L is bigger than what people think of when they think Fiat.
"This is the oxymoron. The 500L is the big Fiat. Most people think, think Fiat they think tiny. They think the 500. This is what the Europeans call the Urban Utility vehicle," said Haring.
When the Pope got off the plane in New York, on Thursday, he was in a Fiat again. Though Faulkner has yet to sell one since the Pope was seen in his, they expect a busy weekend.