The company has invested £10 million promoting the important 3- and 5dr Stilo, which includes a TV ad filmed in New York.
Jim Blades, Fiat Auto UK managing director, said: “We have gone overboard launching Stilo. There has never been a Fiat launch of such intensity. Our staff have been totally immersed in it.”
Fiat is aiming for 5% of the C-sector market share, compared to the Brava/ Bravo's 3.5%. Mr Blades claimed that with estate car and MPV variants the Stilo could match Punto's 9% share of the B-segment.
Demonstrators have been with dealers since the start of the year.
Mr Blades said the Stilo was central to a major assault on fleet sales, particularly leasing and contract hire. Fiat has revamped its network's used car operation to strengthen residual values.
The Stilo, featuring a variety of high technology equipment, is priced from £10,835 for the 3dr 1.2-litre Active to £16,135 for the 5dr, 2.4-litre Abarth. It will also be offered with 1.6 and 1.8-litre petrol engines – a 2-litre option will be launched later this year – and a 1.9 JTD diesel, with a 1.2 diesel in the pipeline.
Its promotional push includes using the world's largest billboard on the Birmingham Ford Dunlop building alongside the M6 for a three-month period. This stretch of motorway carries 3.6 million vehicles a month.