Fiat to hitch ride back to U.S. on back of Chysler dealerships
After a 26-year absence, Fiat dealerships will be returning to the United States — but in a small way. Chrysler said that it planned to set up about 200 outlets by the end of the year to sell the Fiat 500, an Italian designed subcompact. The dealerships will be run by existing Chrysler dealers, but they will have separate showrooms and employees.
The strategy would require dealers to commit significant resources to a lineup that initially has a single model. A convertible is scheduled to arrive in 2011, followed by a battery-powered 500 in 2012, but Chrysler has not revealed plans to expand Fiat beyond that.