Chrysler opens Fiat pool to 2,300 dealers

By McClatchy Tribune Newspapers
Posted July 6, 2010 at 3:37 p.m.

Only a select few Chrysler dealers will earn the right to sell the Fiat 500 when it goes on sale in the U.S. in December, the company said Monday.

Chrysler is inviting about 2,300 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram truck dealers to bid for about 125 Fiat franchises in 41 states.Dealers will need to make an unspecified investment. In addition, they will be required to find or build a showroom separate from their existing businesses, Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel said.

Fiat, which owns 20 percent of Chrysler, is planning to offer its first Fiat-branded vehicle in the U.S. since 1995, when it stopped exporting the Alfa Romeo 164 to the U.S. The 500, also known in Europe as the Cinquecento, will be assembled in Chrysler’s Toluca, Mexico, plant.

It will be powered by a 4-cylinder engine made in Chrysler’s Dundee, Mich., plant. Next year, Chrysler plans to introduce a convertible version of the car, followed by a battery-powered 500 in 2012.

The Toluca plant will be able to make more than 100,000 of the 500s annually, with half to be exported to South America, Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said last December.

Kisiel said Chrysler won’t choose dealers and locations until it evaluates the proposals. Dealership application guides will be sent to current dealers as early as this week. Chrysler plans to announce some of the Fiat dealers in September.

Read more about the topics in this post: ,

Companies in this article

Comments are closed.