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Fiat 500X Earns Highest Safety Award

The Fiat 500X has the highest possible IIHS safety rating in its class

Driving the New Fiat 124 Spider and Abarth!

A look at how the new Fiat 124 Spider stacks up against the original

Fiat 500L Design

Within its compact dimensions, the Fiat 500L has the room of a full-sized car. See how Fiat did it and the concept and goals of the design team

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Debut

Watch the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Debut Video at the LA Autoshow

Fiat 500 Abarth Oil Change

Everything you need to know about changing the oil on a Fiat 500 Abarth and 500 Turbo

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fiat 500 news: Targeted market areas announced and dealer introductions...


Chrysler is holding an open house for select dealers to show off the new Fiat 500. Scheduled August 30th, the presentation will introduce these prospective Fiat dealers to the Fiat 500 and go over Fiat's plans to re-enter the US market.

Revised date

Notable in this Chrysler press release is the revised date of when the new Fiat dealers will be announced, which has been pushed back to October from the previously announced September.

Dealer's concerns

Also, the separate facilities requirement has been clarified to separate sales and display at launch and eventually a new facility as volume grows. This clarification will ease the concern that some dealers expressed in having to immediately invest in a separate Fiat facility.

New car dealerships are extremely expensive to build and maintain. Building a modern dealership is measured in the millions of dollars. Paying for all that selling a $20,000 car that nets 10% was a legitimate concern. Remember, Fiat estimates about 50,000 Fiat 500s will be sold in North America, it's going to be hard (impossible) to pay for a new facility selling 12-15 cars per month.

Now, with this easing of the separate facility requirement at launch, this gives dealers breathing room so they can ramp up their facilities for the eventual re-introduction of Alfa Romeo in 2012. Adding Alfa Romeo will increase sales volumes and help pay for the new facilities.

Being concerned about how much a dealer makes might be distasteful for some, but remember, we all want to have a nice dealership experience. Clean, modern, with loaner cars and top notch service. To get this costs money and our neighbors and friends who work there need to get paid for working hard. Keeping the dealerships profitable goes a long way in guaranteeing a happy customer.

Targeted markets revealed

Great news is the publication of the targeted market areas. They are listed at the end of the press release. Hope you're in one of the areas!

Below is the Chrysler Press release:



Chrysler Group LLC Invites Dealers to Fiat Experience

*About 600 Chrysler Group LLC dealers invited to the Fiat Experience
*Chrysler Group to present details on Fiat retail network plans
*Interested dealers to submit Fiat dealership proposals in September
*Dealers to be chosen for Fiat franchises in early October

August 9, 2010 , Auburn Hills, Mich.

Chrysler Group LLC has invited about 600 of its dealers to attend the Fiat Experience on Aug. 30 in Detroit as it takes another step closer to reintroducing the Fiat brand – starting with the New Fiat 500 – in the United States later this year.

The approximately 600 dealers were informed today that they are in one of the U.S. markets where Chrysler Group is currently planning representation for the Fiat brand. Chrysler Group has identified 119 markets in the U.S. with strong small-car registrations and growth potential in the small-car segment over the next five years.

The Fiat Experience will provide the dealers with a comprehensive overview of Chrysler Group’s plans for Fiat in the U.S. Dealers may submit proposals for a Fiat franchise through Sept. 22.

“The requirements for Fiat are straightforward: separate sales and display at launch, transitioning to a full dealership facility as the volume grows,” said Peter Grady, Chrysler Group’s Vice President of Network Development and Fleet. “Our goal is to establish a retail network appropriately sized to serve the market opportunity.”


Laura Soave

The email was sent to dealers today from Grady and Laura Soave, Head of Fiat North America.

Chrysler Group, in selecting its Fiat dealers, will consider a number of measures, including:

*Dealer sales performance
*Plan for a separate Fiat facility
*Comprehensive marketing plan
*Compliance on dealer standards
*Proper capitalization


Chrysler Group will announce its Fiat dealers in the fourth quarter.



Current U.S. Fiat Market Considerations – By State

Alabama

Birmingham

Arkansas
Little Rock

Arizona
Phoenix
Tucson

California
Los Angeles
Orange County
Palm Springs
Riverside
San Diego
San Fernando
San Gabriel
Ventura County
Concord
Oakland
Sacramento
San Francisco
San Jose
San Rafael

Colorado
Denver

Connecticut
Bristol
Hartford
Bridgeport
Stamford
New Haven

Delaware
Wilmington

Florida
Daytona Beach
Ft. Lauderdale-Broward
Fort Myers
Jacksonville
Miami-Dade
Orlando
Sarasota
St. Petersburg
Tampa
New Port Richey
Winter Haven
Palm Beach
Bradenton
Venice
Melbourne

Georgia
Atlanta
Newnan

Hawaii
Honolulu

Illinois
Chicago South
Chicago Central
Chicago North
Chicago West
Collinsville

Indiana
Indianapolis
Gary

Kansas
Kansas City

Kentucky
Louisville

Louisiana
New Orleans

Massachusetts
Boston
Springfield
Worcester

Maryland
Baltimore
Frederick
Washington

Maine
Portland

Michigan
Detroit

Minnesota
Minneapolis

Missouri
St. Louis

Nebraska
Omaha

New Jersey
Bergen- Passaic
Essex N. Union
Mid Union
Morris
Flemington

New Mexico
Albuquerque

New York
Bronx
Brooklyn
Manhattan
Nassau
Queens
South Hampton
Spring Valley
Staten Island
Suffolk
Westchester
Albany
Buffalo
Rochester
Newburgh

North Carolina
Charlotte
Raleigh/Durham

Ohio
Cincinnati
Columbus
Dayton
Cleveland
Akron
Toledo

Oklahoma
Oklahoma City
Tulsa

Oregon
Portland

Pennsylvania
Allentown
Philadelphia
Greensburg
Pittsburgh

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island
Providence

Tennessee
Chattanooga
Memphis
Nashville

Texas
Austin
Houston
San Antonio
Dallas
Fort Worth
El Paso

Utah
Salt Lake City

Virginia
Fredericksburg
Hampton
Norfolk
Richmond
Fairfax

Washington
Seattle
Tacoma

Wisconsin
Milwaukee




With thanks to Chrysler media and Fiat Group Press

16 comments:

kbob said...

No dealers in northern California? I'm aghast.

Anonymous said...

I think some of your California cities are mis-categorized under Delaware.

Chris said...

kbob said...
No dealers in northern California? I'm aghast.

August 10, 2010 3:54 PM
Anonymous said...
I think some of your California cities are mis-categorized under Delaware.


Hey, thanks for catching that.... I need to fire my proof reader;)

Anonymous said...

So if you aren't near a dealer (I will be 3 hours minimum) I wonder if a different Chrysler dealer can do warranty service

Anonymous said...

Wow...happy to see Albuquerque...Now the question is do I cancel my LEAF and get a 500 and then trade up to the 500EV in a couple of years?

If they bring the 2cyc version this year I will probably do that...if not, I will buy the LEAF and then give it to my daughter when the 500EV comes (hopefully in 2012).

Any news on the 2 cylinder 500 and the US market?

Thanks...love your site...many many lovely photos.

g

Andy said...

Well, I wasn't worried about my area being selected seeing as how I'm in SoCal, but good to know they chose a place closer to me than just Los Angeles. Man, the wait for an Abarth is so damn hard. Especially with my current car falling apart piece by piece :p

Rusty said...

Time to shake down all the Chryslers in Portland :D...

Can't wait to test drive the 500, and then tell them

"Thanks for the ride, but don't call me until you have an Abarth waiting for me."

Then maybe they won't call me every other day like Nissan or BMW...

Chris said...

Anonymous said...
"So if you aren't near a dealer (I will be 3 hours minimum) I wonder if a different Chrysler dealer can do warranty service "

That will be interesting how that is handled, as there needs to be training for Fiat dealers, not so sure about non-Fiat dealers.

Chris said...

Anonymous said...
"Wow...happy to see Albuquerque...Now the question is do I cancel my LEAF and get a 500 and then trade up to the 500EV in a couple of years?

If they bring the 2cyc version this year I will probably do that...if not, I will buy the LEAF and then give it to my daughter when the 500EV comes (hopefully in 2012).

Any news on the 2 cylinder 500 and the US market?

Thanks...love your site...many many lovely photos."

Thanks for the compliment!

No news on when the TwinAir will show up in the US. My guess is it will, one day, probably after the 500 receives it's update, circa 2012/2013.

It costs a lot of money certifying an engine/trans combination for sale in the US. The sales have to justify the expense to make it feasible. Same thing with the Diesel. I love both engines, and I'm sure Fiat would love to sell them here, but it has to make sense economically.

Remember, a lot of folks in the US see small cars as cheap econoboxes, like a Versa, and the 500 IS NOT a Versa, It is a high tech, high style, niche car that just happens to be small.

It will cost more than a Versa because IT IS MORE than a Versa, however, it still has to be priced reasonably to perceived competition.

Having said that, both TwinAir and MultiJet II intrigue me, and I would love to try either.

Best regards, Chris

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I live about two hours from Atlanta, in S Carolina. Heading down there to get one wouldn't be a problem, but if no dealers closer than Atlanta are going to be able to service it, that would be a deal-breaker. Any idea if only the selling dealership will be equiped to service them or will it be available from any Chrysler dealer? If I am not going to be able to get service reasonably close by, I won't even worry about getting one and find another car. But this is the first car I have really been excited about in a long time, so am hoping we can have local service.

I think this is a critical point for those of us outside major metro areas. Any info appreciated!!

Thanks! Doug

Anonymous said...

...and I think people from Massachusetts will be annoyed to learn they have to go to Louisiana for a car.
-TR

Chris said...

Anonymous said...
"...and I think people from Massachusetts will be annoyed to learn they have to go to Louisiana for a car.
-TR "

Hey, what's the problem, I hear it's nice in Louisiana:)

Thanks for spotting that, Chris

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned. Fiat plans no dealer network in Northern Colorado. Not only is Fort Collins, Colorado a College town. Fort Collins has been chosen by Money Magazine as one of the Top 10 cities in America to live for 5 years in a row. We are growing very fast. We needed a dealership here.

2nd, your site quoted "it's expensive to build and maintain a modern dealership for a car selling for $20,000 that nets only 10%".
I think many of us are hoping to pay much much less than $20K for a base model car with no power equipment.

John said...

just back from Italy, where the 500 is everywhere. It will be a huge seller in the states I am certain- and I hope to be an owner :)

Anonymous said...

Any word on the servicing locations yet? Very curious!
Thanks, Doug

Anonymous said...

Chrysler should also sell the 500, calling it the Chrysler Nova, to appeal at the more nationalist American.