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Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The latest Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealer news
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, told reporters some non-Chrysler Group dealers may receive franchises to sell Fiats.
Marchionne spoke after President Barack Obama's appearance at Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly Plant on July 30th.
“I think there's going to be a large part of the distribution that will be part of the Chrysler environment,” Marchionne told reporters. “There may be others that will not” be Chrysler dealers.
Marchionne stressed that Fiat will be a standalone franchise.
“The potential of Fiat is unique,” he said. “There is nothing Jeepish about the 500. It's an Italian car, and a Jeep is a Jeep.”
Alfa Romeo News
He also said Fiat franchisees could also get the Alfa Romeo franchise, which will return to the United States in 2012.
Back in April, I had the opportunity to pose a question to Marchionne on how Alfa Romeo would be marketed in the US.
I asked "What was the current thinking on how Alfa Romeo will be marketed in the US, would it be combined with the Maserati dealer network?"
Marchionne answered, "...that may happen with the Maserati dealer network, but I think the single largest source of distribution capability will come through the Chrysler organization and effectively the agreement I think we have with the UST (US Treasury) and with Chrysler requires that we allow Chrysler to distribute Alfa in the United States."
Dealer selection begins soon
Chrysler expects to select new Fiat dealers in about 125 markets identified for growth potential in the small-car segment. These dealers will be located in approximately 41 states.
Dealers in the target markets will be invited to attend a meeting this month at the Chrysler Group World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Chrysler Group plans to officially announce its U.S. Fiat dealer network locations in September.
Sources: Internet, Chrysler Media