ShareThis Page
Chrysler to set up separate Fiat dealerships |

Chrysler to set up separate Fiat dealerships

The Associated Press
| Tuesday, July 6, 2010 12:00 a.m

DETROIT — Chrysler Group LLC will set up a separate dealership network to sell cars made by Italy’s Fiat Group SpA when they are reintroduced in the United States later this year.

The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker said existing Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealers will get a chance to apply to sell the Italian Fiats, but they must be able to operate separate facilities with different sales and service teams in order to win a franchise.

Fiat, which last sold cars in the nation in the 1980s, will return to the country in December with the debut of the Fiat 500, a highly efficient, very European-looking small car. Other Fiat models are likely, but the company has not made announcements beyond the 500, known in Italy as the Cinquecento.

Fiat was given control of Chrysler by the U.S. government when the automaker emerged from bankruptcy on June 10, 2009. The company would have run out of cash and been sold off in pieces without roughly $15 billion in aid from the U.S. and Canadian governments. While noting that the company still has a long road ahead to recovery, CEO Sergio Marchionne last month touted Chrysler’s first-quarter operating profit, two straight months of sales gains and plans for 16 new or updated vehicles by the end of this year.

The Fiat dealerships will be located in roughly 125 U.S. metropolitan areas that Chrysler has found to have high small-car registration and high potential for growth in selling smaller cars, said spokesman Ralph Kisiel. The company expects to have 200 Fiat dealers in 41 states.

Letters will go out to Chrysler Group’s roughly 2,300 dealers nationwide giving them general guidelines for applying to become Fiat dealers. More specific requirements will come in application packets for interested dealers.

“Dealers are going to have to demonstrate how they will market, sell and service Fiat vehicles with a new customer service model,” Kisiel said.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.