By September 22 the 600 Chrysler dealers given the chance to snag a Fiat dealership will need to have submitted their applications. A group of dealers are in Florida now and have been shown the U.S.-spec Fiat 500 Sport, and next month 165 of those dealers will find out that they've been chosen to sell the car. Once they get the letter, they better get to work: Chrysler expects them to have their standalone dealerships completed by next February for sales to begin in March.
That's just 90 days or so for dealers to either revamp or build from scratch, and a fair number of them will need to deal with freezing winter weather while they do it. The prize that Fiat's offering is 50,000 little cars, which would average 303 per dealer each year, and brisk aftermarket trade. Fiat's told dealers to work on the expectation of clearing a $1,500 margin on each car, so an outlet that came in at the median number is looking at $454,500 in cream. Of course, these are all imaginary numbers at this point – for now, there remain the selection process and winter and construction to get through.