• Sep 16, 2010
Fiat 500 Sport – Click above for high-res image gallery

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.



[Source: BusinessWeek]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      So have they confirmed that the 500 will wear a FIAT or Chrysler badge?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Fiat-badged, at least the 500 will (100% certain).

      • 4 Years Ago
      I want mine in brown (so it won't show rust). :-p
        • 4 Years Ago
        You do realize Fiat is not selling leftover 1980 models right? Seriously, how often do you see any car less than 15 years old with serious rust anymore (Tundras excluded). Even in the rust belt crappy Cavaliers and Sunbirds soldier on abused and ignored with minimal rust.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't speak for other parts of the country, but here in the Midwest there seems to be an empty dealership in every town. I'd expect those could be leased pretty cheaply and remodeled into a nice Italian theme without breaking the bank. Throw in a few Alfa's and the Abarth & convertible versions of the 500 and I think you could have a profitable business. And yes I drove FIATs in the 70's and I'd love to have one again.

      Any idea on pricing for the 500 yet ?
      Mine will be white with a checkerboard paint job on the roof !
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fiat is going to try to duplicate Toyota's success in taking Americans money. First, build the car somewhere other than the USA but sell it here. Not providing any manufacturing jobs for the USA but happily taking our hard earned money. Require the US dealership owners to spend money on building a place to sell the foreign cars. No money from foreign company spent here. Yeah, this provides a few jobs for the construction crews but the key word is few. Most or all of the replacement parts built elsehwere, again, no jobs for the US workers. The key here is foreign companies taking our money but not doing anything to promote our economy. The money is spent here, but it ends up there. And here would be the complete conquest for Fiat. As Toyota has done, convince the American public they are an American company. We'll see Fiat. To the US public, I make two statements. 1. It's old news and certainly no longer true that foreign cars are better built than America cars. 2. The old saying applies here: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fiat quality has come a long way since the 1970's.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why does this feel like it's taking an eternity?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fiat selling its cars through existing Chrysler/Dodge/Ram/Jeep dealerships is a good idea.
      I would just try to see what the market is for the Fiat 500.
      They will need to advertise the car to a wide market.
      Quality has to b a priority for the FIAT/Chrysler brands to compete and exists.
      Their products have to be on the Quality circle lists and they must see this as a critical goal to reach.
      Hopefully the new and updated products can prove it to the new consumers.
      It's a wait and see thing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sales of Chrysler and Fiat cars in the world: http://www.carsitaly.net
      • 4 Years Ago
      With so few locations, how likely is it that a person can purchase one without some horrible dealer markup?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bring on the Alfa 2uettos!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Egon

        Without dreams, some of these cars on this blog would not be reality. So yeah I'll keep on dreaming. And I say some because most aren't a dream, they were just made for pure profit. Some cars are the vision of someone.

        And why would the 2uetto be vastly different? It think that was the point of the concept. To see peoples reaction to a beautiful roadster with a minimalist decontented interior. The reaction was pretty positive to say the least. People don't realize how much they could actually live without. Plus your more focused on the drive and not some....well... you know.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Stop what?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Stop it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        OK Simplecar, I think you can stop with your research and publish your book "Great tips on how to be the most annoying guy on the interwebz!!!" already.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sure this situation exists elsewhere, but in Southeast Wisconsin, there are literally DOZENS of closed former auto dealerships, some of them either former Chrysler or near an existing Chrysler store. Ninety days would be more than enough time to convert an existing dealership to a Fiat store.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well I can find them about 12 empty showrooms around my area, as long as they can wait for Halloween Express to get out of a couple of them. The empty Saturn ones are all pretty nice.
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