Fiat hasn't sold cars in the U.S. market in more than two decades, but they could be coming back within two years. At least the tiny 500 could be on its way. Fiat was already known to be looking for a location for a North American assembly plant to produce Alfa Romeos for our market. Alfas are scheduled to be on sale here around the end of 2009 and a plant is scheduled to be online by 2010. The same plant could also end up producing the 500. Speaking at a conference in Europe last week, Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne declared that he felt the 500 could prove popular in the U.S. market and could be sold as a stand-alone brand in much the same way that MINI stands apart from parent BMW. Marchionne wants to finish rolling out the rest of the 500 lineup before launching it in the US. Next year a convertible will join the current 3-door hatch and a longer wheelbase model à la the MINI Clubman will follow a year later. If the 500 is built here, the upcoming Alfa Romeo Mi.To could also join the party, making for a fascinating lineup of small cars.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]

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