Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chrysler Begins Awarding Fiat Franchises To US Dealers


DETROIT -(Dow Jones)- Chrysler Group LLC said Wednesday it has begun awarding Fiat franchises to some of its dealers, clearing the way for the Italian subcompact car's return to the U.S. in January.

The auto maker didn't disclose how many dealers were appointed in this first phase. The goal is to select an initial 165 dealers and later expand that number to 200 as more products become available.

Chrysler and Fiat SpA (FIATY, F.MI), both run by Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, will introduce the Fiat 500 in January, with the aim of selling 50, 000 of them by the end of the year. Plans also call for a convertible version to arrive next year, followed by an electric version in 2012.

Dealers who sell Fiats also will have the chance to sell the Alfa Romeo brand also made by Fiat. Those vehicles begin arriving in 2012.

The Fiat strategy provides the final piece in Marchionne's overall plan to revive Chrysler, return the company to profitability and take it public by the end of 2011. Chrysler has for years lacked a small-car offering to appeal to U.S. consumers who are buying more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The U.S. version of the Fiat 500 will be unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show in November. The vehicle will be positioned as a direct competitor to BMW AG's ( BMW.XE) Mini. The Fiat 500 will be equipped with a Fiat 1.4-liter, in-line four- cylinder engine, which will be manufactured in the U.S. The car itself will be assembled at a Chrysler plant in Mexico.

The dealer selection comes less than two month after Chrysler gathered 400 dealers in Detroit to outline the steps they would need to take to apply for a Fiat franchise. The dealers, chosen based on their locations and access to desired small-car markets, had until Sept. 22 to submit a formal proposal.

Some dealers said they will build new state-of-the art facilities, while others plan to convert on-site used car and other buildings into Fiat dealerships, the company said.

SOURCE: Dow Jones Newswires

1 comment:

portage used cars said...

I don't think it will be difficult for selling the target by 2012. As I hope soon they will be successful to reach their destination.
Thanks for this awesome post.