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Just talked to my service writer about a parts order (need a new arm rest) and got the bad news. Bergstrom Fiat is closing, and the franchise is moving over to International Autos on Hwy 100 in West Allis.

The last day for Bergstrom is August 22, 2014

First day for IA should be Sept 2, 2014 but that's not set in stone.

This sucks, service at Bergstrom has been AMAZING. I'm actually contemplating trading in my Fiat just so I don't have to go to International Autos for service, they have a pretty terrible reputation here in Milwaukee.

Anyway I'd like to give a shout out to Luke, Brandon, Jeremiah, and Kyle at Bergstrom for their outstanding service over the last 15 months, as well as the techs, I haven't met them personally but they've always done great (and fast) work on my Fiat. My experience at Bergstrom is the only dealer experience I've ever felt particularly positive about, both from a sales and service perspective.
 

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It's no joke. Please keep them all in your prayers.

It's a wonderful thing, how they've made such a positive impact on such a widespread area. I was prepared to travel to Bergstrom MKE for service or parts, as needed, and I only began my relationship with them yesterday. I have only seen positive comments about their business and it's staff. I hope the memory of Bergstrom's fine efforts, their mission/goals, will continue on in every area that each of the employees and friends of Bergstrom take in their lives going forward. I feel it is also now placed on each of us to take over in their stead, at spreading the stoke, sharing the joy, and furthering the Fiat family experience.

Please also keep CC5C and Amado and the club "family" that he with the MKE Bergstrom family's help have helped create, in our prayers. That the dealership is closing, does not mean the end of a great thing, just a re-distribution of it. It hurts to realize the pain this brings to those directly involved. My hope is that in a very short time, all the employees will be involved in bigger and better things, while drawing on all the good memories of their recent accomplishments, to help hold them up and give them the strength and encouragement to pursue their new endeavors.
 

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Wasn't that a smart dealership too. Or was it a Hummer?
Both, first it was hummer, then it was smart. I always thought that was hilarious.

Seriously though, this is very bad news. Historically, International Autos is a terrible dealership. They are a "premium" marque only dealership and have never provided anywhere near the experience I expect for even a "standard" marque. This bodes poorly for FIAT in the Milwaukee area as that will definitely be viewed as a "cheap" car there. It's already a problem with MINI at the same store. If you can't get decent service on your Benz, what do you think you're going to get on your FIAT?

In SE Wisconsin I would recommend Palmen, Kenosha.
 

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In SE Wisconsin I would recommend Palmen, Kenosha.
Ugh, that's twice as far away as Bergstrom for me. (I'm near the airport) Bergstrom was still a bit of a haul, particularly with road construction. But it was worth the drive for the quality service. I am crossing my fingers and hoping some or all of the staff migrate over to IA. At least then it will be a crappy dealer staffed by good people.

My biggest worry with Palmen is FIAT doesn't cover rental cars, and with a dealer that's an hour and a half from work, that pretty much means I'm taking a day off to get service done. That plus i'll probably tend to let minor things go a lot longer before getting them sorted. What a drag for everyone involved.
 

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My biggest worry with Palmen is FIAT doesn't cover rental cars, and with a dealer that's an hour and a half from work, that pretty much means I'm taking a day off to get service done. That plus i'll probably tend to let minor things go a lot longer before getting them sorted. What a drag for everyone involved.
My first FIAT had the rental coverage and the second did not. Palmen will give you a rental car through enterprise though for $25 or $30 (can't quite remember) so it's not a big deal. Are you near Mitchell? It's probably about 35 minutes from there (excluding road construction).
 

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so does this mean that the public was not supporting FIAT hence the move??????? I know in the past if a dealer was not performing well generally they closed shop and trundled down the road or just plain shut down ie Lada, Yugo, Skoda, Alfa, Fiat etc. It sounds like some/all of the employees will still have a shot at a job so that is a great thing.
 

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Hard to say. That dealership is cursed though. I don't think anything has stayed open there for more than 3 years since it was built. It's like that restaurant that keeps opening up and closing (everyone has one of those nearby). Also, it's sort of difficult to get to unless you already know how to get there. It's one of those places you can see but not quite arrive at. I wonder if Bergstrom just doesn't want to keep that dealership open in the Milwaukee area. They are much bigger up north. I see a lot of FIATs on the road lately so they must be doing ok around here.
 

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I'd like to chime in here with some helpful info:

1) Begstrom kept the license to sell FIAT at their Fox Valley location. That is effectively their backyard. They will also carry Alfa (at their Maserati Studio) in their neck'o'the woods.

2) FIAT USA, Bergstrom & IA view this as a transfer of license... not a closing. IA already has a Maserati Studio and specializes in luxury imports (soon to include an Alfa Romeo). FIAT will join MINI as their second premium luxury brand (and have its own dedicated Studio) on the Southwest side of MKE. Bergstrom FIAT is/was on the Northwest side of town. IA is refitting their former Audi showroom/service dept to FIAT. The Studio will be situated in IA 'avenue'.

3) Two Bergstrom FIAT employees look to be moving over to IA (sales & service). As long as they keep up with the level of service they established with the Bergstrom place, all is good.

4) I'm already in contact with IA (an Italian family-owned business). I've communicated my thoughts on the matter as well as pledged the help of CC5C to help they hit the ground with all four wheels burning rubber. I'm sure the IA GM will be in touch with me, again, soon. But they are busy with the new Audi location and this new FIAT Studio. Things will be messy in the beginning.

5) Bergstrom FIAT of MKE was one of the best performing (sales & service) Studios in the region. The Studio was well respected in the country. But it was far removed from a place of comfort. I trust they will do well with their Fox Valley Studio. The manager, there, has reached out to me via email several times.

6) That Hwy 45/Good Hope location does seemed to be doomed to remain vacant. Mazda, currently on the FIAT partnership list, will be moving in next. I doubt they'll fail in the location. I can hardly wait to see their spider.

7) I'm sure people would prefer a much more dramtic story, but we (in MKE) cannot oblige. Times they are a-changing and we'll chang with them.
 

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Both, first it was hummer, then it was smart. I always thought that was hilarious.

Seriously though, this is very bad news. Historically, International Autos is a terrible dealership. They are a "premium" marque only dealership and have never provided anywhere near the experience I expect for even a "standard" marque. This bodes poorly for FIAT in the Milwaukee area as that will definitely be viewed as a "cheap" car there. It's already a problem with MINI at the same store. If you can't get decent service on your Benz, what do you think you're going to get on your FIAT?

In SE Wisconsin I would recommend Palmen, Kenosha.
There is A LOT of misinformation going on in this post.

1) The FIAT Studio was a Hummer store. The vacant building, wrapped in FIAT images, was the smart store.

2) I know a quite few of the IA locations have flatscreen televisions as well as other ammenities in their guest lounges. The only 'bad' thing I've heard is from MINI people being seated in a separate lunge from the MB people. But why would that be a problem when FIAT USA is requiring IA to have a separate Studio for FIAT? I'm actually stopping at the new location this week. I want an educated P.O.V... 'Not a big fan of the sky-is-falling, uneducated & removed from reality type of stuff I see going on here.

3) The old Audi spot will be the new FIAT Studio, with at least one of each from sales & service moving to the new locale, I expect th service to remain as it was under Bergstrom. But that's up to the people moving there and the customers.

4) Anyone recommeding Palmen is either; a) A Palmen employee, b) Related to the Palmen family, or c) Lacks the high standards of the MKE FIAT experience.
 

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My biggest worry with Palmen is FIAT doesn't cover rental cars, and with a dealer that's an hour and a half from work, that pretty much means I'm taking a day off to get service done. That plus i'll probably tend to let minor things go a lot longer before getting them sorted. What a drag for everyone involved.
Great points.

Bergstrom allowed the MKE Studio to purchase three 500s as lend cars for their customers. A good idea would be to contact IA and ask whether they took over those cars as well... and whether they will continue that level of service.
 

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2) FIAT USA, Bergstrom & IA view this as a transfer of license... not a closing. IA already has a Maserati Studio and specializes in luxury imports (soon to include an Alfa Romeo). FIAT will join MINI as their second premium *economy brand (and have its own dedicated Studio) on the Southwest side of MKE. Bergstrom FIAT is/was on the Northwest side of town. IA is refitting their former Audi showroom/service dept to FIAT. The Studio will be situated in IA 'avenue'.

Also...
4) Anyone recommeding Palmen is either; a) A Palmen employee, b) Related to the Palmen family, or c) Lacks the high standards of the MKE FIAT experience.

While I have nothing personal against Palmen, the fact they began advertising FIAT in tandem with news of the quiet Bergstrom-IA deal has not escaped my notice. In two years I hadn't seen as much Palmen FIAT adverts as I've seen in the past two weeks. A few Palmen people switched to Bergstrom... largely due to service or lack thereof. I trust things will get better there, because we're all in this one together.
 

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someone does not like Palmen but as a huge big time monstrous supporter of the (not closing but really closing) moving Bergstrom I guess that makes 100% sense. Nothing wrong with being loyal. I thought I was loyal doing several hundred thousand dollars worth of business with Dodge since 2010 but dang I will pull the license plate surround off as well as the dealer sticker attached to the rear end of all cars. Unless I am being paid to advertise I refuse to oblige them with their freebies lol I truly feel bad for anyone that now has to travel even further than previously to have their FIAT's attended to. We are preparing to move 45 minutes away from the closest dealer and I really would dread the thought of an 1 1/2 drive to get a problem fixed. Good luck to any owners caught up in this situation and if you are caught what are your plans?
 

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I was told that Fiats are moving to International Autos in West Allis, WI (which is 7 blocks from my house) ...

Their Pricey.. but perhaps they will have dif rates for Fiat?? =\..........
 

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Cento, as always great Info. :) Thank You.
No worries. I just thought I'd add some factual info people can use to make plans while this is being sorted out.

The Bergstrom team sent an email the moment they were legally allowed to say word one. They have 1-2 open services this week as a result. They have nothing to gain with this extra mile they went, but did it anyway. I want them recruited to IA FIAT of MKE. If not all, I want as many of them there as possible. IA needs to take a serious approach or rebuild what the Bergstrom team did. That won't happen overnight. It's gonna be a rough month of September, if they don't have this sorted quick. I know they're working on the building, because I spoke with the GM today.

AliasBurn ~ I cannot speak to your worrie$, but I can recommend you write or phone the IA GM, Tom Dexter, and communicate your concern$.

The best scenario,for me, is doing what I can to help the MKE Studio be successful. I simply don't see another brand in my future. I need to do what's best for my family & my club. Again, that is doing what I can to help the MKE Studio be successful... Bergstrom, IA or otherwise. I'm not very good at sittting around wondering or whining. I already know my worst case scenario is Palmen or Fox Valley until IA FIAT opens. Done. Move on... unless one is prepared to dump their ride.
 

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There is A LOT of misinformation going on in this post.

1) The FIAT Studio was a Hummer store. The vacant building, wrapped in FIAT images, was the smart store.

2) I know a quite few of the IA locations have flatscreen televisions as well as other ammenities in their guest lounges. The only 'bad' thing I've heard is from MINI people being seated in a separate lunge from the MB people. But why would that be a problem when FIAT USA is requiring IA to have a separate Studio for FIAT? I'm actually stopping at the new location this week. I want an educated P.O.V... 'Not a big fan of the sky-is-falling, uneducated & removed from reality type of stuff I see going on here.

3) The old Audi spot will be the new FIAT Studio, with at least one of each from sales & service moving to the new locale, I expect th service to remain as it was under Bergstrom. But that's up to the people moving there and the customers.

4) Anyone recommeding Palmen is either; a) A Palmen employee, b) Related to the Palmen family, or c) Lacks the high standards of the MKE FIAT experience.
Amacento,

I take serious offense to your post. Apparently I struck a nerve with you by declaring that IA has been terrible for me, but your rude response has struck one in me. They have been bad for me and I have no reason to believe that some of the Bergstrom staff coming over will change that. My entire family and most of my friends who buy luxury marques have had a negative experience there, ranging from the sales teams to the service teams; and those experiences were mostly with Mercedes, Audis and Minis. I did have a neutral experience looking at BMW once, so I guess there's that. In response to your bulleted list I have the following replies:

1) My apologies for confusing the two buildings on the same site.
2) You're admitting that the place is so backward as to seat their patrons in classified sections and judge the level of service by the presence of flat screens but I'm the "uneducated" and "removed from reality" party? OK.
3) I don't, but we are both postulating based on different experiences.
4) a) Nope, b) nope c) that's laughable as the FIAT is the cheapest car I've ever purchased (both of them) and I've already indicated that IA isn't up to my general standards and wasn't even in the ballpark I would expect for my AMG Mercedes service.

I don't have any experience with Bergstrom FIAT other than test driving a 500L there. They were nice people and had a nice studio. People seem to like them and I really do hope that experience carries over to IA, however, if it does it would be a departure from what I've come to expect from them. This is my opinion of IA, as was implied in my post, that you cited multiple times, using qualifiers like "experience I expect", and "I would recommend".

I don't know why you dislike Palmen so much but they have been selling FIATs here for longer than Bergstom MKE. That's why I purchased from them in the first place, I was one of the first FIAT customers in the area as I was waiting for the car. They do not provide the highest level of service around, however, they have taken very good care of me.

In fact, I traded my AMG on the FIAT and made it very clear to them the level of service I expected and that Concours had provided for me. It was a prerequisite to buying the FIAT and I interviewed the sales and service managers prior to making the commitment to purchase. The rental car was one of the issues I had and they have never charged me for a rental on my original FIAT, even after the Forwardcare ran out. They charge me $25 for a rental when I take my wife's car in about half of the time, but that's a flat rate regardless of how many days it's in and I really don't care about the $25. Beyond that they have given me excellent sales support (from Frankie Chiappetta) and good service support (from Carlos Ruis) They have been responsive to my needs and even goodwilled the full cost of repairing my clutch ($1200) when the throwout bearing failed and FIAT refused to cover it (despite me having reported the issue twice while the car was under warranty) and the faded badges. They also extend wholesale pricing on all the parts I buy.

I can't comment on whether or not they have flat screens in their service lounge as I've never used it, so I'm not sure if that's up to your "high standards". The only issue I have with them is that they never call me when parts come in. I don't understand it but it's repeatable pretty much every time and is frustrating.

Implying that your opinions are facts is insulting to everyone, implying that they are more valid than mine is insulting to me.

Take Care, and I do truly hope that everything works out well for the Bergstrom faithful as we are all in this together.
 
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