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Good news for American's......................


Ready or not, Fiat is coming to Florida, and sooner rather than later.


The 2012 Fiat 500 goes on sale in January at about 130 dealerships in the U.S., including 10 in Florida. Three dealerships in South Florida (Fiat of West Palm Beach, Sawgrass and West Miami) will sell the car and four others in Central Florida (Fiat of Winter Park, Daytona Beach, East Orlando and Winter Haven) will stock it.


Most dealers selected have a relationship with Chrysler, such as Jim Arrigo, owner of the Chrysler stores in West Palm Beach and Sawgrass. Arrigo, incidentally, is a chairman of the Chrysler Dealer Council.


Additional dealers will follow in the next two years, as the Fiat lineup increases to include a convertible and other models. Chrysler has said dealers that sell the Fiat must create a separate showroom for the brand, but since some dealers only received approval in mid-November, the company is allowing for some breathing room before the separate showroom requirement kicks in.


John Mantione, who heads the Fields Automotive Group of dealerships in Orlando, said the central selling point for the Fiat "will be price. There's a lot there for the money." Indeed, the base Fiat 500, called the Pop, starts at $15,500, not including the as-yet undisclosed shipping fee. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo with CD and MP3 players and six speakers; power windows, locks and heated mirrors, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel and seven airbags. Additional safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability control and traction control.


Power for all 500 models will be a 1.4-liter, 101-horsepower four-cylinder engine, with a five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic will be optional. The EPA has not yet rated the 500's fuel mileage, but it is expected to average about 40 mph. Though you can use regular 87-octane gas, Fiat suggests 91 octane.


Fiat stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian for the Italian Automobile Factory of Turin). But it also stands for something else in the U.S. now: The savior of Chrysler, which was bankrupt when the European automaker stepped in and assumed control.


Fiat made no secret at the time that one reason it was interested in Chrysler was that it was a way back into the U.S. market, both for Fiat products and those of a subsidiary, Alfa Romeo. Both brands were once sold in the U.S., and both retreated. This time, they may be back for good.


source:http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010-12-13/business/os-auto-scscolumn-101210-20101213_1_fiat-alfa-romeo-chrysler-stores
 

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Great for Florida. They will be one of the prime markets to sell the Fiat 500 and 500c.

One thing that has been on my mine is where are these dealerships located at? By now they should be in the process of building Fiat 500 dealers, after all Fiat has plans to start selling these nation wide by February.
 
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