Chrysler has just announced that it has begun accepting applications for those wanting to establish a Fiat dealership as it prepares to launch the Fiat 500 model by the end of the year. While more specific application guidelines will be sent to prospective dealers, Chrysler has provided some insight into what it is looking for.
For starters, Fiat dealerships are to be stand-alone entities with their own facility, service department and staff. They will also have to be able to prove that they have the financial resources to, “support the introduction of the Fiat brand.”
Chrysler has said that they expect to set up 125 dealers in 41 states, giving preference to the highest performing existing Chrysler brand dealers in each market.
With the Fiat 500 set to go on sale by the end of the year, the 500C (cabriolet) will then be released in 2011, with rumors of a 4-door model and high-performance Abarth models to follow. Chrysler did not comment if Fiat dealers will also double as Alfa Romeo dealers in the future.
Chrysler will officially announce its Fiat dealer sections in September.
Get more Fiat info at Fiat500Owners.com
Official release after the jump:
Chrysler Group LLC Begins the Process of Establishing Fiat Dealer Network
- Select group of dealers will be chosen for U.S. Fiat dealer network
- Fiat dealers to be located in markets targeted to the small-car segment
- Fiat dealers will be located in up to 41 states
- Dealers in targeted markets will be sent application guidelines and proposal deadlines this month
July 5, 2010 , Auburn Hills, Mich.
Chrysler Group LLC has begun the dealer selection process for the reintroduction of the Fiat brand in the United States.
The Fiat brand in the U.S. will feature the New Fiat 500, which recently celebrated the 53rd anniversary of its introduction in Europe. Dealers will begin selling the iconic Fiat 500 late this year and the Fiat 500 Cabrio in 2011.
Chrysler Group expects to select dealers in about 125 markets identified for growth potential in the small-car segment. Fiat dealers will be located in approximately 41 states.
“The Fiat dealer network will be appropriately sized to serve the market opportunity,” said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development and Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC. “Our vision is to establish a dealer network that will reflect and enhance the brand’s reputation for innovation and fun, and will offer a unique, personalized customer experience.”
Chrysler Group will send Dealer Application Guides to dealers in the identified markets containing specific Fiat dealer requirements and instructions on submitting a proposal. The guide presents details on facility, sales strategy, accessory sales, service and parts departments, training curriculum and financial requirements.
Dealers must demonstrate how they will market, sell and service Fiat vehicles with a new customer service model. Basic guidelines include.
- Location – The majority of dealerships will be located in the identified markets
- Eligible Dealers – Proposals from Chrysler Group’s best performing dealers will have preference in the identified markets
- Dealer Performance – Chrysler Group will evaluate interested dealers on volume performance, minimum sales responsibility accomplishment, capitalization and overall Dealer Standards score. In addition, the company will individually evaluate the proposed facility and customer handling metrics.
- Fiat Facility – A completely separate facility will be required to represent the Fiat brand.
- Fiat Team – A separate Fiat team will be required to sell and service the Fiat brand.
- Fiat Standards – Fiat standards will be unique from existing Chrysler Group Dealer Standards.
- Financial – Dealer candidates will have to show that they have the financial resources necessary to support the introduction of the Fiat brand.
Dealers in the target markets will be invited to attend a meeting in Chrysler Group World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. Chrysler Group plans to officially announce its U.S. Fiat dealer network locations in September.