Everything’s big in Texas, so the saying goes. Unless Fiat has something to say about it: out of 70 existing Fiat dealers, 10 of them are opening up in Texas—the second-highest amount of dealerships, behind California, and tied with New York and Florida.
Texas may seem like a strange state to sell small cars, considering that they’re so infatuated with pickup trucks that GM, Ford, Dodge, and even Toyota have “Texas edition” versions of their big honkin’ trucks. But two of its major metropolitan areas, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, feature populations over 5 million, with the usual issues of traffic and congestion found anywhere else. Fiat is betting on these population-dense areas to achieve market success.
And while Texas might not come to mind as a trendy, fashion-conscious place like New York, Florida or California, its major city Houston is America’s 4th-largest city, and brimming with cosmopolitans in the high-tech energy and computing industries. And dispelling the notion that these urban dwellers would spring for automatic transmissions: 70% of cars sold by these dealers are equipped with the 5-speed manual.
Eventually, Fiat will open up 130 dealers across the country. But for now, if you’re in one of these trendsetting states, then you won’t have to drive far to pick one up.
[Source: Ward’s Auto]