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Chrysler in Charge of US Bound Fiat 500

US former bankrupt automaker Chrysler will be responsible for the distribution of the Fiat 500 in the domestic market, a company official said in a statement, with Fiat initially planning to sell only a limited volume of cars. Peter Fong, Chrysler brand CEO and head of sales for all Chrysler Group brands, said the Fiat 500 will be sold through Chrysler dealerships but it's still unclear how many stores will actually offer the minicar.

500 is the only model to reach the United States under the Fiat badge, as the Italian manufacturer will sell several vehicles stateside rebadged as Chryslers. This is basically one of the terms of the strategic alliance formed by the two carmakers earlier this year.

"The Fiat 500 - we see that, like the Mini, as a sort of boutique car that we think we can sell in good numbers on the East and West coasts in the same way that Mini has been successful in the U.S.," Richard Gadeselli, vice president of Fiat communications in Italy, said earlier this year.

Gadeselli also mentioned in June that the US-based ally will handle production of some other models and sell them locally as rebadged vehicles. Obviously, these models will be based on the original Italian cars but with a number of adjustments especially applied for the US market.

"There is a misconception out there that Chrysler is going to build the Fiat Bravo, just stick a different badge on it. They will be Chrysler products," Gadeselli mentioned. "They will be specific to Chrysler. The vehicle architectures will be based on our stuff, and there will be some powertrains. The vehicles will be U.S. vehicles, designed for U.S. customers by a U.S. company."


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