According to the head of the Fiat operations in North America, talking for Autonews, Laura Soave, the decision to tap non-Chrysler dealers came out of necessity, as from the initial number of dealers of the American manufacturer that have been given a franchise, for various reasons, seven backed out.
Fiat gave the dealers it has selected a short time to redesign their stores, meaning that the owners of the business had little time to adapt and hire contractors for the changes. At least, this is what some of them are saying the reasons for backing out were.
Fiat decided to switch and replace them because it is determined to build a network that will comprise 130 dealerships open by the end of the year. A network that has to look and feel in a certain way.
"One of the things we're committed to is the network, that the first impression is perfect," Soave said.
For the moment, the dealers that are already open are selling only the 500 model, in both hatch and (soon) convertible versions). The entire dealerships network Fiat is establishing in the US is meant to support a sales target of 50,000 units this year.