In a few years, willingly setting foot inside a Chrysler dealership will no longer mean that you’ve given up on your dreams.
Chrysler’s new Italian overlords have apparently judged the market ripe for a pocket rocket invasion and news broke earlier this afternoon that the Fiat 500 will be hitting Chrysler dealerships in the West within the next two years. If things go according to the preliminary schedule, the first wave of about 30,000 Fiat 500 sedans will be shipped to the Chrysler plant in Toluca, Mexico and kickoff production in late 2010 or early 2011. Despite Chrysler’s hand in assembly and distribution, however, there’s no need to fear a “500 inspired” Chrysler. Despite their abundance of questionable business decisions Chrysler (or, more likely, Fiat) demonstrated the sagacity to leave the Fiat badge intact, effectively averting the massive market disaster that would inevitably follow a Chrysler 500.
If all goes well with the first troop surge, Fiat eventually plans to bring the entire 500 lineup to America, including the 500 hatchback, drop top, wagon, and, the real object of our affection, the STI-fighting Abarth.