By the end of 2010, you’ll be able to walk into one of 165 Fiat dealerships, throw down your cash and drive out in a brand new Fiat 500. As Left Lane News reports, we still can’t tell you where those 165 dealerships will be located, but it’s safe to assume “in major metropolitan areas”. If you live in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, you’re golden. If you live in Fairbanks, Alaska or Whitefish, Montana, you can probably assume you won’t be getting a Fiat dealership anytime soon.
Although selected Chrysler dealerships will handle Fiat distribution, the cars will be sold from dedicated showrooms. The intention is to start small, with 2,000 square foot showrooms large enough to hold just 3 or 4 cars. By the time Alfa Romeo returns to the U.S. market in 2014, the expectation is that Chrysler will have some 200 well-established Fiat dealerships. These dealers will be the first considered for the Alfa Romeo product line.
Chrysler will position the Fiat 500 against the Mini in the U.S. market, and several versions (including, perhaps, an Abarth 500) are expected at or soon after launch. Fiat is borrowing a page from the Harley-Davidson playbook, and will offer a variety of optional, dealer-installed accessories to personalize the Fiat 500 to a buyer’s taste. Let’s just hope they don’t include a bunch of chrome farkles and open exhaust systems.