Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chrylser Hopes to Bring Fiat 500 Electric

In brief: Both Chrysler and their new owners, Fiat, have previously announced the Fiat 500 (both gasoline and electric) is coming to America. Now they have to convince dealerships to carry them.
The gasoline version of the Fiat 500 (sort of the Italian version of the German-made Mini Cooper) will be in the U.S. at the end of this year. A convertible version will come out in 2011 and the all-electric will enter the market in 2012. The electric version (pictured as a model) will have 100 miles of range and sell for around $32,000 (likely after incentives). Now Fiat and Chrysler have to convince dealerships to carry the Fiat brand. For most, this would mean investment in a new showroom and a dedicated sales team - a tough sell in today's economy. This for what amounts to only one car in three versions, as Fiat has made no plans to move other models to the U.S. Fiat must convince 200 dealerships to go along with the plan by September 22nd or face not having enough franchises to sell the car. At that point, it's been made clear that the company plans to go outside of the current Chrysler network.


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