Chrysler announced today that it has begun awarding its first round of Fiat dealer franchises. According to our sources the notification letters were scheduled to be delivered today.
Chrysler reviewed proposals from about 600 applicants. The first car sold by the dealers will be the Fiat 500 minicar, which will also mark Fiat’s return to the United States market.
Back in August, Chrysler invited 600 of its dealers to present its vision for Fiat, and the American manufacturer chose dealers from 119 markets it identified for having strong growth potential for small city cars within the next five years.
Furthermore, Chrysler admitted the fact that it has received Fiat franchise applications from non-Chrysler dealers. “Dealers from outside the Chrysler Group dealer network also have shown great interest in securing the Fiat franchise,” Chrysler said in a statement. “The company is now looking at their proposals as well.”
All the proposals were reviewed by a selected team, and Chrysler says that the dealers had to provide information on their plans to develop their facilities, marketing, sales and service.
“We have carefully considered each of these dealer proposals looking for the best locations and the most creative plans,” said Peter Grady, Chrysler Group vice president of network development and fleet operations. [via autonews - sub. required]