Get your deposits ready: The first Fiat model to grace America's roads in two decades will be the chic new 500. Thanks to the new liason with Chrysler, the bubbly compact car should arrive in Chrysler showrooms in as little as 18 months.
The 500 will not wear a Chrysler badge when it launches in the U.S. It will be the only Fiat or Fiat-derived car sold here as a Fiat. Chrysler plans on selling forthcoming Fiat-derived vehicles under its existing brands (i.e. Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep).
Richard Gadeselli, vice president of Fiat communications in Italy, says "The Fiat 500 -- we see that, like the Mini, as a sort of boutique car that we think we can sell in good numbers on the East and West coasts in the same way that Mini has been successful in the U.S."
Gadeselli says that Chrysler will design and engineer up to six of its own small or mid-sized vehicles based on Fiats. He seeks to dispel the rumors that Chrysler is just going to rebadge Chrysler vehicles. "There is a misconception out there that Chrysler is going to build the Fiat Bravo and just stick a different badge on it."
"[The cars] will be specific to Chrysler. The vehicle architectures will be based on our stuff, and there will be some powertrains. The vehicles will be U.S. vehicles, designed for U.S. customers by a U.S. company."
Source: Automotive News