Eager for fresh products to sell to consumers, Chrysler dealers have reacted enthusiastically to a request by Chrysler Group to submit applications to sell Fiat cars in the U.S., the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker has said.

"The response from our dealers has exceeded our expectations," said Chrysler spokesman Ralph Kisiel, in an e-mail Wednesday to Bloomberg News. "We now will begin reviewing the proposals and look forward to naming our Fiat dealers in the next few weeks."

Chrysler declined to say how many dealers had applied as the tally of applications continues. Dealers had until Wednesday to submit their proposals.

Dealerships to be awarded Fiat franchises will be notified in October. The nation's No. 3 automaker is looking to establish Fiat franchises in some 165 locales. Chrysler has stipulated that those dealers vying to sell Fiats must have a distinct, operational showroom and trained staff in place by February. Marketing for Fiat products is planned to get underway in March.

Fiat took over management of Chrysler last year as the then-troubled carmaker was heading into bankruptcy. CEO Sergio Marchionne heads up both companies.

Among models Fiat is looking to sell in the U.S. is its small 500 hatchback, production of which begins December in Mexico. Other versions of the 500, including a convertible and an electrically powered model, are expected to follow.

Further, Fiat has plans to begin selling several Alfa Romeo models, including a mid-size sedan and crossover vehicle in 2012, followed by a larger SUV and luxury sedan. Alfa Romeo, which Fiat acquired in 1986, hasn't sold cars in the U.S. for more than a decade, having pulled out of the market in 1995.

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evd10

"No one wanted odd, unreliable Fiats 30 years ago. Why would we want them now?"...True, but they were still better than Yugos.

September 23 2010 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wfreeberg

You can joke about Fiat all you want but it is a car company that has been a leader in Europe and has been in business since the 1800s. The Fiat has survived with fuel at $4.00 a litre. Think about how many litres to a gallon.

September 23 2010 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
slaughter216

actually just getting back from ireland the fiat 500 is a best sellar along with the new fiesta which was designed in england not everyone needs a giant hunk of iron with a v8 the ford focus rental car i drove was a four cylinder turbo diesel backed by a six speed manual which got over fifty miles to the gallon,

September 23 2010 at 3:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to slaughter216's comment
floatgod

Well, let's see. Ireland uses the Imperial Gallon which is equivalent to 1.201 U.S. Gallons. So your 50 MPG converts to about 41.6 miles per gallon (U.S.). Further you say it is a turbo-charged diesel? Will that be available in the U.S.? If not, deduct the MPG difference of diesel versus gasoline. Also, you cannot compare Ireland's paths and lanes to freeways with lorrries (excuse me, semi trucks) going to 65 MPH towing triple trailers. The FIAT 500 will be a death trap like all small cars. Sorry Ireland does not match up to the U.S.

September 23 2010 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Geina

Are the workers in the Mexican plants allowed to drink beer and smoke grass on their breaks too?

September 23 2010 at 3:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Willard Hubbs Jr

I think Chrysler and Fiat is a looooooose deal. Get ready to bid goodbye to another car company, thanks to the economy created in Washington.

September 23 2010 at 2:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
geraldlsolis

Some have suggested that we should buy Chrysler products just because they're an American Company. Blind Obedience? I have owned 7 Jeeps, still have one, and also a Dodge Dakota. So, I WAS a Chrysler customer for many years. But when Chrysler turns their back on their customers (they would no longer honor the warranty on the two vehicles I mentioned), their dealerships (the dealers I bought these two vehicles from in the Washington, D.C. area were shut down and hundreds of good people were put on Unemployment by Chrysler), their bondholders, their retirees, and their suppliers (all of which were wiped out by Chrysler's Government-driven bankruptcy, then it's time to move on. Chrysler will NEVER return. It has no viable products that other manufacturers don't already offer. So, customers like me will look elsewhere. Burn me once, it's your fault. Burn me twice, it's my fault.

September 23 2010 at 2:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ANNE

BREAKING NEWS: A MAN WAS WALKING BY A GROUP OF CHRYSLER PLANT EMPLOYEES, THE GROUP WAS HAVING LUNCH AND SMOKING DOPE, THE PASSERBY HAD A CAMERA PHONE, HE TOOK PICTURES, AND ASKED THE GROUP IF THEY WERE NOT SUPPOSE TO BE AT WORK MAKING CARS, THEY ALL TOOK OFF LIKE SOMEONE JUST PUT A BOMB UNDER THEM. AND CHRYSLER WANTS US TO BUY THEIR CARS, NO THANKS.

September 23 2010 at 1:45 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
dodie1990

The mini-euro micro death trap is absurd. America has wide open roads and its people are big. Why cram yourself in a small mini-car deathtrap?

September 23 2010 at 1:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jjjwkjohn4

To bad they said built in Mexico I won't be looking at one

September 23 2010 at 1:23 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
cshae89546

Did you here about the new Chrysler? It is called the Bureuacracy. It was designed by individuals who always ride in limos and it was built according to a plan the engineers never bothered to read. It cost a fortune to buy and millions more to maintain and doesn't really take you anywhere you can afford to be.

September 23 2010 at 1:10 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply