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Posted on Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Suburban Collection sees Ann Arbor as good fit for new Fiat showroom

By Freelance Journalist

Ann Arbor could soon be home to a new Fiat dealership as part of plans to reintroduce the Italian automaker's products to the North American market, the Detroit Free Press reports.

As reported last week, Suburban Collection is asking the city to approve plans for a one-story, 3,408 square-foot Fiat showroom at its Chrysler Jeep of Ann Arbor property. The site is currently home to a service building, which would be demolished.

Suburban, a Troy-based dealership network, figures that Ann Arbor's environmentally conscious ethos and lack of consumer loyalty to traditional domestic brands play in favor of the Italian brand.

Fiat is the the majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC.

The Fiat brand in 2011 struggled with a limited vehicle lineup and a delayed nationwide marketing campaign, and it was unable to open enough showrooms to meet its goal of selling 50,000 vehicles in North America. The brand aims to have more than 200 U.S. dealerships and now has 178 locations in 44 states, the Freep reported.

Suburban is aiming to open the showroom by the end of the year.

For more, read the Free Press story.


Jim Walker

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

The 500 and its Abarth higher-performance variant have gotten very good reviews by the motoring press, including our own Car and Driver & Automobile magazines. The new Dodge Dart, based on an Alfa platform with an optional Fiat engine, has gotten good press. We shall see. James C. Walker, Ann Arbor, MI

Basic Bob

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 9:13 a.m.

I like the Dart with the 1.4L multi-air turbo. Unfortunately the larger engine only comes with a Hyundai transmission from Korea.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Wonderful! Now if only Peugeot would bring some models over (seriously!).


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

actually, I've never had a negative experience with the French.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

I agree.. a car made by the snotty , stuck up French would fit right in in Ann Arbor


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:16 a.m.

Why is everyone picking on Fiat? If say, Suburban were to open a Kia, Toyota, or Mini franchise in that spot I doubt there would be the same level of criticism.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:08 a.m.

Fiat 500 Sales were up 319%, as of first-half 2012 Chrysler Group Results, reflecting sales results higher than all of 2011 sales.

Basic Bob

Tue, Aug 28, 2012 : 9:10 a.m.

I might have bought a FIAT if I didn't have to drive to Bloomfield Hills. The 500 looks a bit scary on the highway. I test drove a Dart, and bought it. It's roomier than the Cruze and Focus. It's taken a little practice with the manual transmission, but it's worth it.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

yeah...cause test driving a car is so comparable to putting one's head in a meat grinder.

Chip Reed

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

I've driven a regular one and an Abarth, and they're both good. Dodge Darts looks good, as well.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:54 a.m.

No Sparty, I've never driven one.I've never put my head in a meat grinder either but I know I wouldn't like it

Chip Reed

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 10:49 a.m.

We lack consumer loyalty to traditional domestic brands?


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

I thought America was a free-market economy? Don't we always say we can compete (and beat) anyone?


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:18 a.m.

Well, they have loyalty to one of ours, they bought majority ownership of Chrysler as it was going through bankruptcy and nobody else wanted it. Now its making money and employs hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly through its supplier and distribution channels, as well as other businesses as their income flows through the economy. Does that count?


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 10:38 a.m.

IMHO, Fiat will not be successful in the US this time either.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:13 a.m.

Have you driven one or visited any of their dealerships?

Fat Bill

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

I wonder if they can get parts for a 1971 124 Spider?

Edwin Gustafson

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

With a 3-D printer, they might be able to print them out for you…


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 12:37 a.m.

I googled that car.Looks like you can get parts for it

Dog Guy

Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

Speak nothing ill, tdw, of Topolino, the Fiat 500. It is bad enough that Topolino is also Italian for Mickey Mouse. I may just buy one (my first import) and mount a 72" mower deck underneath. Wearing a black unitard, red shorts, yellow shoes, and white gloves I'll enter the lawncare business if it ever rains around here.


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:11 a.m.

You've also driven the Fiat 500 ?


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

That made me laugh.Maybe it is Italian for Mickey Mouse cause that's about the size you need to be to fit in one


Sun, Aug 26, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

Yep I'm sure A2 would be perfect for sales of a tiny, wimpy, under powered,foreign made piece of junk car


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

Ok..I was 100% wrong about it being under powered.It looks like it will push 160 hp w/turbo.That is a lot of hp for a Matchbox


Mon, Aug 27, 2012 : 11:06 a.m.

Are you talking about the Ford Fiesta?