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Soave: the US Fiat rollout is behind schedule

Today at a media event at the Chrysler Tech Center, Fiat brand CEO Laura Soave stated that the US brand rollout is behind schedule as we rapidly near the date that the company had hoped to have the bulk of their new Fiat dealerships up and running.

Today’s event at the Auburn Hills headquarters was intended to feature a huge spread of Fiat “Celebration” artwork designed by employees from basically every division of the Chrysler Corporation, but Soave (as always) was on hand to answer questions from the media who were in attendance.

If you live near one of the soon-to-be Fiat dealerships, there is a good chance that it isn’t ready for business right now and it may not be ready when Chrysler planned to have 130 dealerships open later this month. The company initially said that they would allow some dealerships to open later than February but it now appears that only around 20 will be operational by the end of February. By March, Soave expects as many as 30-40 to be open for business with the rest slowly filing in by September.

The initial batch of the 2012 Fiat 500 – the Prima Edizione – are reportedly built and on their way to dealerships for those who pre-ordered the special edition 500s, with deliveries occurring in early March. The Prima Edizione Fiat 500s were only available in three special edition colors but when the 2012 Fiat 500 hits the market at full steam later this year, it will be one of the most customizable cars in the American market. Along with that, they will also be among the most fuel efficient and least expensive, with the “Cinquecento” starting at just $15,500.

Check out the gallery below for just a few examples of the elaborate artwork displayed at this morning’s event!

Other Fiat News:
Introducing the 2012 Fiat 500 by Gucci
Chrysler expects to increase sales by 45% in 2011
Chrysler CEO Marchionne apologizes for shyster loan comments
Chrysler and Fiat could become a single, US-based company
Fiat makes its Detroit Auto Show debut as a production model