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Fiat 500
Fiat confirms arrival of diminutive 500 hatchback

It seems as though many auto manufacturers get bitten by the retro bug at some point in time. Retro vehicles can provide a link to the past, while at the same time giving drivers a more modern vehicle with all the performance and safety that we expect from today's cars.

Prime examples of recent retro vehicles include the Ford Thunderbird, Chrysler PT Cruiser, VW New Beetle, Toyota FJ Cruiser, and the Mini. It looks as though at least one more retro vehicle is coming our way courtesy of Fiat. The Italian auto giant today announced that its tiny 500 will be making its way to North America and will be sold in Chrysler dealerships.

Earlier reports hinted that Fiat would make this move, but today marked the first official confirmation from Fiat. According to Richard Gadeselli, Fiat's VP of Communications, the Fiat 500 will land in Chrysler dealerships within the next 18 months. The vehicle will still be badged as a Fiat; however, six other vehicles based on current Fiat platforms will also arrive stateside wearing Chrysler-specific designs and badging according to Autoblog.

Fiat and Chrysler announced a strategic alliance in late January, and most recently, Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Despite Chrysler's current financial troubles, Fiat is hoping that its expertise with small car platforms will help to bring innovative and fuel efficient vehicles to U.S. drivers.

Chrysler was joined today in bankruptcy proceedings by its crosstown rival, GM, which the U.S. government is now taking a 60% stake (Canada is getting a 12% stake in the company, while auto unions will receive a roughly 17.5% stake). Ford has yet to take any bailout funds and is currently moving forward under its own power.





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