Embattled Fiat dealers in the United States will now be allowed to close standalone Fiat storefronts and join standard Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram showrooms in order to save money, Automotive News reports.
Fiat Chrysler announced the change while speaking to Fiat dealers in Detroit this week. Closing the standalone Fiat showrooms will allow an FCA dealer to save an average of $180,000 a year on duplicate expenses brought on by operating two separate showrooms instead of one.
In addition to modifying the dealer strategy, FCA also hopes to help its struggling Fiat retailers by simplifying the Fiat lineup. Instead of offering numerous trim levels of the 500, 500X and 500L, just a few will be offered, simplifying the product in the eyes of both the dealer and the consumer.
All but 42 of FCA’s 206 standalone Fiat dealerships in the United States are owned by nearby Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram dealers. These dealers will not be forced to incorporate the Fiat showroom into their main showroom, but they will save about two-thirds the amount of money as one that did.
One-off programs will be put in place to help those 42 Fiat dealers not owned by an FCA dealer, the automaker says. This will include rent assistance, which will be sourced from payments currently made to dealers in order to offset advertising costs and will arrive on a monthly basis.
Dealers who do close their Fiat showroom will be allowed to bring all of their dealer operations under a single dealer code, which saves them money, and will also be able to include Fiat sales in monthly sales goals and initiatives. Additional incentives to sell Fiats will also be offered to dealers.