Fiat 500

After a North American absence of 30 years, Fiat is ready to return to the United States. The Fiat 500 had its US production debut at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show and the expected start date of the production is 13 December. The car made its Canadian debut at the 2010 Canadian International Auto Show.

Starting in 2011, Fiat 500's will be available for purchase through around 200 Chrysler dealerships, especially in urban areas, in the US. Fiat owns a minority stake of 20% in Chrysler.

The American Fiat 500 will be assembled in Toluca (Mexico), while the engines are produced in Dundee, Michigan.

The first Fiat model on the North American market will be the Fiat 500 Multiair and after that Fiat plans to release a convertible version of the 500-car. The Italian brand also has the intention to release an Abarth branded version of the car and an electrically powered 500. The latter is exclusive to the US market only.

History of the Fiat 500

Fiat was founded in Turin (Italy) in 1899 and is one of the oldest car makers in the world. The Fiat Group sells Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari, Abarth and Lancia. Iveco trucks and buses and construction equipment also belong to the portfolio of Italy's largest car maker.

The first version of the Fiat 500 was the Topolino and was sold between 1936 and 1955. The Topolino was in 1957 succeeded by the Nuovo-model. Like the Topolino, the Nuovo was designed by Dante Giacosa, a designer who had an eye for details and whose designs are still praised because they never get boring. In 1975 Fiat stopped producing the Fiat Nuovo. At that time there were over 3.5 million produced.

The current Fiat 500 model had its premiere in 2007 and has a distinctive retro-look. Volkswagen and BMW had in recent years success with their New Beetle and new Mini and Fiat was hoping to emulate that success.

Future of Fiat 500
Fiat is planning to do a homage to the Fiat 500 Giardinetta with a 500 estate. The Italian car manufacturer is also considering a 500 SUV version. Furthermore, the Fiat 500 will also be one of the first cars to receive a new generation of small engines. Fiat launched already in the winter of 2009 a new 0.9 engine, which replaces the 1.2 and 1.4 engines. The big advance of these engines is the economical fuel consumption.