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AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS
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FIAT comes to O.C.

The Costa Mesa dealership is among 150 locations the automaker plans to open in the U.S. this year.

BY BEN GIBBSPublished: March 14, 2011 09:54 AM

FIAT will open its first Orange County dealership in Costa Mesa on Tuesday.

It’s one of 150 new dealerships that FIAT plans to open in the U.S. this year – an expansion effort that comes in the wake of the company’s acquisition of Chrysler in 2009.

Orange Coast FIAT, at 2524 Harbor Blvd., will operate as part of Talon Automotive Group, which includes Orange Coast Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Ram dealerships in Costa Mesa and San Juan Capistrano, and OC Motorsports, among other interests.

“It is an exciting time for FIAT,” said Jon Gray, CEO of Talon Automotive Group and president of the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association. “It enters the U.S. with one of the hottest cars on the market today – the FIAT 500.”

The lot will showcase the FIAT 500’s innovative design and is home to a café, a customer lounge with flat-screen televisions and an interactive studio. Customers will be able to utilize state-of-the-art technology to customize, configure and personalize their vehicles.

“Our customers are going to find our new studio very cool, low key, fun and incredibly interactive,” said Gray.