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Fiat opening first UK multidealer

2013-04-25 09:53

'HOW'S IT GOING? Divisional director Nick Down (left) and site manager Mick Savvery check on progress at the UK multifranchise site. Image: Newspress

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LONDON, England - Dealer group T H White will be the first of its kind in the UK to sell and service all Fiat Group vehicles and brands from one site when its purpose-built showroom is completed in the next few months.

The UK is well behind South Africa, which already has 10 shared operations nationwide.

Italy-based Fiat and its major shareholder Cerberus bought Chrysler in January 2009 and is planning total ownership soon.

The UK business in southern England plans to sell more than 1000 Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Chrysler, Jeep and Fiat Professional vehicles each year from the one-hectare development in the city of Swindon.

'REALLY BIG BRANDS'

Areas will be branded by product, there will be seven service bays in a new workshop and the company says it is confident it will achieve the ambitious targets being set. Divisional director Nick Down explained: "The Swindon project is driven by really big brands about which we can be passionate. They are car names that really get people interested, that people want to talk about, enjoy, have a relationship with. The new site will allow us to engage with that way of thinking."

More than two dozen staff will be employed for the first few months of operation; more, the company says, will be hired as the business develops. The site will burn waste oil for heat, solar panels will provide much of the electric power, rain will be collected and used water will be recycled.

Much of the area around the site has been planted with trees and shrubs. Down added: “We have worked with local residents to create a showroom site with which everybody will be happy."

The vast showroom will be sectioned for each FGA brand and be distinctive through decoration and furnishings. Tim Head, dealer development director with Fiat Group Automobiles UK, said: “We're delighted with this superb site. It’s a big investment with bold plans."
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