AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug.22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --The FIAT brand is celebrating the grand opening of FIAT of Chicago, the first FIAT studio to open in downtown Chicago.
Located at 645 West Randolph St., just east of the Kennedy Expressway, this stunning new studio is the commercial anchor for a contemporary 17-story condominium high rise and is family owned and operated by Antonio Scalzo, president, and his son Carmelo Scalzo, vice president.
Four FIAT studios are located in the greater Chicago area, but this is the first to open downtown.
"I heartily welcome FIAT of Chicago to our growing network of FIAT studios," said Timothy Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand North America. "With its exceptional location and know-how, FIAT of Chicago will expand our customer reach in this critical market, as we continue to grow our brand nationwide with 178 studios across the United States."
FIAT of Chicago and Chicago Social Magazine will mark this significant occasion with a grand opening celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23. This festive Italian evening will include a fashion show, food, refreshments, and pop-up lounge.
Antonio Scalzo grew up in Calabria, Italy working on Fiat and Alfa Romeo cars as a young mechanic. He moved to Chicago in his early twenties and worked days, nights, even weekends, trying to realize the "American Dream" of one day owning his own business.
Antonio got that chance in 1979 when he purchased Suburban Auto Imports, a small FIAT dealership in the western suburbs of Chicago. He grew that business into the largest volume Fiat/Alfa Romeo dealership in the U.S.
FIAT of Chicago opened its doors in late July and has already been warmly received by the neighborhood, said Carmelo Scalzo, who will run the day to day operations in the studio.
"We think the sky's the limit at this location," Carmelo Scalzo said. "Our customers are excited not only about having a FIAT studio in their neighborhood but also about the return of the FIAT brand to the United States."
FIAT of Chicago features up to 25 Fiat models on its showroom floor and stocks another 50 to 60 vehicles, all indoors.
FIAT Brand Promotion
To coincide with the studio's grand opening, the FIAT brand is placing advertising wraps on the Chicago 'L' trains. The wraps will be featured on both the Red and Blue lines that are expected to carry more than 21 million riders to their destinations over the next eight weeks.
The wrap is two train cars wide and depicts the Fiat 500 Abarth leaving the coast of Italy on the left and arriving in downtown Chicago on the right. In between, the advertising wrap proclaims "The next wave of Italians has come to Chicago." The advertising initiative is linked with the new broadcast commercial, "Immigrants," that depicts the tale of the FIAT brand's arrival in the U.S. market. That spot features vehicles joyously cliff-diving and leaping into the sea as they make their way from Italy to the U.S.
About the FIAT Brand
The FIAT Brand stands for discovery through passionate self-expression. It encourages people to be in charge of their lives, live confidently and celebrate the smallest of things with infectious excitement. That philosophy is embodied by the North American introduction of the iconic Fiat 500 or Cinquecento - a small car that lives big. Italian at heart and rooted in a rich heritage, the 500 is synonymous with modern simple design blending form, function and a pride of ownership that is genuine.
Reminiscent of the original Cinquecento, the 2012 Fiat 500 and Fiat 500c (Cabrio) build on the vehicle's global popularity. Since its initial launch in 2007, more than 800,000 Fiat 500 vehicles have been sold in more than 80 countries around the world. The model's unquestionable popularity is the result of the Fiat 500's great ability to deliver unmatched personalization options with advanced solutions in terms of quality, engine and passenger comfort. In addition to success on the sales front, the Fiat 500 has earned more than 80 awards, including being named the 2008 European Car of the Year, 2009 World Car Design of the Year, Best New Engine of 2010 (FIAT MultiAir Turbo) and a 2012 "Recommended Pick" by Consumer Guide.
SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC