North American readers over a certain age may recall a time when Fiats were available at local auto dealers. Even though some people joked about their reliability at the time (“What does FIAT stand for? Fix It Again, Tony!”), the chic, zippy little Italian cars definitely had their admirers. Unfortunately, after the 1970’s oil crisis subsided, small cars weren’t so popular anymore, and what market remained was heavily dominated by Japanese automakers. Thus it was that in 1984, Fiat decided to stop selling cars in North America. Flash-forward to fuel-conscious 2010, and Fiat is now the sixth-largest car company in the world, and owner of the US-based Chrysler Group. This week, it was announced that separate and distinct Fiat dealerships will be selling the company's compact 500 model in the United States.
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