Fiat of Worcester – NOW OPEN
By Donna Boynton TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
MILLBURY Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â Herb Chambers Companies, one of New EnglandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest auto dealers, will be opening a Fiat dealership here this summer.
Herb Chambers Fiat of Worcester, located at 2 Latti Farm Road, is expected to be open by August, and will be selling all models of the Italian car that is making a comeback in the United States.
Herb Chambers broke ground for the $1-million project yesterday, which will share the lot now occupied by Herb Chambers Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Millbury. The steel framing for the 3,000-square-foot studio showroom was erected yesterday by Advantage Construction of Quincy.
The new dealership will employ about eight people, and the Fiats will be serviced at the adjacent Chrysler dealership.
Fiat was once popular here in the early 1980s, but its popularity waned in the following years. With the demand for fuel-efficient cars and the popularity of compact cars such as the Smart Car and the Mini Cooper, the Fiat is making a comeback.
Already, Herb Chambers Fiat of Worcester has about a dozen Fiats pre-ordered, and will have about 60 cars on the lot.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is a fun little car with high fuel economy and a low price,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Jeff Albert, general manager of Herb Chambers Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Millbury. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Smart Car is too small; the Mini is too expensive; our car is right in between.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Fiats range in price from $15,000 to $22,000, depending on the model and options. The car averages about 38 mpg.
Elaine Frick, Chrysler area sales manager, said almost every Chrysler dealership put in an application for a Fiat dealership, but not all were selected.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“You had to be in a metro market area that sold smaller cars,Ã¢â‚¬Â Ms. Frick said, noting that Fiats have almost a cult following, with many Fiat clubs Ã¢â‚¬â€ some of which meet annually at a rally called a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fiat Freak-Out.Ã¢â‚¬Â
While Fiat is made in Italy, a production plant will be opening in Mexico.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re excited about it; this is a great line,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Salvatore F. Sachetta, corporate director of construction for Herb Chambers, adding that Alpha Romeo dealerships will begin appearing in the next few years as well.
Millbury town officials who attended the groundbreaking yesterday said the new dealership is an example of the reciprocal supportive relationship between the town and existing businesses.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Millbury has a strong history of economic development and this just goes to show that somebody as big as Herb Chambers has a commitment to Millbury,Ã¢â‚¬Â Town Manager Robert J. Spain said.
Selectman Brian Stowell said Millbury should be honored to host one of the few Fiat dealerships in the region.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It seems that everything we are doing to attract business is paying off,Ã¢â‚¬Â Selectman Brian Ashmankas said.