Fiat exec touts mall-based car dealerships

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.

Does it make sense to open a new-car dealership inside a shopping mall?

Laura Soave, who heads the Fiat brand in North America, calls it a winning idea.

“We have quite a few that have opened up in malls,” she said during an interview at the New York auto show.

Last weekend 107 people visited one mall-based store, she said, resulting in the sales of 14 Fiat 500s.

Commenting on traditional stores, Soave said, “most of our dealers don’t draw 107 people on a weekend.”

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