DETROIT -- Steven Wolf belongs to a fairly exclusive club -- a Fiat dealer in the U.S. who has consistently made money on the struggling Italian brand.
But even Wolf's faith has been badly shaken as Fiat sales have plunged. Late last year he postponed a plan to build a $500,000 Fiat showroom on his 15-acre multifranchise campus in Houston -- at least until he knew Fiat Chrysler's strategy for the brand.
Wolf was one of 200 or so Fiat dealers who flew to Detroit last week to be briefed on that strategy, and he was apprehensive about what he might hear.
Other dealers were, too. Some feared that the franchise -- in which they had invested millions -- would be opened up to the rest of the FCA US network. A revolt appeared to be brewing.
But by the time Wolf boarded a plane back to Houston after the meeting at an airport hotel, his doubts were swept away.
"I'm going ahead [with the showroom] now," he said the next day. "I called the general contractor on the way home and said "Let's do it.'"