#FIAT of Austin Celebrates Grand Opening of New Location with Art Reveal



FIAT of Austin, the sales leader since the FIAT brand was reintroduced to the U.S. market in 2011, has moved to bigger and better quarters.

FIAT of Austin now is located at 13040 U.S. 183 North, about five miles north of its original location in The Domain shopping mall. The new FIAT studio is throwing a grand opening celebration today featuring a special reveal of four artist-painted FIAT models.

“We are the No. 1 FIAT brand retailer of all time, and with this move we intend to keep that title,” said Lisa Copeland, General Manager of FIAT of Austin. “We now can expand our sales and staff, and have brought service under one roof.”

The new FIAT of Austin location, along bustling U.S. 183 on the north side of the city, will become an art gallery showcasing the four hand-painted vehicles.  Austin artist Sue Ellen Stavrand, who owns Art Driven, purchased three Fiat 500s and a Fiat 500L, and commissioned local Austin artist Cindy Raschke to use the vehicles as her canvas. These four unique vehicles will be revealed for the first time during today’s grand opening celebration . Art Driven partners with the nation’s best artists to custom design and hand-paint automobiles.

Since opening in February 2011, FIAT of Austin has sold 2,237 units. That’s more units sold than any FIAT studio in the country. In addition, FIAT of Austin was the first FIAT studio to sell more than 100 Fiat 500s in a given month, a milestone that earned the studio a personal visit from Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne. FIAT of Austin accomplished that sales feat in April 2012 when it sold 110 units.

“FIAT of Austin has done a great job for our brand and our customers,” said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand North America.  “The all new state-of-the-art facility will allow them to bring their attention to detail and passion for the brand to even more customers and continue their success story in Texas.”

In its original location in The Domain, FIAT of Austin was right at home amid the mall’s upscale collection of boutiques. But the studio needed room to grow.

In its new digs, FIAT of Austin now has a state-of-the-art facility and 29,000 square feet, up from the restrictive 6,000 square feet at The Domain. Service and parts are now provided at the new location, and there is ample space for inventory. FIAT of Austin is a member of the Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships.

At its new location on U.S. 183, more than 165,000 vehicles a day pass by the new studio, a far cry from 650 at the original location. FIAT of Austin is hiring up to 30 additional sales and service staff at its new location.

“We are expecting awareness of our studio and of the FIAT brand to increase at our new location,” Copeland said. “The key is to maintain our unique, boutique customer experience in our new, 29,000-square-foot studio.”

FIAT of Austin was named by Automotive News as one of the “Best Dealerships To Work For” in 2013,” a title that Copeland has no intention of relinquishing in her new home.

Copeland has set an ambitious goal of selling 1,200 units this year, up from 737 units in 2013, and 937 units sold in 2012, which was best in the nation.

About FIAT Brand
FIAT — Life is Best When Driven. 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 Fiat 500 is synonymous with modern, simple design blending form, function and a pride of ownership that is genuine.

Reminiscent of the original Cinquecento, the Fiat 500 and Fiat 500c (Cabrio) build on the vehicle’s global popularity. Since its initial launch in 2007, more than 1,000,000 Fiat 500 vehicles have been sold in more than 100 countries around the world. In addition to success on the sales front, the Fiat 500 has earned more than 80 international awards, including being named the 2008 European Car of the Year, 2009 World Car Design of the Year and Best New Engine of 2010 (Fiat MultiAir® Turbo). In the U.S., the 2012 Fiat 500 was named “Best Buy” in the subcompact category by Consumers Digest and was deemed a “Top Safety Pick” by the influential Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This year, the 2013 Fiat 500 was named to the “10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000” list by Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com and the new 2014 Fiat 500L was recognized as a “Top Safety Pick” by IIHS.

The FIAT brand portfolio in North America continues to expand. In 2013, the FIAT brand launched the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio, the fully-electric Fiat 500e and the Fiat 500L, an all-new five-passenger model that expands FIAT’s brand style and efficiency into the growing B-segment.