Abarth currently has 10 dealers in the UK.
With the launch of the Grande Punto Abarth and 500 Abarth, the sporting Italian brand wants to double that. And there is no restriction on who can become an Abarth dealer – it’s not tied to Fiat.
That’s despite the cars’ obvious derivation from Fiat models. Indeed, the current 10 dealers are also Fiat dealers, too. But UK head of brand, Ivan Gibson, said this isn’t a trend.
Certainly, Fiat Auto expects the UK to be the second-biggest market for the cars, outside of Italy. This year, up to 600 Grande Punto Abarths will be sold, rising to 800 in 2009.
To that will be added 1500 500 Abarths, which arrives in January (and for which 76 £500 deposits have been placed).
Gibson has a further carrot, too. When Lancia relaunches as part of the Alfa Romeo network, there’s the potential to have Lancia, Alfa and Abarth all under the same roof, in a dedicated showroom area.
Three in-demand brands, which complement but don’t compete with each other? That’s some proposition, we reckon…