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Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited Enthusiast Club Ready to Welcome the Ret...

(PHILADELPHIA, PA April 30, 2009) -- In light of the pending alliance between America’s Chrysler Corporation and Italy’s FIAT automaker, Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited (FLU, www.flu.org), North America’s largest enthusiast club for owners of Fiat-branded automobiles, is eagerly awaiting the return of new Fiat automobiles to the United States and Canada following a more than 25-year absence. The club has announced that it stands ready to assist Chrysler in promoting the sales and ownership of North American versions of Fiat and Alfa Romeo vehicles, regardless of where the cars will be built or the name brand badges affixed to the cars.

Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited (FLU), which is dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of Fiats and other Italian cars, was founded in 1983, the same year that Fiat ceased selling cars in the USA. Since the club’s inception, it has grown to be one of the most active enthusiasts groups of its kind in the world, with local chapters holding yearly events that draw attendees from all over the USA, Canada, and several foreign countries. “Fiat Freak Out,” the club’s annual international convention, draws nearly 450 participants each year, many of whom show over 200 well-preserved Fiat, Lancia, Ferrari, and Alfa Romeo cars of vintages spanning several decades. The club welcomes owners of any Italian marque, and looks forward to offering assistance to Chrysler and Fiat in promoting the purchase and ownership of the Italian automaker’s highly-acclaimed sporty and fuel-efficient cars.
The pending partnership between Chrysler and Fiat may result in several Fiat-designed cars being built in North America. Should this happen, it would not be the first time Fiat vehicles have been assembled in the USA. Fiat, based in Turin, Italy, was among the first foreign automakers to set up a factory to build cars in North America, operating an assembly plant in Poughkeepsie, New York, from 1909-1918.

In addition to conducting numerous gatherings and events throughout North America, Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited maintains an official internet website, www.flu.org, and publishes a full-color bi-monthly newsletter, RICAMBI, which is packed with member-written articles, technical tips and classified ads.

Club FLU members already have a taste of what it’s like to drive a new Fiat on North American roads. In the summer of 2008, a club member brought to the United States a new Fiat 500, which was voted the European Car of the Year in 2008. The car was driven from Times Square in New York City to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and ultimately back to the East Coast, making appearances at several U.S. auto shows along the way and drawing crowds and rave reviews wherever it traveled. This very car is now owned by the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, and will be displayed at Club FLU’s 2009 “Fiat Freak Out” international convention to be held in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in August of this year. The new Fiat 500 is rumored to be one of the Fiat vehicles that Chrysler may build in the USA and offer for sale to North America customers.

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