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News & Updates

News Release: Fiat Coming to Cleveland Auto Show
February 16, 2011

News Release: Fiat Coming to Cleveland Auto Show


Sara Panza
Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association
Fiat Coming to Cleveland Auto Show
Cleveland, OH (February 16, 2011) —Fiat is marking its return to Northern Ohio with an appearance at the upcoming Cleveland Auto Show, presented by AutoTrader.com. The show opens its doors at the I-X Center on Saturday, February 26.
“We’re very happy to see Fiat re-enter the market at the Cleveland Auto Show,” says Louis A. Vitantonio, Jr., president of the Cleveland Auto Show. “The Fiat 500 will offer yet another alternative for people in the market for a sporty, affordable vehicle that’s also fuel efficient.”
While the Fiat name is re-entering our market here in Northeast Ohio, there are very few people around who can actually remember Fiat being at a Cleveland Auto Show. “The last time Fiat was in the U.S. was in 1983,” says Charles “Chuck” Eddy Jr., of Bob & Chuck Eddy’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Austintown. “I can’t remember seeing Fiat in an Auto Show because 30 years ago, it was all about the Big Three.
“Obviously, it’s exciting to be one of the select few Chrysler dealers to get a Fiat franchise. I’ll be proud to be standing in that booth and to have our people work the show. The Cleveland Auto Show is one of the largest auto shows in the nation.”
Eddy is just one of the four dealers in Northern Ohio to receive the Fiat franchise. Other dealers include: Gary Panteck and Paul Hrnchar, who have teamed up on Fiat of Strongsville; the Classic Auto Group, which will soon open Fiat of Mentor, and Fred Martin Superstore in Akron, which will open its brand new stand-alone Fiat store later this year.
“In fact, we just finished making application for some zoning permits so we can begin construction on our new stand alone store on the south end of our property here on Barber Road,” says Duane Huff, treasurer and co-owner of the Fred Martin Superstore. “We like the brand because it’s authentic, passionate and conversational. We think that Fiat will be very successful because it conveys the Italian spirit to live life to the fullest.”
Fiat will be bringing several versions of its new 500 to the Show.
“The 500 is a beautiful little vehicle that will really appeal to young people,” says Jim Brown Jr. of the Classic Auto Group, which will soon open its Fiat store at its old Mini Cooper location on the Classic Auto campus in Mentor. “It’s an Italian brand that really has an allure to the public. And the vehicle is perfect for this market, especially with gas prices moving in the direction they are heading.”
Fiat is just one of the brands making a return to the Cleveland Auto Show. Both Infiniti and Saab are coming back this year as well. The Cleveland Auto Show has more than 40 exhibitors displaying more than 1,000 vehicles in over 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space.
The Cleveland Auto Show opens its doors to the public on Saturday, February 26 and runs through Sunday March 6. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for pre-teen and seniors. Children under six are free. You can find out more about the show or even buy tickets on line at www.clevelandautoshow.com, sponsored by Huntington Bank. And remember, parking is free for the duration of the show, courtesy of your Northern Ohio new motor vehicle dealers.
About the Cleveland Auto Show 
The Cleveland Auto Show, presented by AutoTrader.com, marks the start of the spring selling season in Northeast Ohio. This year’s show runs from February 26th through March 6th, 2011. Featuring concept, pre- production and production vehicles from the world’s auto manufacturers, the show is held annually at the I-X Center with nearly 1.2 million square feet of exhibits, with free parking compliments of your new motor vehicle dealer. The Show also features an array of entertainment including sports celebrity appearances from the Browns, Cavs and OSU and NASCAR. The Cleveland Auto Show is a consumer show and a favorite family tradition since 1903. Buy tickets online at www.clevelandautoshow.com.
About the GCADA  
The Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association (GCADA) has served the retail-automobile industry and community with integrity and distinction since 1903. Today, located in Brecksville, Ohio, GCADA represents 240 franchised motor vehicle dealers, which includes new-car, truck, motorcycle and RV dealers in a 21-county region of northern Ohio along the Lake Erie shore and beyond.  More information on the GCADA can be found at www.gcada.org.
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