Members of the Northern California-based Fiat America Car Club, which has just celebrated its 40th anniversary, might find the trek to Michigan a journey too far in January.
But if they did make it they would be rewarded by a rare sight – Fiat models taking centre stage on the Chrysler stand at Cobo Hall.
A pair of 500s, including an Abarth, are at the heart of the reassuringly large and confident stand as Fiat’s control of Chrysler begins to take shape. Ferrari is also there, having missed out on the 2009 show.
Also on display is a Lancia Delta wearing a Chrysler grille, a sign that Fiat and Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne is serious about his plans for Chrysler and Lancia to share platforms globally.
Sales of the 500 are due to start here late in 2010 when production kicks off in Mexico where capacity is more than 100,000 units a year. Engines, including a 175hp turbo unit for the Abarth, will be built by Chrysler at a factory in Michigan.