Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa, importer of Fiat, Fiat Professional, Alfa Romeo and Abarth brand vehicles in South Africa is expanding its Abarth high-performance brand's reach with the opening of three new dealership countrywide.
Abarth cars will, from February 2013, be available from McCarthy Wonderboom in Pretoria, NMI DSM Abarth Umhlanga, and Sandown Century City in Cape Town will follow shortly thereafter. Arnold Chatz cars in Joburg has, until now, been the only Abarth dealership locally.
The expansion of the Abarth dealer footprint is expected to increase sales of the brand for 2013 considerably, as well as generate positive showroom traffic for the normal Fait and Alfa Romeo derivatives.The range
The Abarth range currently consists of the 99kW Abarth 500 coupe, as well as convertible, the 118kW Esseesse version, featuring an extensive list of cosmetic and "go faster" optional extras, as well as the highly exclusive 132kW Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari and the 132kW Abarth Punto Scorpione. Abarth 500 pricing starts at R240 000 with the Punto Scorpione retailing at R365 000.
Carlo Abarth began his association with Fiat in 1952, building the Abarth 1500 Biposto upon Fiat mechanicals. Along with its racing cars, Abarth produced high-performance exhaust pipes as well as various tuning kits mainly for Fiat brand road vehicles. Abarth was sold to the Fiat Empire in 1971 and became the racing department of Fiat.
Virtually forgotten in the 1990s and early 2000s, the Abarth brand was resurrected in 2007 and was introduced into South Africa in 2011.