Chrysler has named the first 130 Fiat dealers in the United States, as it prepares to introduce the Italian-born Fiat 500 to the US market at the LA Auto Show today.

Since the automaker, now partially owned by Fiat, announced that it would bring the brand to the US it has been working on a list of markets selected for their growth potential in the small car segment.

The list of dealers released November 17 covers 39 states, with California boasting the largest number of outlets, a total of 17.

They will be the first to sell the 2012 Fiat 500 (Cinquecento), an Italian icon and European hit which was described as a car "that can save Detroit" by car-buying site Cars.com earlier this year.

The North American version is likely to see some modification, with an efficient 1.4 liter four-cylinder engine and a tweaked suspension and interior.

It will be the first time in 25 years Fiat vehicles are officially available in the US and will give Chrysler a new small car to appeal to the growing segment of urban and environmentally-conscious consumers.

It's a tactic also adapted by Ford, which announced at last year's LA Auto Show that it would again begin selling its small Fiesta hatchback in the US for the first time in 30 years.

The LA Auto Show runs November 19-28.

http://www.laautoshow.com

http://www.chrysler.com

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