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Posts tagged: JJeff Barton

Here comes the Fiat 500. Barton Fiat opens its downtown dealership

Barton Auto Group gets back into selling new cars in downtown Spokane this week, launching the area's only Fiat dealership.

Fiat, the longtime Italian carmaker, joined forces with Chrysler in 2009 and ended up taking a 58 percent stake in the company. It's been more than two years since the Bartons used their dealership at Monroe and Second to sell new vehicles.

Starting Wednesday, Barton Fiat, at 1002 W. Second, will sell the Fiat 500, the Italian-made subcompact that is aimed at drivers wanting a small but sporty vehicle.

It comes in five models. Later this year, the higher-end, turbocharged version, the Fiat Abarth, will be added to the mix, said Jeff Barton, president of Barton Auto Group.

The locally owned dealership also operates Barton Jeep in the Spokane Valley and is building a Barton dealership on Newport Highway. It will open later this year.

In 2010 the Barton Saturn dealership sold its last Saturn, after parent automaker GM decided to shut down the brand.

Since then the Bartons have kept open the downtown dealership selling used cars and managing costs carefully. Jeff Barton said the family hoped to get the first Fiats in 2011 but the Italian company only released them to major U.S. cities last year.

The only other Fiat dealers nearby are in Boise and Seattle.

Wire photo: The Fiat Abarth, sport class

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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