Fiat Dealership Opens in Palmer Park Mall

More than 30 cars sold at the mall since June opening. Dealership is part of the Brown-Daub family.

It's time to go to the Palmer Park Mall.

Let's see, I'll do some clothes shopping, check out the sports shop -- and maybe buy a car. At the mall?

"I get a lot of double takes," said Joe Jarvis, manager of the new Brown-Daub Fiat of Lehigh Valley. The store opened in the mall in June but had a grand opening and ribbon cutting Tuesday night attended by area dignitaries and members of the area's business community.

 "But we've sold 31 cars since we opened. This car is really cute," Jarvis said.

The dealership, which is part of the Brown-Daub family of car dealerships, is offering Fiats, priced in the $15,500 base range and back in the United States after a 27-year hiatus. The store is next to Schuylkill Valley Sports and just down from the mall entrance to The Bon-Ton.

"It's different to have a car dealership in the mall," owner Tom Daub said. "We feel encouraged being here. There's a lot more foot traffic. People don't come to the mall usually with a car on their mind. But it's getting a little better."

He said the cars -- Fiat 500s -- have won numerous awards in Europe, including "Car of the Year" in 2008 and 2009. And the dealership is sleek. (A Fiat dealership will be built in Hecktown, Jarvis said.)

"It's like an Apple store for cars," said Fiat specialist Amber Williams, who works with Jarvis and Fiat specialist Sarah Scherer.

The dealership is open from 10am to 9pm every day and is closed Sunday.

"It's not intrusive," Jarvis said. "It's fun, there's good music and you're not going to get hassled."

John Rome of Macungie agrees.

"The cars are pretty sharp," he said. "I didn't know what to expect. I've test driven one. Now I'm thinking about getting one."

Alision Miers, vice president of Easton Area initiatives for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, arranged the ribbon cutting at the Fiat store.

"This is a nice way to showcase Fiat to the area," Miers said. "This dealership will have a positive impact on the Lehigh Valley."

Daub summed up the excitement with his statements at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"This car, with its technology, is amazing," he said. "Once you get in and drive it, you'll be really impressed. You'll be really pleased."


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