Chrysler Group says it has started to appoint dealers to represent Fiat in the US.

The dealers appointed in this first phase will be ready to take orders for the Fiat 500, while additional Fiat dealers will be named by the end of the year.

Chrysler said it would like to have Fiat dealers in 119 markets in the US, mostly in areas chosen for their high concentration of small-car registrations.

Chrysler Group's Fiat dealer selection team has spent the last few weeks reviewing proposals from existing Chrysler Group dealers who want to add the Fiat franchise to their brand portfolio. The dealers provided detailed facility, marketing, sales and service plans in their proposals.

"We have carefully considered each of these dealer proposals looking for the best locations and the most creative plans," said Chrysler Group VP network development and fleet operations," Peter Grady.

"We're excited to be at the point where we now can start appointing our Fiat dealer network."

Chrysler Group dealers presented interim and long-term facility plans, with some building new facilities, while others plan to convert on-site used car and other buildings into Fiat dealerships. Some dealers will purchase former auto dealerships, while others will have empty retail stores in their markets.

The automaker added dealers from outside the Chrysler Group dealer network had also shown "great interest in securing the Fiat franchise." Those proposals are now being evaluated.

Chrysler Group is building the Fiat 500 in its Toluca, Mexico assembly plant.