Fiat brand CEO Lorenzo Sistino has side-stepped the question of whether Fiat might opt to sell its well-received, retro-look 500 in the US to re-introduce the brand there.

Fiats were sold in the US until the late 1980s while Alfa Romeo was withdrawn in the early 1990s. By the end, each brand was down to a single model line.

Speaking at the IESE Business School's Automotive Sector conference in Barcelona, Sistono did not rule out such a move but he pointed out that Alfa Romeo's re-entry to the US is next for Fiat Group and that distribution for a small Fiat car in the US would be problematic as things stand.

"The first brand that Fiat Auto will be selling in the US [on re-entry] will be Alfa Romeo. The discussion about Cinquecento follows a media report and the idea that the Mercedes Smart is the first such example and that Fiat could follow. I cannot give you an answer now.

"Certainly the Cinquecento is an absolutely outstanding car for us and maybe it can have opportunities outside Europe.

"But in the US, the dealer network [lack of] would be an issue for sure - it would present a bottleneck. Probably we would have to think about some new distribution solution."

Fiat's revived, retro-look 500 has just been named car of the year (COTY) in Europe by a jury of 58 journalists from 22 European countries.

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