AUTOSHOW-Need model range to sell Fiat 500s in US - CEO

GENEVA, March 5 Wed Mar 5, 2008 9:56am EST

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GENEVA, March 5 (Reuters) - Italian car maker Fiat's FIA.MI 500 compact could be sold in the United States but only with a full range of models, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Wednesday.

He said Fiat is working on various models of the retro compact, voted Europe's Car of the Year last year by industry journalists.

"The 500 can't go to the U.S. by itself," Marchionne told reporters at the Geneva auto show.

"You've got to have a range of models around it, which we are constructing. Then we'll see. Potentially you can sell the car."

In the U.S. market, "we would have to make sure that it does not become a fashion that lasts only six months", he added.

Marchionne repeated Fiat's target of launching its Alfa Romeo brand in the United States in 2009-2010, adding that the sports cars should be produced in North America.

He told Reuters on Tuesday that Fiat was considering Mexico as a base to build the cars for export to the United States. (Reporting by Ian Simpson; editing by Rory Channing)

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