Fiat of Strongsville celebrated its official grand opening Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, but customers didn't wait for that formality to jump at the chance to buy the Italian-made vehicles.
"We've been very busy," said Paul Podnar, Fiat specialist.
The "studio" -- Fiat's name for a showroom -- has been open since early May, one of only eight Fiat dealerships in Ohio and among 130 in the nation.
Fiat is returning to the American automobile market after a 27-year absence.
Podnar said people like the fuel economy of the Fiat 500, which gets up to 40 miles per gallon, its $15,500 base price, its unique look and its nimble performance.
The dealership opened with 20 Fiats in stock, but most customers will design their own on touch-screen computers that let them add features and choose colors to their own specifications, according to Paul Podnar, Fiat specialist.
"It lets you custom build your own Fiat," Podnar said.
At Wednesday's ceremony, Council President Mike Daymut led the ribbon-cutting as Fiat representatives and guests test-drove cars and snacked on Italian-themed food.
Fiat took over the former Strongsville Dodge at 18100 Pearl Rd.