In the era of big-box stores and auto malls, a small Chrysler Fiat dealership in Mississauga, Ont., has combined an old-fashioned small-town footprint with modern on-line and telephone selling to do something miraculous: slay the giants. From an unlikely location, Peel Chrysler Fiat used to be one of the worst-performing FCA dealerships and now claims the Number One spot in Canada.
Peel recently managed to squeeze three cars into its two-car showroom — barely — and that was only possible because the third car was a Fiat 500. The entire building, including eight service bays, covers a mere 678 square metres (7,300 square feet).
Located in Port Credit, one of the 11 original villages that coalesced to become Mississauga — now Canada’s sixth-largest city — the store sits on a small plot on the road through town, nestled between a bank and a row of townhouses. It doesn’t get much more small town than that.