The first shipment of Fiat automobiles to be imported to the Port of San Diego arrived at the National City Marine Terminal on July 18, the port authority said.
The shipment of 370 Fiat 500L cars was transported on NYK Line's Demeter Leader
, which also unloaded Volkswagon's Porches and Audis.
National City Marine Terminal is operated by Pasha Automotive Services, which recently won a three-year contract for receiving, processing and distribution of Fiat vehicles as part of Fiat's expansion in the U.S. market. The company estimates that 40,000 Fiats will arrive through the port annually with 12,000 units anticipated for the remainder of 2013.
The cars will be trucked to dealers throughout the western United States.
San Diego is the third North American entry port for Fiat imports, joining Baltimore and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The 500L is manufactured in Europe, while the 500 model is produced in Mexico.
Last year, Pasha processed about 330,000 vehicles in San Diego. It recently signed a 30-year operating agreement for the National City Terminal and committed more than $10 million for upgrades during that period. - Eric Kulish