Port of San Diego welcomes first shipment of Fiats - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Port of San Diego welcomes first shipment of Fiats

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The first shipment of Fiat automobiles to San Diego -- the only arrival point for the brand on the West Coast -- arrived Thursday under a new three-year contract, according to port officials.

The 370 cars from the Italian automaker arrived on the vessel Demeter Leader at the 135-acre National City Marine Terminal, which is operated by Pasha Automotive Services. The vehicles are the four-door Model 500L type, which Fiat describes as an urban utility vehicle.

About 12,000 Fiats are set to be delivered this year to San Diego, according to the port. The deal ultimately calls for 40,000 Fiats to come to San Diego annually.

Once the cars are unloaded and processed, they'll be trucked to dealers around the western United States.

The port said the Demeter Leader was also carrying 1,700 Volkswagens.

Last year, about 330,000 vehicles were imported through the Port of San Diego and processed by Pasha Automotive Services, according to the port.

Pasha began its operations at the National City Marine Terminal in 1990 with a shipment of Isuzus. Since then, 5 million vehicles have gone through the facility.

Other makes handled by Pasha at the terminal include Honda, Acura, Audi, Mazda, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Lotus, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Kia.

A proposal by the company to increase operations at the terminal is currently working its way through the port's Board of Commissioners.

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