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, 2013. The Port marked the historic occasion with a press event featuring one of the shiny Italian imports driving through a ceremonial red ribbon.
The shipment of 370 Fiat Model 500L cars was transported on the vessel Demeter Leader, which also brought a shipment of Volkswagens, Porsches and Audis.
Pasha Automotive Services, operator of the135-acre terminal, recently secured a new three-year contract for the receiving, processing and distribution of the Fiat vehicles. The company expects that 40,000 Fiats will arrive through the Port annually with 12,000 units anticipated for the remainder of 2013.
"Today's arrival of Fiat automobiles translates into jobs and revenue for our region," said Ann Moore, Chair of the Board of Port Commissioners. "Our tenant, Pasha Automotive Services, continues to grow its business with new auto accounts that supply dealerships throughout the United States. Pasha is a valued partner and we are proud of its success."
After the Fiats have been processed, they will be trucked by Pasha Distribution Services to dealers throughout the western United States. There are only three North American points of entry for Fiats – San Diego for the western United States; Baltimore, Maryland for the eastern and Halifax, Nova Scotia for Canada.
The shipments are handled by the Grimaldi Group who will utilize NYK Steamship Line for these imports, with the vessel Demeter Leader bringing in the first arrivals.
The Fiat Model 500L is manufactured in Europe and joins the model line of the Fiat 500 currently produced in Mexico and continues the planned growth of Fiat brand models coming into the United States.
Last year, approximately 330,000 vehicles were imported to the Port of San Diego and processed by Pasha Automotive Services. Pasha is experiencing record growth as sales of imports in the United States continue to increase. Pasha began its operations at the National City Marine Terminal in 1990 with a shipment of Isuzus. Since then, the company has handled five million vehicles at the National City Marine Terminal.
About the Port:
The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of the 11 ports in California. It was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested millions of dollars in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego.
The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 20 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.
The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.