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View Full Version : Laura, do your ears burn....?



Welshy
03-25-2011, 05:28 PM
Dear Laura,

My car (PE#408) was poorly built, was not properly inspected before leaving the factory and the following didn't work (and still doesn't):
- Blue and Me
- USB
- Hood out of alignment
- Poor color match on panels

I'd be interested to hear how many of the PE's actually are fault free (now that would be a limited edition).

Sincerely Welshy
PE#408 Bianco

Mike S
03-25-2011, 06:28 PM
So far everything I've checked works (have not tried Blue and Me) but USB plays tunes from ipod with steering wheel controls and display. There were no problems with my car (so far).

I did expect a jack, tools and a spare. Everybody I mention that to says "WHAT?" and are as surprised as I was. The price is low enough that they can raise the price and include them before the general public finds out.

The holes to mount the mechanism for the spare tire are already there and covered with silver tape. Should be an easy install.

I wonder If I order the spare tire, the kit includes tools and the mechanism to mount the spare under the car?

CaliberSRT4
03-25-2011, 06:36 PM
I replied to you in a different thread about the color discrepancy, but you didn't respond. I'll just repost it here.

<quote author="Welshy">
- Front bumper/spoiler is slightly a different color (as designer I have a good eye). The car is white whilst the front bumper/spoiler is off white (near cream). I know this could be to do with paint finish to metal v plastic, so would be interesting to find out other peoples feelings.
</quote>
As you theorized, it is because of the different material properties of sheet metal and plastic. The paint is in fact an exact match. The situation is not unique to the Fiat 500 and is perfectly normal.

This is an example of what you should be seeing. Notice the difference between the sheet metal bodywork and the plastic bumper cover (front fascia).

<nabble_img src="Nissan_GTR_Malaysia_1_Large.jpg" border="0"/>

Fiat500USA
03-25-2011, 06:43 PM
<quote author="Mike S">
So far everything I've checked works (have not tried Blue and Me) but USB plays tunes from ipod with steering wheel controls and display. There were no problems with my car (so far).

I did expect a jack, tools and a spare. Everybody I mention that to says "WHAT?" and are as surprised as I was. The price is low enough that they can raise the price and include them before the general public finds out.

The holes to mount the mechanism for the spare tire are already there and covered with silver tape. Should be an easy install.

I wonder If I order the spare tire, the kit includes tools and the mechanism to mount the spare under the car?
</quote>

The spare is optional. I, too, was surprised by the lack of a spare. I guess that is becoming more common nowadays (a surprising amount of new cars don't come with them). The spare goes underneath and the jack is under the drivers seat. By the way, the spare goes underneath because of all the reinforcements done to the US car.

RacerRon
03-25-2011, 06:55 PM
I really don't care if the 500 has a spare tire or not. It's been at least 20 years since I have had a flat tire on the road. I still have the orginial spare tire on my '94 Miata (compact spare) and on my '94 truck.

Welshy
03-25-2011, 08:11 PM
Sorry Caliber,
Thought I had. We also have two Mazda's one of which is white and the paint match is excellent compared to the FIAT. If I'd bought a GT-R for $85k I think I would have expected 100% match....for $20k I can live with it.
Cheers

sam500
03-25-2011, 09:10 PM
Mine also seems to be doing pretty well. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary, my blue&me works like it should, no flickering, nothing wrong with the electrical so far (knock on wood). Body wise, it's all there, just a bit of door trim coming unglued (very minor), but they're taking care of that. People at Fiat even called to make sure that everything was okay with the car.

Doodles
03-25-2011, 09:12 PM
Mine #395 so far seems perfect inside and out.

JustWilliam
03-25-2011, 09:13 PM
@Racer Ron-

Now that I think about, I haven't needed to use a spare in two decades. Wow.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but between quality modern tires and AAA, maybe I can live without a spare?

Gavin
03-25-2011, 11:27 PM
Last changed a tire on a car in the 80's...our MGB seemed to love to get flats.

Now my scooters are a slightly different story...no flats on my tubeless large scooter, bit did have three flats on my smaller scooter with inner tubes...one flat was at 55 mph...not fun to have a flat at 55mph on 10" tires....

I don't mind not having a spare as I will be mostly city driving....but if I do get a flat on those time hitting the mountain twisties and I'm miles from the city...while I will be a bit sad:)

Gavin


Knock wood that it doesn't happen.

5*(10)^2
03-26-2011, 01:06 AM
Welshy,

I'm sure you saw my thread and the problems I am facing now. My advice is for you to write a letter to Laura Soave. I did. Take pictures, print them out and send with the letter. Doesn't mean you have to live with the imperfections for a 20k car.

Keep us posted.

russV
03-27-2011, 01:48 PM
All it takes is one flat. Then What? Get a spare!

Fiat500USA
03-27-2011, 08:20 PM
<quote author="Gavin">
Last changed a tire on a car in the 80's...our MGB seemed to love to get flats.

Now my scooters are a slightly different story...no flats on my tubeless large scooter, bit did have three flats on my smaller scooter with inner tubes...one flat was at 55 mph...not fun to have a flat at 55mph on 10" tires....

I don't mind not having a spare as I will be mostly city driving....but if I do get a flat on those time hitting the mountain twisties and I'm miles from the city...while I will be a bit sad:)

Gavin


Knock wood that it doesn't happen.
</quote>

I'm going to get a spare, too.

sonicsby5
03-27-2011, 10:09 PM
I'll be getting a spare, too.

I've got a Bianco Prima and yes, terrible color match between the plastic and the metal. It's pretty obvious to me. Everything works on my car EXCEPT the USB. It worked for one trip perfectly with my Ipod, hasn't worked since.

Otherwise I love this little car.

sal
03-28-2011, 10:06 AM
Mine is fault free . It appears to be perfect
I think its the dealer thats supposed to check the cars out
and rectify any problems found.

#395

5*(10)^2
03-28-2011, 12:20 PM
Production defects are usually found within a close batch. Believe it or not, my number is quite close to yours and Welshy's. But of course please don't take this the wrong way. I want everyone to have a perfect car.

You might have missed my other thread...but when I buy a car, I wear gloves and inspect everything with a flashlight. I will never let the excitement of buying a car overwhelm me. I've received stares from sales, service pple. I really don't care for the red bow or the welcome drinks/food waiting for me in the lobby.

In any case, I recommend that if anyone finds anything unusual, take plenty of pictures, call Ciao Fiat and write to:

Chrysler Group LLC
Attn: Laura Soave, Head of FIAT USA
1000 Chrysler Drive, Dept. 4850049
Auburn Hills, MI 48326

Welshy
03-28-2011, 04:28 PM
Thanks 5*(10)^2,
Will definitely send photos to Chrysler along with a letter. Had there been another white PE on the lot with a better color match I would have bought that instead. The problem is you're stuck with the number you reserved (and any defect too). It should never have got this far in the first place and both the factory and the Studio should have spotted it.
I know in my design studio, nothing leaves without being checked and double checked - we value our clients too much !!!
I'll let you know if the Chrysler Group do anything.......

Fiat500USA
03-28-2011, 04:54 PM
<quote author="Welshy">
Thanks 5*(10)^2,
Will definitely send photos to Chrysler along with a letter. Had there been another white PE on the lot with a better color match I would have bought that instead. The problem is you're stuck with the number you reserved (and any defect too). It should never have got this far in the first place and both the factory and the Studio should have spotted it.
I know in my design studio, nothing leaves without being checked and double checked - we value our clients too much !!!
I'll let you know if the Chrysler Group do anything.......
</quote>
Does your USB and Blue&Me still not work?

Welshy
03-28-2011, 09:07 PM
Nope....it's going in for repair hopefully tomorrow. No call yet though from dealer, to confirm a time. I'll wait till midday and call myself.
Did call Ciao Fiat though and spoke with Customer Service, who will speak to someone else, who will speak to someone....etc. and "escalate" the issues with their project manager regarding the paint issues.
Losing a bit of faith here in FIAT....will give them the benefit of the doubt for a little longer.

5*(10)^2
03-29-2011, 12:25 PM
Welshy,

I would think that such issues will be escalated to Josh Donnelly. I spoke to him on the phone. Nice chap. A number of pple here received their updates from him as well.

For me at least, "repair" is a not an acceptable word or resolution for a new car if it has issues. You just got a new car and it has to spend time being "diagnosed" and "repaired" is quite a turn off.

giorgio
03-31-2011, 09:49 AM
f92vmAll i want is a spare tire.

giorgio
03-31-2011, 10:44 AM
Is this the same fiat family of 27 years go.

Bimmertim
03-31-2011, 06:38 PM
Ive had PE 374 for almost 3 weeks now. Have just over 2K miles - no mechanical issues whatsoever. Blue and Me works fine with iPhone4.

Lack of spare surprised me too but our MINI is spareless too...I lost the runflats years ago and got the BMW mobility kit (virtually the same as in the PE which at least has a decent storage place for it).

My only beef is that the vinyl interior panels (esp near door armrest) seem to scratch easily. Also have to be careful entering car as sills will scratch. Anyone tried the Fiat sill protectors?

Welshy
04-02-2011, 06:32 PM
OK Laura,
Quick update on my car:
-Bought on March 19th (Bought 14 days ago)
-Days actually driven on the road = 6
-Days in Workshop (with estimated return Tuesday April 5th earliest) being repaired = 12 days (includes upcoming days in shop)

Received a call from Chrysler (Marvin), stating they have no idea why the Blue and Me is not working and that they need to investigate further. The parts are in for the hood and have gone out to the spray shop and due to be fitted and hood realigned on possibly Monday/Tuesday. Regarding the difference in color of the panels (Chrysler, Marvin that is, says that's just the way it is, nothing can or will be done). The odometer is still flashing (Chrysler do not why), the USB doesn't work and I'm having to drive a crappy rental car instead of the car I spent $23,000 on.

Sort your act out FIAT and inspect your vehicles better !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From a not very happy PE owner
#408

5*(10)^2
04-04-2011, 11:33 AM
Welshy, thanks for your update. Haven't heard back mine for a week now. I hope the ball is still rolling...

There seems to be a consensus it's ok for a ~ $20k car to have imperfections. This is kind of sad. I got this from the dealer and from some owners as well. Spoke to another PE owner over the weekend and he has an interior trim falling off. But he's ok with it because he said " it's a ~$20k car" !

Whatever you buy and no matter how much it costs, it has to meet some quality standards.

Welshy
04-06-2011, 12:19 AM
So went to get the car today (Tuesday). They had completed the hood alignment but had forgot the secure the plastic trim that is visible between the windscreen and the hood. Next, there were scuffs in the plastic door sill where the paint had been chipped off and you could see the black plastic below. The odometer was still flashing and the Blue and Me inoperable.

So after 7 days at the garage its like 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. Chrysler say they are looking into the problem and say most of the cars have a Blue & Me problem (not what I've heard on this forum). So now I'm lost for words......I left the car with them, told them I wanted all the damage/ill-fitting parts put right and then they could have their rental car back. What to do.....thus is really leaving a bad taste in my mouth and I'm in the process of considering using every social networking site to blast Chrysler and FIAT.
On the point of a $20k car, it shouldn't make any difference. I don't see Mazda, Nissan, or even KIA owners having the problems we have with a cars that much cheaper than an FIAT 500.

Prima 109
04-06-2011, 11:03 PM
Funny you should mention this guy (Marvin). I dealt with him myself the other day, April 4th. My PE #109 came without the tire repair kit and I had an issue with the instrument cluster back light on the speedo/tach coming on and off while headlights were on during daylight hours. Yes, I know the car has DRL's, anywho, he's trying to tell me that the light i'm seeing is the ETC light and I should stop the car, put it in PARK, (I have a PE, no automatic trans) and restart the car. He also said that I must have taken it out of the car or the dealer took it out and has it on a shelf. Inferring that I'm a liar and/or a thief and the dealer took it out for some reason.. WHAT AN ASS!!!! just puting in my two cents.

BTW, the the intsrument light thing is what I thought, there's a light sensor in the dash that monitors outside light and turns off and on that light around the speedo and tach.

5*(10)^2
04-07-2011, 12:59 PM
<quote author="prima 109">
He also said that I must have taken it out of the car or the dealer took it out and has it on a shelf. Inferring that I'm a liar and/or a thief and the dealer took it out for some reason.. WHAT AN ASS!!!! just puting in my two cents.
</quote>

See that's exactly what I hate, reporting blemishes/missing parts and they say we are the culprits.

Welshy
04-11-2011, 05:25 PM
Good news...car is back and on our drive<smiley image='smiley_beam.gif'/>
The bluetooth fully functioning, no flashing odometer, and the hood aligned and nice. Still have a few little cosmetic things that need addressing, but the good news too is that because the Dealer had the car for so long they spoke with FIAT and I'm going to be getting a check for $325 to cover my first loan payment from them.
Well done FIAT, a good move and we have our car back and have fallen in love with it all over again. Thanks to everyone (esp 5*(10)^2). Bravo <smiley image='anim_claps.gif'/>

Gavin
04-11-2011, 06:05 PM
Congrats Welshy...have tons of fun driving...

Gavin

sjmst
04-11-2011, 07:36 PM
Good move on the part of Fiat! Congrats on getting your car back.

Prima 109
04-11-2011, 08:33 PM
that's great news! Kia did the same thing for my niece & her husband when their 2010 Kia soul (2k on the clock), and the oil pump crapped out. They R & Red the engine and sent them a check equeal to their payment. Vehicle was in shop for 3 weeks. congrats and hope you get the other issues taken care as well.<smiley image='smiley_good.gif'/>

ciddyguy
04-11-2011, 08:47 PM
<quote author="Welshy">
Good news...car is back and on our drive<smiley image='smiley_beam.gif'/>
The bluetooth fully functioning, no flashing odometer, and the hood aligned and nice. Still have a few little cosmetic things that need addressing, but the good news too is that because the Dealer had the car for so long they spoke with FIAT and I'm going to be getting a check for $325 to cover my first loan payment from them.
Well done FIAT, a good move and we have our car back and have fallen in love with it all over again. Thanks to everyone (esp 5*(10)^2). Bravo <smiley image='anim_claps.gif'/>
</quote>

Indeed good news! That is customer service as its best. Sadly, it's becoming oh so rare to find that kind of service these days without working to make it happen.

Fiat500USA
04-11-2011, 10:09 PM
<quote author="Welshy">
Good news...car is back and on our drive<smiley image='smiley_beam.gif'/>
The bluetooth fully functioning, no flashing odometer, and the hood aligned and nice. Still have a few little cosmetic things that need addressing, but the good news too is that because the Dealer had the car for so long they spoke with FIAT and I'm going to be getting a check for $325 to cover my first loan payment from them.
Well done FIAT, a good move and we have our car back and have fallen in love with it all over again. Thanks to everyone (esp 5*(10)^2). Bravo <smiley image='anim_claps.gif'/>
</quote>


That is great news!! Now you can ENJOY <smiley image='anim_claps.gif'/>

5*(10)^2
04-12-2011, 01:42 AM
Hey Welshy,

Glad that it works out for you! Putting our confidence in Fiat back on track again!



<quote author="Welshy">
Good news...car is back and on our drive<smiley image='smiley_beam.gif'/>
The bluetooth fully functioning, no flashing odometer, and the hood aligned and nice. Still have a few little cosmetic things that need addressing, but the good news too is that because the Dealer had the car for so long they spoke with FIAT and I'm going to be getting a check for $325 to cover my first loan payment from them.
Well done FIAT, a good move and we have our car back and have fallen in love with it all over again. Thanks to everyone (esp 5*(10)^2). Bravo <smiley image='anim_claps.gif'/>
</quote>

DennisLee
04-12-2011, 08:30 PM
Dear Laura:

The folks on this Forum are far above "loyal". Some have had some really difficult times getting their cars and working with a few dealers. But they hang in there and are all sticking with you and Fiat.

I am told that you monitor this Forum. So, how about taking a few minutes and acknowledging the loyal fans and PE purchasers.

I don't think we have heard directly from you since February.

A little Hi and Thank you from you personally would be in order.

We are all anxiously waiting for the marketing blitz to start. When will it happen?

DennisLee.

ps: I am ordering my Sport as soon as the Portland Oregon Fiat Studio opens. I talked with them today and in two-three weeks they will be ready.

Fiat #183
04-13-2011, 10:14 AM
Well let me start by saying that I am not a Fiat fan. Sorry. I love and support new and innovative means of transportation and that is why I bought a Fiat 500. Besides my Aptera is never going to see the light of day and the Persu is years away.

But back to Laura's ears burning: This rollout of a new product in a new market is/was an epic fizzle. I got my Prima after waiting some months only because a friend tracked it down for me. If I had counted on Ciao Fiat to do this I would have honestly never gotten it. Others were already driving around in production Fiats. There was no fanfare. No neat car cover. No nothing. Except poor customer service from a Chrysler car dealer that had led them in to bankruptcy with, you guessed it, poor customer service.

While the Prima is adequate, especially with gas at $4.30 a gallon, I honestly don't see this being a big hit. Sorry Fiat fans. I could have gotten everything that is in this car in another make and the poor customer service would have been there also.

So Laura, good luck. Polish your resume and move on girl. You are not cut out for this line of work.

sjmst
04-13-2011, 11:02 AM
Some of this I agree with. My dealer was nice, but no fanfare. That's OK. Yes, the rollout could be better.
As far as your feelings that, in essence, the car is nothing special, I must disagree.
People love it. They want to roll it on its roof and scratch its belly. It turns heads.
It is damn fun to drive.
Anyone feel that way about a Prius?

In my 52 years, I have driven plenty of cars and this is at the top of the list in terms of enjoyment. 36 MPG I am averaging is quite good.

It is a total package, and it is good.

But, that is not meant to say you are not entitled to your opinion, of course.
Even Laura said, the car is not for everyone.

5*(10)^2
04-13-2011, 12:11 PM
I still believe Laura and her team have the right passion and attitude about bringing the brand back to the US. Sure there is the inconsistency in delivery date and then the actual delivery poorly executed by some dealers. My piss-poor PDI was a huge concern. So much I heard that very day, regional Fiat managers were told to call their respective dealers to "talk" about a proper PDI.

My gripe is that my Chrysler dealer needs to revise their approach to dealing with a Fiat customer. Selling Jeeps, Challengers and Ram doesn't mean you know about the Fiat demographics.

I was just thinking the other day. Perhaps the initial Fiat PEs should have been delivered through Maserati dealerships. Get that whole Italian experience started in a proper manner while waiting for Chrysler/Fiat dealerships to pop up. Treat the PE owners will a exquisite touch of class. Once all the PEs are delivered, sell the regular Fiats through Chrysler/Fiat dealerships. Would logistics be a nightmare? Maybe. But hey, nothing beats walking into a Maserati dealership to pick up a Fiat!

Giallo Edizione
04-13-2011, 02:09 PM
My 500 is great.

My dealership is excellent.

The market rollout is the worst I've ever heard of. I defy anyone to find an example of a worse major new car introduction- ever. Even the Tucker Torpedo and Edsel had more market buzz. Merkur? Bad, but at least they had dealerships to sell them from. Everybody even knew about the DeLorean-sooner or later. And these examples were not intended to sell 40-50,000 units a year.

Laura needs to be replaced.

Fiat #183
04-13-2011, 02:42 PM
Now delivery at a Maserati dealership would have been a hoot. If they had just done what they promised and trucked it to my house with a retro car cover on it they would have sold a dozen more right here where I live. Bottomline, the dealer I got mine from didn't even know he had it. DUH! how hard are they to keep track of?

I was one of the first owners of a Can Am Spyder #610 and they did a much better job of it although their vehicle was not quite ready for prime time: First owners jackets, manufacturer sponsored meetups, mileage pins and so on. . I rode that for 2 years and 45,000 miles and I would guess there were maybe five times that I stopped and someone did NOT come over to talk about it. On the Fiat I have had maybe five casual comments in the first month. Once they hear what the fuel mileage is they lift their noses and walk away muttering that their XXX is better.

Don't get me wrong. I am content with my Fiat #183. Not wildly enthusiastic but content. It reminds me of a 67 Renault R-10 that I had at one point.

I am not likely to sell any of these for Fiat with the early on treatment I received.

Giallo Edizione
04-13-2011, 03:45 PM
<quote author="Fiat #183">
Now delivery at a Maserati dealership would have been a hoot. </quote>

My new '74 FIAT 124 Spider WAS delivered at a Maserati dealership (which also sold Volvos). The hoot factor of looking at the Bora and Citroen-Maserati in same showroom as FIAT lost its appeal after the umpteenth time returning my car for so-called servicing. But that was then and now is now. I don't expect the current day servicing experience to be at all like that - so far it's been great at my dealer.

Which has nothing at all to do with Laura's incompetence. She stands on her own.

Terry
04-13-2011, 04:33 PM
Hi Guys,

Think we may be losing the plot here a bit. I believe that FIAT is timing its promo blitz for when more dealers are open and that, let's face it, they used the loyal FIAT cognoscenti to work out the bugs in both the system and the cars...Think Laura may be getting a bit of flack by virtue of her being female and that surely isn't right...It is tough to get back in the market after being out for 27 years so there are bound to be rough spots...Anyway, thats my 2 centavos.

Terry

sonicsby5
04-13-2011, 04:53 PM
I'm with Terry on this one. Laura is just the face we all see. She's the spokesperson for a MASSIVE, slow moving corporation that is daily making decisions that Laura can't do anything about. Laura also has little influence over individual dealers, and zero control over the State governments who hand out licenses to sell cars.

I just don't think there's that much Laura could have done differently in this roll out when you consider all of the outside forces at work. I'm willing to cut her some slack.

Giallo Edizione
04-13-2011, 05:43 PM
You have got to be kidding.

First off, criticism of her performance, or rather lack thereof, has nothing at all to do with her gender.

Here is her job description from Motor Trend on March 10,2010

"Chrysler announced today that it was appointing Soave as the head of all Fiat brand operations in the U.S. and Canada. As is the case with the “CEOs” of the other Chrysler divisions, Soave will hold full responsibility for all profits and losses incurred by Fiat vehicles in North America, and will spearhead integrating Fiat offerings into Chrysler’s existing sales and service networks."

She is head of the division folks, top dog, buck stops here, the whole bit. She's not a "spokesperson". She has full operational responsibility; full responsibility for all profits and losses. If it succeeds, she gets the kudos and the bonus, if it fails, she takes the hit. That's what happens with management ( or supposed to anyways). Waiting for the marketing train wreck that may be coming would be a huge mistake for Chrysler. I believe there is sufficent evidence that she does not have the stuff to make this work and needs to be replaced with a competent leader and team that can save the FI

Welshy
04-13-2011, 08:08 PM
The trend for mismanagement will always be there because we the tax payer, will always be thre to bail them out. We have in 1979, 1980, 2009, 2010 and looking like 2011. We the tax payer now own 8.6% of Chrysler.
It's the old crows of Chrysler that need to be reprimanded and not Laura Soave. They kept their jobs when everything fell around them. Working for any large company, every one has to take responsibility for success and failure and if the higher management (well above Laura) can't sort their act out, and the union workforce can't take pride in what they build, there's no hope for those trying to make a difference.
As for FIAT quality, blame the UAW. They demand higher wages than any other car worker in the world, all the benefits, they own the largest slices of Chrysler (59.2%), and yet they still can't even put car parts together without scratching, misaligning, and p*ss poor painting them.
Marketing and building a brand is one thing, but being blamed for poor quality, late delivery, has to be placed upon the those at Chrysler who get paid to inspect vehicles, work with the Dealerships. All these people have been paid handsomely for not performing.

littlejohn
04-13-2011, 08:23 PM
Well, ya know, interesting, valid points to ponder.
Maybe the plan always was for the dealers to be up by the end of summer? What about service bays, parts, etc?

I drove by the local dealer today to admire from afar, he has them all in a line as folks drive onto the lot, and from their Facebook posts, they seem to be moving them, so who knows?

Wait and see, time will tell...if they do start discounting them, it will be hard for me to not to buy one. My purchase is on hold for the time being.

cogtooth
04-13-2011, 09:22 PM
A Fiat can depreciate to $0 in five years, and still have less total depreciation than other cars' losses that I've had in five years. One can lose the cost of a Fiat when one drives some cars off the lot.

Fiat #183
04-13-2011, 09:53 PM
Ditto
She takes the check she should do the job.

Fiat500USA
04-14-2011, 01:43 AM
<quote author="sonicsby5">
I'm with Terry on this one. Laura is just the face we all see. She's the spokesperson for a MASSIVE, slow moving corporation that is daily making decisions that Laura can't do anything about. Laura also has little influence over individual dealers, and zero control over the State governments who hand out licenses to sell cars.

I just don't think there's that much Laura could have done differently in this roll out when you consider all of the outside forces at work. I'm willing to cut her some slack.
</quote>


There is a lot of frustration being felt because we don't know what is (or isn't) happening. Definitely communication needs to be worked on (and it is). Before conjecture and the assumption that things are in the crapper get out of control, I post the following.

According to this (which I sweat a little putting up):

<nabble_img src="Xa.jpg" border="0"/>

Even with the delays with the dealers, they are not really off with their preliminary plan and the April 30th date is starting to make sense.

Dealer delays and the economy are things that are beyond the control of one person. The argument could be made that dealer requirements are too

littlejohn
04-14-2011, 08:14 AM
Well, more good points...

I don't think they should have made the dealers/pay to build separate showrooms up front, maybe later, but maybe the taxpayers/Fiat helped pay for them, don't know all the details? I see the long term plan, more Fiat offerings, so you need a showroom for them, etc. Makes sense, sure, but I think they could have had a lot more dealers on line already, and more dealers in general if the whole showroom piece was not in the equation up front?


Now, some even say they should have badged the car the new Neon, and to a degree I agree, look how many Neons were sold, not being the best car aside of course.

When I mention Fiat to people I work with, they have no clue, and these are the so called "potential urban customers", so far, the cars being sold seem to be going to the middle age crowd, not young people in the 20s?

I don't agree that no one wants to buy a car from a dodge dealership, maybe the members of this board feel that way, but my co-worker just bought a Journey and they are moving all the Challengers they can get, the base models barely stay on the lot a week or so. Tate Chrysler is still popular in the town here, although It's looking lik

Giallo Edizione
04-14-2011, 08:43 AM
<quote author="littlejohn">
I kinda like Laura myself.......who wants to see the same old suits pushing Faits?, I don't....she reminds me of Racheal Ray a bit, but she's building Fiats in 30 minutes instead of meals.
</quote>

WDR I'd rather see someone who reminds me of Lee Iacocca. Somebody who has the clear credentials to turn this around into something successful, not remind me of a TV cooking star.

ciddyguy
04-14-2011, 09:46 AM
Some good points were indeed brought up in recent comments and I have to say, I'm of the demographic who knew Fiat back in the day, not personally in that I owned one, never had the opportunity as, one, I was too young to drive and two, when I WAS old enough, they were on the verge of bailing on the US (would do so about a year or 2 later).

That aside, once Fiat begins the actual ad campaign, assuming they don't rely too much on the nostalgic aspect of the car, people will begin to become aware of what this little car is.

Over on the Truth About Cars a while back (in the fall anyway) there had been discussions about whether Ford is actually selling the Fiesta or are they sitting on the lot as people move to larger cars due to it's size and performance Vs the premium price, well, I just saw another new Fiesta last night, so new it didn't have its plates yet and they ARE selling, at least here in Seattle, though I don't see a lot of them on the road yet, but with gas in many stations now at $3.99 for 87 octane regular, I predict more of cars like it and the Fiat selling as gas prices soar.

That said, the Fiat is JUST now coming on the market where dealer's exist, give Fiat credit

5*(10)^2
04-14-2011, 12:17 PM
#183,

I share the same sentiments as bolded/italicized. I am glad we poured it out here and I am not the only one feeling this way.

My 500 is waiting to be fixed (as outlined in the other thread). While waiting so, the car is in storage. That's right. I haven't driven it for 2 weeks now. Not exactly missing it that much either. I have got a plethora of other cars that I really enjoy driving. You know that feeling when you just want to drive/ride for the sake of driving/riding? Yep. The 500 has yet to instill that in me.

I am not seeking the attention from the public with the 500. In fact I still have more pple asking about the Smart than the Fiat. Over the month of the 500 ownership, the places I visited where folks actually recognized the car are Little Italy, La Jolla and Beverly Hills. Recognize a pattern? Pple there know about Fiat and/or seen/driven one in Europe.

The Maserati thought came out of a conversation with a friend working at Rolls Royce dealership. I visited him with the 500 and let him have a go with it. And almost all the RR staff came out including the owner. Then there were customers who were shopping for a RR whom ended up asking questions about my 500!

cogtooth
04-14-2011, 05:44 PM
littlejohn:

I haven't seen a Fiat in Frederick, yet. Do you have one, or will mine 2 weeks from now be the first?

Fiat #183
04-14-2011, 06:44 PM
<b>I reckon, the first steps are extremely important when setting up a new brand, introducing a new product into the market. In Fiat's case it's RE-introducing a brand.
</b>

I think they kind of missed on the first steps and that sort of does it for me. I am not going to spend a lot of time hanging around a Dodge Dealership even if you do call it a Fiat Studio. Well I would but there would have to be something to draw me in and that is not likely to happen.

This little car is a good car for back and forth to the gym and a grocery getter. When I can get it out on my twisty roads it is fun but the lack of horses make it a challenge. I live in a neighborhood where some people have spent as much on a golf cart to do the same things I do, and this is a lot better than a golf cart.

DennisLee
04-14-2011, 06:56 PM
Hi Chris:

Just curious. (You may have already answered this question.)

Do you have direct contact with Laura?

Thanks
Dennis

littlejohn
04-14-2011, 07:40 PM
Hello cogtooth, I have not seen one around town. Sooner or later I guess, I'll keep an eye out for yours. Panera seems like the likely stop around these parts for a 500, yes?



Also, Giallo ED...

your reply made me laugh, in a good way, thanks...I'm a fan of Lee's actually, everyone should take the time to watch Frontline's Santuary Economics series he is part of. Of course, for his next book he can just substitute the work jobs in the place of leaders.


Now, you have me thinking. Laura and Rachael could drive around in a 500C visiting hot food stops all across America! Yummo, yet another Food Network 1st...<smiley image='smiley_happy.gif'/>

Giallo Edizione
04-14-2011, 08:42 PM
<quote author="littlejohn">

Now, you have me thinking. Laura and Rachael could drive around in a 500C visiting hot food stops all across America! Yummo, yet another Food Network 1st...<smiley image='smiley_happy.gif'/>
</quote>

Italian food.

sjmst
04-14-2011, 09:31 PM
<nabble_img src="leave_laura_alone.jpg" border="0"/>

Fiat500USA
04-15-2011, 01:19 AM
That picture is disturbing! <smiley image='anim_crazy.gif'/>



edited to make clearer 4-15-11

kzod
04-15-2011, 11:13 AM
Personally, I give a thumbs up to Laura's performance. She's responding to people's concerns personally rather than ignoring them completely which is a huge improvement over other companies. And frankly of the dealers I visited in Toronto, the big Chrysler one's left me feeling queasy, and I quickly decided not to deal with them.

Must admit, I'm a little nervous about pre-ordering one of the 500c's now that I see there were so many problems on the 1st ones coming out. The good news is that I bought mine from a Ferrari / Masseratti dealer, so I'm hopeful for a bit more attention to detail (or completely ignored since the car costs less then their commission on the other cars).

5*(10)^2
04-15-2011, 12:16 PM
<quote author="Fiat #183">

I think they kind of missed on the first steps and that sort of does it for me. <i><b>I am not going to spend a lot of time hanging around a Dodge Dealership even if you do call it a Fiat Studio. </b></i> Well I would but there would have to be something to draw me in and that is not likely to happen.
</quote>

Same here. The demographics for Dodge and Fiat don't mix at all. As per set theory, A n B = null.

I can think of a cartoon that perhaps Mankoff can draw for NYT. Shows a Fiat personnel all geared up with safety equipment about to jump off the plane with a parachute. The intention is to land on the US soil. The landing zone is full of PE owners with banners, party balloons celebrating the brand. The instructor on the plane says "Remember, this is a re-jump from 30 years ago. Make sure you pull on the cord and land on the bullseye! Not on the pple!"











Ok...am I banned from this forum? Chris please don't tell Laura about this...

Giallo Edizione
04-15-2011, 01:25 PM
<quote author="5*(10)^2">
<quote author="Fiat #183">


Ok...am I banned from this forum? Chris please don't tell Laura about this...
</quote>

Chris, please tell Laura about this. All of this.

Fiat500USA
04-15-2011, 02:30 PM
<quote author="Giallo Edizione">
<quote author="5*(10)^2">
<quote author="Fiat #183">


Ok...am I banned from this forum? Chris please don't tell Laura about this...
</quote>

Chris, please tell Laura about this. All of this.
</quote>

It's all good in the 'hood. <smiley image='anim_handshake.gif'/>

One thing I want you to all know is I'm not saying your feelings are wrong... They are yours and it's cool to hear what people think. I look at these things in the "glass is half full/half empty" way. Both are correct.

Some days, I'm scratching my head on stuff, just like many of you; but because I know a little bit of what's going on (through various sources), it helps me keep from throwing in the towel and going negative.

I think the biggest problem in the whole pre-launch is we didn't get enough communication. For me, that's key. If someone kept us informed with what's happening on a regular basis, it would have kept us in the loop and part of the process.

Here's a little info on that... The difficulty in communicating with us because of the huge corporate bureaucracy (legal, etc), took some by surprise and is being changed, so in the future, information should flow more easi

Jim
04-15-2011, 02:51 PM
where? I have not seen a single response from Laura, I still do not have my car. end of the month is approacing quickly.

Giallo Edizione
04-15-2011, 04:23 PM
Look I’m not trying to make trouble or be a troll. I am enjoying my Giallo Edizione just fine and the car meets my expectations in all ways. I feel I got fair value for the money paid, even at full list price. My dealership, delivery and service experience has been very good.

That being said, also important to me are such things as the panache of owning a special car that is the object of desire for many, the community that emerges from being part of something special, unusual, forward-thinking, funky, whatever, and value retention in my purchase. These things sometimes can just happen on their own, through viral means and often when least expected ( Hula Hoop, Pet Rock, Rap, Facebook) However, a good product in the hands of an excellent marketing team can also cause this to happen. The original Mustang is a great example. iPhone is another. And MINI Cooper. Even Mylie Cyrus. Marketing is the art and science of creating product demand before the customer ever even sees the product. Instills into them the need to have it, as soon as possible. Some envy of others who do have it. The buzz before a product launch is what drives this. I takes real talent, effort and investment to ma

Fiat #183
04-15-2011, 09:51 PM
Ditto to all of that.

What is a Giallo Edizione? You have created more of a buzz than laura has over the PE 500's

ciddyguy
04-15-2011, 11:37 PM
<quote author="Fiat500USA">
<quote author="Giallo Edizione">
<quote author="5*(10)^2">
<quote author="Fiat #183">


Ok...am I banned from this forum? Chris please don't tell Laura about this...
</quote>

Chris, please tell Laura about this. All of this.
</quote>

It's all good in the 'hood. <smiley image='anim_handshake.gif'/>

One thing I want you to all know is I'm not saying your feelings are wrong... They are yours and it's cool to hear what people think. I look at these things in the "glass is half full/half empty" way. Both are correct.

Some days, I'm scratching my head on stuff, just like many of you; but because I know a little bit of what's going on (through various sources), it helps me keep from throwing in the towel and going negative.

I think the biggest problem in the whole pre-launch is we didn't get enough communication. For me, that's key. If someone kept us informed with what's happening on a regular basis, it would have kept us in the loop and part of the process.

Here's a little info on that... The difficulty in communicating with us because of the huge corporate bureaucracy (legal, etc), took some by surprise and is being changed, so in the future, infor

littlejohn
04-16-2011, 09:47 AM
The buzz to be created of course was the whole PE program, and that sold some cars didn't it...and what did it cost Fiat to put together?...much less than TV and Radio Ads for sure.

When the dealers are open, then the public will see the next marketing launch I assume? Laura did say there was a dealer that already took 80 orders so, that's not too bad. We are reading about how many cars are sitting on dealer lots, train yards?, etc....but what we don't know is how many orders have been placed?

I don't think anyone can judge the success/failure of the 500 until maybe mid next year?

The buying process for a 500, to many anyway, is going to be more akin to buying say, a motorcycle. You either want one or you don't. It's not for everyone, just those that, in Fiat's words have a "passion" for one. Car for the masses, no.

Will the 500 hold it's value down the road, don't know? I'm looking forward to the commercials, when they get here though.

5*(10)^2
04-16-2011, 12:58 PM
I have to let everyone in on something...

Yes, I own a smart and yes I know smart's sales have plummeted. But it's all because of poor marketing. Penske Auto Group *was* responsible since 2008 for marketing, selling, distributing the brand.

But since the last 3 years, no one has seen any print, tv, or billboard ads. That's because PAG claims that they are lacking funds to do such large-scale marketing.

Smart cars should have been sold by Mercedes dealers to begin with. Afterall, the door jam has a VIN decal that says made by Daimler AG. Coincidentally enough, only a handful of MB dealers have the farsightedness to apply to become a smart dealer as well. My smart/MB dealer has a smart studio located right next to Maybach. That's right. The most expensive and the least expensive Daimler products share the same location. That is brand association right there.

Daimler AG finally took over the operations from PAG as of Feb 2011. That announcement came as a surprise to smart owners and mostly to PAG. A somewhat bittersweet feeling. But we had hope that it was like this to begin with. Just look at BMW/MINI. There is a brand association.

-------------------------------------------

Giallo Edizione
04-16-2011, 01:18 PM
<quote author="5*(10)^2">
I have to let everyone in on something...

Yes, I own a smart and yes I know smart's sales have plummeted. But it's all because of poor marketing. Penske Auto Group *was* responsible since 2008 for marketing, selling, distributing the brand.

But since the last 3 years, no one has seen any print, tv, or billboard ads. That's because PAG claims that they are lacking funds to do such large-scale marketing.

Smart cars should have been sold by Mercedes dealers to begin with. Afterall, the door jam has a VIN decal that says made by Daimler AG. Coincidentally enough, only a handful of MB dealers have the farsightedness to apply to become a smart dealer as well. My smart/MB dealer has a smart studio located right next to Maybach. That's right. The most expensive and the least expensive Daimler products share the same location. That is brand association right there.

Daimler AG finally took over the operations from PAG as of Feb 2011. That announcement came as a surprise to smart owners and mostly to PAG. A somewhat bittersweet feeling. But we had hope that it was like this to begin with. Just look at BMW/MINI. There is a brand association.

-----------------

Sal
04-16-2011, 01:37 PM
Mine, #395 is fault free (so far).

littlejohn
04-17-2011, 07:34 AM
Read through a few more, newer reviews, of the 500 and 500C last night. Almost all of them predict success in the US for the 500, based just on higher US gas prices alone. Criswell Fiat just took another Mini in on trade. The 500C looks like it's coming sooner than later, so, all who have bought these cars can feel better now. Sure like to see this Alfa Mito? which has been rumored to be coming over?Probably come in at $25K.

jamesday24
04-17-2011, 09:38 PM
I'm happy with the build quality of my PE 345. My main issue is the mismatched color of the bumper and body on my Bianco. The bumper looks like it's a bit off-white.

Washing my car yesterday, I noticed the rear FIAT badge has two scratches/cracks in the silver edge under the clear layer, I might look into getting it replaced.

ciddyguy
04-17-2011, 10:07 PM
<quote author="jamesday24">
I'm happy with the build quality of my PE 345. My main issue is the mismatched color of the bumper and body on my Bianco. The bumper looks like it's a bit off-white.

Washing my car yesterday, I noticed the rear FIAT badge has two scratches/cracks in the silver edge under the clear layer, I might look into getting it replaced.
</quote>

The paint mismatch on the bumpers Vs the rest of the car, that's normal for ANY car due to the differences in the materials the paint is applied to. This has been discussed before here in another thread and I did some research into automotive paints as in their development ever since the advent of the car industry over 100 years ago and in that research, this very topic was mentioned and even they say that paint sprayed onto plastic, even of the same batch will be slightly off from the same paint sprayed on metal and is considered normal but usually, it's not noticeable and part of what makes it so is where the seams are as in some angles, it might accentuate the differences.

I've seen this mismatch for over 30 years especially when you go back to the soft noses/rears of older GM cars from the late 70's, it was prevale

Jim
04-18-2011, 11:22 AM
All I have to say about it is if it were me, in charge, Fiat adds would have saturated the market by now.
And every one of those Prima's would be delivered if I had to do it myself.. It was 500 cars after all.

All the excuses are Bull and several people should be looking for work right now. Fiat / Chrysler should be real mad about this and they well, just don't seem to care. The cars are great and should sell themselves, but the poor effort is really likely to hurt that, I don't care how good a car is if you cant even get it delivered on time your showing the customer that they cant rely on you.

I will never forget this fiasco, I get more upset every day that passes with my car sitting on a lot where they are not licensed to sell me the car. I try to look past it, the dealer did give me a loaner, but honestly my "first edition", oh crap whats Italian for 3rd......

Giallo Edizione
04-21-2011, 03:48 PM
Hallelulia! I heard my first FIAT 500 radio ad today. I guess the long awaited marketing blitz is on.

As luck would have it I was literally standing in the shop working with the guys installing the new stripes on my FIAT when it came on. A lot of chatter in the ad about cinquecento this and cinquecento that, itialian flair and such, but it was cool and I pointed it out to the installers, for whom my car was their first encounter. We all thought it amusing given we were working on my car at the time.

More later on the stripes-can't seem to upload pics to this forum from my work computer.

alfista
04-21-2011, 04:10 PM
<quote author="Jim">
but honestly my "first edition", oh crap whats Italian for 3rd......
</quote>

Terza Edizione! Not quite the same snap.

sjmst
04-21-2011, 05:33 PM
<quote author="Giallo Edizione">
Hallelulia! I heard my first FIAT 500 radio ad today. I guess the long awaited marketing blitz is on.

As luck would have it I was literally standing in the shop working with the guys installing the new stripes on my FIAT when it came on. A lot of chatter in the ad about cinquecento this and cinquecento that, itialian flair and such, but it was cool and I pointed it out to the installers, for whom my car was their first encounter. We all thought it amusing given we were working on my car at the time.

More later on the stripes-can't seem to upload pics to this forum from my work computer.
</quote>
C'mon, let's see! <smiley image='anim_jump.gif'/>

Giallo Edizione
04-21-2011, 07:18 PM
<quote author="sjmst">
<quote author="Giallo Edizione">
.

More later on the stripes-can't seem to upload pics to this forum from my work computer.
</quote>
C'mon, let's see! <smiley image='anim_jump.gif'/>
</quote>

OK

<nabble_img src="IMG_0302.jpg" border="0"/>

sjmst
04-21-2011, 09:44 PM
Looks great! More!

ciddyguy
04-21-2011, 09:47 PM
<quote author="Giallo Edizione">
<quote author="sjmst">
<quote author="Giallo Edizione">
.

More later on the stripes-can't seem to upload pics to this forum from my work computer.
</quote>
C'mon, let's see! <smiley image='anim_jump.gif'/>
</quote>

OK

<img src="http://fiat-500-usa-forum.965414.n3.nabble.com/file/n2849211/IMG_0302.jpg" border="0"/>
</quote>

I have to agree, they DO look great and that yellow does look good on the car.

Giallo Edizione
04-22-2011, 10:39 AM
<quote author="sjmst">
Looks great! More!
</quote>
In another thread, Sam. Can't be making Laura look too good in this thread. <smiley image='smiley_scared.gif'/>

FiATL
04-22-2011, 11:03 AM
Love, love, LOVE these stripes. Similar to what I was thinking about for my Olivo Sport when it arrives. I'm thinking a bronze or graphite color for mine since my color combo is very much on the DL for a Sport! Great choice.