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sjmst
12-01-2011, 05:20 PM
(Highlights added)

Car: The Myth of Fiat's Slow Start & Possible Sex Scandal
This just in, the sky is not falling on the new Fiat 500...

"Fiat's U.S. chief ousted after poor Fiat 500 sales start," reads the Nov. 21 USA Today headline.

Unfortunately, as often is the case, the reporting on Fiat's slower than hoped for re-entry into the North American market has been accompanied with precious little perspective. With more than 20,000 Fiat 500 sales in the US and Canada, there's no arguing it will not achieve its overly-optimistic goal of selling 50,000 units this year.

Now let's put that and the controversial ouster of Fiat 's North American head Laura Soave in perspective.

To start with, it was barely one year ago that Fiat even selected its first 130 dealers. Not much more than a week before Thanksgiving and directly into the headwinds of the holiday season. No way, given that late start and the requirement that dealers build freestanding Fiat Studios, could Fiat achieve that stated sales goal.

The first token Fiat wasn't delivered until March and it was April before the cars first trickled into KC.

Heading into the summer only a fraction of the Fiat dealers were open for business and it wasn't until mid-late summer that Fiat's dealer network began to hit critical mass. It's hard to sell cars with no dealers, especially in today's economy and when targeting the denizens of the Occupy Wall Street Generation.

Now let's do a bit of comparing what Herman Cain likes to refer to as "apples and oranges."

Many in the media point to the success of the Mini Cooper, the Fiat 500s main rival here.

However, they do so while providing absolutely zero perspective on the Mini's return to this country. One that began 10 years ago - a decade - in the year 2001 when the economy was far stronger. The cars were first sold out of BMW dealerships who jammed the Minis in alongside Bimmers with no requirements that dealers invest millions in new facilities.

So how did the Mini's launch compare to that of the 500?

When Mini tipped off in March of 2002 it did so with a modest-but-realistic sales target of 20,000 units.

That's fewer than half the target Fiat foolishly set for the 500 this year. And after 13 months it had sold just over 30,000 cars. Now let's do the math; with 20,000 Fiats in the bank to date, it's likely a safe bet that by the end of April the 500 will have equaled or exceeded the Mini's sales number. Especially now that the lion's share of its dealers are up and running.

Again, remember this in an economy far worse than the one the Mini faced 10 years ago.

Today the Mini Cooper offers no less than six different models, most of which are offered in standard and perfromance versions. Forget the "10 million possible combinations" bs, at present the Mini has three times as many different models as the Fiat 500, which only offers a hardtop and convertible. A high performance Fiat Abarth is slated for spring

That's a big benefit of Mini's 10 year headstart, but remember it didn't happen overnight.

Even with all those different models, Mini sold only 38.000 cars and change through October.

Given all of that, at first blush it would appear that Soave's ouster may have been little more than a face-saving head-rolling by Fiat's corporate cats who made the now embarrassing sales forecast in the first place.

Then came an astonishing comment on the Web site of Automotive News in its report of Soave's firing.

"Everyone is missing the entire point that Chrysler is covering up the fact that Ms. Soave was having an affair with the head of the ad agency that she hired to handle Fiat's affairs," posted registered Automotive News commenter R Taylor. "In addition, auditors were sent into the agency's offices to investigate fraud."

Not surprisingly the comment was not long for this world.

"Oops! This isn't what you expected!" the link now reads. "The page you were looking for has moved. We're sorry, but the page you requested is no longer available or not found on our server. We apologize for any inconvenience."

The bottom line being that while Fiat was way optimistic in its launch timetable and sales forecast, all things considered, it's not doing that bad.
You want optimism? try this.

In just over a week, the ad for the Fiat Abarth on YouTube has garnered more than 1.3 million views.

I remember the Land Rover salesman in Chattanooga traveling to Kingdom Come and paying full boat for one of the very first Minis. Next time I saw him he'd sold his Mini and was eagerly awaiting a Cooper S.

http://www.kcconfidential.com/?page=Car

sportbiker
12-01-2011, 05:49 PM
It was all a self-inflicted wound. Chrysler would have done better to "under-promise, over-deliver" by predicting a small number of sales, even if internally they were preparing for a higher number. It's hardly a secret the press loves blood in the water, so why toss them chum? If the smaller sales number turned out to be close to actual sales, no harm done; if sales exceeded the low target, then, Wow! Look at the raging success they have! Either way, they would have won the perception war. Instead, we now have headlines like "Fiat Floundering in US" [actual headline].

Chris
12-01-2011, 07:45 PM
Yup- FIAT never stood a chance of hitting that goal.

Comparing to year one of Mini is a fool's errand. Apples to oranges... most nobody here wants the FIAT compared to mini in any way so let's not compare sales.
And as I have mentioned before, it wasn't the Abarth that drove the majority of that 1.3 million views ;)




By the way... I was at the dealer today for first maintenance. First time back since I bought it last Spring. I was the only person there for an hour... EXCEPT for a guy who came in to tell his sales rep he decided he would not be buying a FIAT. I overheard the two chatting... said, in the end, it was just not enough value for the price paid when compared to other comparably priced cars (at which point I knew this guy was never destined for a 500 - it's not a value-leader choice).

After he left I asked one of the other staff about those comments and he said they were among the most common objections: they love the looks but for something around $20k they opted for something with more room, oomph and bells.whistles.

epb
12-01-2011, 08:24 PM
Yup- FIAT never stood a chance of hitting that goal.

Comparing to year one of Mini is a fool's errand. Apples to oranges... most nobody here wants the FIAT compared to mini in any way so let's not compare sales.


By the way... I was at the dealer today for first maintenance. First time back since I bought it last Spring. I was the only person there for an hour... EXCEPT for a guy who came in to tell his sales rep he decided he would not be buying a FIAT. I overheard the two chatting... said, in the end, it was just not enough value for the price paid when compared to other comparably priced cars (at which point I knew this guy was never destined for a 500 - it's not a value-leader choice).

After he left I asked one of the other staff about those comments and he said they were among the most common objections: they love the looks but for something around $20k they opted for something with more room, oomph and bells.whistles.

I agree that Fiat was overly optimistic in their predictions, especially since they didn't have their dealerships in place for most of the year.

I disagree that the Mini isn't the chief rival - it is. I test drove a base Mini the day I test drove a Fiat and, for the record I was pretty much set on the Mini before the Abarth commercial reminded me the Fiat was out there. Cars like the Fiesta and Fit aren't Mini/500 rivals in the same way that a Taurus isn't a 3-series rival- they're utilitarian base models, while the Mini and Fiat are premium cars of their market segment. (This is somewhat by default - they aren't trying to be really upmarket, but they're nicer than what's out there).

As for the non-buyer's comment that there are better values for the money - it depends on what you value. A frequent comment I've gotten is "for the same money you could get something bigger." This is true, in the same way some luxury condos cost more than suburban homes and a Roll-Royce Phantom's price will buy you a semi trailer or custom RV. Size/dollar isn't the only value metric. I don't need more space than the 500, but I want more character than a Honda offers. Judged by that, it's an excellent value for dollar. :)

PFVA63
12-01-2011, 08:50 PM
I agree that a Mini may be the chief alternate option for some buyers but not all. In my case in particular, the 500 Pop was just within my price range, and the Mini was too far above it for me to consider. As such, I cross shopped against cars like the Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, and the like.

Regards

Pat

sjmst
12-01-2011, 10:54 PM
...After he left I asked one of the other staff about those comments and he said they were among the most common objections: they love the looks but for something around $20k they opted for something with more room, oomph and bells.whistles.

You can get a ton more food at McDonalds for $50 than you can at Mortons.

500ways
12-01-2011, 11:57 PM
I agree that Fiat was overly optimistic in their predictions, especially since they didn't have their dealerships in place for most of the year.

I disagree that the Mini isn't the chief rival - it is. I test drove a base Mini the day I test drove a Fiat and, for the record I was pretty much set on the Mini before the Abarth commercial reminded me the Fiat was out there. Cars like the Fiesta and Fit aren't Mini/500 rivals in the same way that a Taurus isn't a 3-series rival- they're utilitarian base models, while the Mini and Fiat are premium cars of their market segment. (This is somewhat by default - they aren't trying to be really upmarket, but they're nicer than what's out there).

As for the non-buyer's comment that there are better values for the money - it depends on what you value. A frequent comment I've gotten is "for the same money you could get something bigger." This is true, in the same way some luxury condos cost more than suburban homes and a Roll-Royce Phantom's price will buy you a semi trailer or custom RV. Size/dollar isn't the only value metric. I don't need more space than the 500, but I want more character than a Honda offers. Judged by that, it's an excellent value for dollar. :)

I would agree. I have owned many cars over the years, ranging from utilitarian to sporty to premium. I have driven even more different vehicle types. I now own a 2012 Fiat 500 Sport and can't get enough of it. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, value is in the eye of the beholder as well. If the Fiat is all the space you need, but you want character, a spirited driving experience and premium features wrapped into one, do yourself a favor and test drive it. You will be impressed. Small doesn't equal a cheap tin can. Small just equals small. What has to work and fit is the entire package for your needs and wants. Don't worry about reliability. Fiat has nothing to be scared of here. The engine and car are proven. Europe has taken care of that for us. Keep up with the maintenance as you should with any car, and you will have years of driving pleasure from this little treasure.

panther76
12-02-2011, 08:01 AM
the 500 prices are really more in line with many of the subcompacts. i see quite a few fiesta, accent, mazda 2, and fit owners who considered the 500. obviously, price point is a big consideration when car shopping, and the 500 is much more in line with these cars. while i feel the 500 is a fun car, i never felt it offered the driving experience of a mini.

mini never got to a point where they had over 6 months inventory sitting on lots.

fiat knows they're in trouble. plant layoffs have occured. laura soave was canned and we know it had nothing to do with an improper relationship. their is no mythology about it.

epb
12-02-2011, 02:18 PM
mini never got to a point where they had over 6 months inventory sitting on lots.

fiat knows they're in trouble. plant layoffs have occured. laura soave was canned and we know it had nothing to do with an improper relationship. their is no mythology about it.

Fiat ramped up production and built too much inventory, so they've got cars left over. If BMW had built 50k cars for the Mini's launch and sold 30,000 cars the first year, as cited above, do you know what would have been the result? Six months inventory. Does that mean Mini had a bad first year? You won't find anyone that thinks so. Itould just mean someone over-estimated demand.

And with 6 months excess inventory, is it your belief they should keep producing 50k cars a year? More cars sitting on lots won't help anyone long term.

panther76
12-02-2011, 08:18 PM
Fiat ramped up production and built too much inventory, so they've got cars left over. If BMW had built 50k cars for the Mini's launch and sold 30,000 cars the first year, as cited above, do you know what would have been the result? Six months inventory. Does that mean Mini had a bad first year? You won't find anyone that thinks so. Itould just mean someone over-estimated demand.

And with 6 months excess inventory, is it your belief they should keep producing 50k cars a year? More cars sitting on lots won't help anyone long term.


the point is these are leadership decisions. it is hard to have confidence in a group that has made questionable decisions along the whole process of trying to establish fiat here.

even had they only estimated half as many cars there would still be too much inventory as they are falling off the pace to hit that mark at the current rate.

i still think using mini as a comparison isnt going to work. i think people considering the 500 are looking at other cars in that price range (ie subcompact hatches). the mini is perceived and priced as a more upscale car.

epb
12-02-2011, 09:17 PM
laura soave was canned and we know it had nothing to do with an improper relationship. their is no mythology about it.

the point is these are leadership decisions. it is hard to have confidence in a group that has made questionable decisions along the
whole process of trying to establish fiat here.

Asked and answered.

I've seen resistance to the Mini comparison, but it's really the only situation that fits: a retro version of a model that had a long, successful history in Europe but is virtually unkown in the US, being brought here after good sales there. That doesn't sound like the Yaris or Fit to me.

That isn't to say the 500 is a Mini rival (I think the true goal is a downscale alternative), but the situations are similar enough for the lessons learned from the Mini's launch to apply to the 500.

500ways
12-02-2011, 09:51 PM
Asked and answered.

I've seen resistance to the Mini comparison, but it's really the only situation that fits: a retro version of a model that had a long, successful history in Europe but is virtually unkown in the US, being brought here after good sales there. That doesn't sound like the Yaris or Fit to me.

That isn't to say the 500 is a Mini rival (I think the true goal is a downscale alternative), but the situations are similar enough for the lessons learned from the Mini's launch to apply to the 500.

You have said it best!

sjmst
12-02-2011, 11:12 PM
Asked and answered.

I've seen resistance to the Mini comparison, but it's really the only situation that fits: a retro version of a model that had a long, successful history in Europe but is virtually unkown in the US, being brought here after good sales there. That doesn't sound like the Yaris or Fit to me.

That isn't to say the 500 is a Mini rival (I think the true goal is a downscale alternative), but the situations are similar enough for the lessons learned from the Mini's launch to apply to the 500.
Agreed

Have Trumpet Will Travel
12-04-2011, 01:11 AM
Have probably posted these thoughts before, but to reiterate: Wife and I are 60-ish, no kids, got lots of "toys" - cars (1936-2012) boats (1993 Fantasy F-13/ 1994 Bayliner 1401 LS Capri ) point being we LOVE the small, in-expensive "stuff". Biggest "splurge" ever was our 2003 Cooper "S" and when we bought it the standard Mini with no options was priced higher then than our 2012 FIAT 500 just purchased 7 weeks ago. Exactly nine years ago. The Cooper is an absolute hot-rod and should be for the $21,625 cost at that time. It also is noisy (run-flat tires), rides rougher, etc., but is still a very fun car. Comparing the two to me is unfair due to the difference in price. Again, both rank very high as far as fun-factor; however, I am a die-hard Fiat fanatic, always have been and will be offering a very low-mileage Mini for sale once the 500 ABARTH becomes available. CIAO 4 now - HTWT.

500ways
12-04-2011, 10:17 PM
Have probably posted these thoughts before, but to reiterate: Wife and I are 60-ish, no kids, got lots of "toys" - cars (1936-2012) boats (1993 Fantasy F-13/ 1994 Bayliner 1401 LS Capri ) point being we LOVE the small, in-expensive "stuff". Biggest "splurge" ever was our 2003 Cooper "S" and when we bought it the standard Mini with no options was priced higher then than our 2012 FIAT 500 just purchased 7 weeks ago. Exactly nine years ago. The Cooper is an absolute hot-rod and should be for the $21,625 cost at that time. It also is noisy (run-flat tires), rides rougher, etc., but is still a very fun car. Comparing the two to me is unfair due to the difference in price. Again, both rank very high as far as fun-factor; however, I am a die-hard Fiat fanatic, always have been and will be offering a very low-mileage Mini for sale once the 500 ABARTH becomes available. CIAO 4 now - HTWT.

Italian cars, even the most utilitarian models, are just plain old fun to drive! There is something special about the experience! It's hard to articulate, and the cars may have a quirk here and there, but you can't beat'em! I am extremely happy with my optioned up Sport model. As I've said in previous posts, I have owned many cars over the years, from utilitarian to sporty to premium. In a lot of ways, I think the 500 is my favorite to date. I can't wait to try out the Abarth!

Noz
12-05-2011, 05:04 PM
Regardless of whether this is a Myth or not, perception of events in the US is what counts most. The lack of thinking processes that have now spread like wildfire in the US population make for a huge populous that can be swayed and guided like sheep into a corner when desired. It's as simple as that. Complete utter dumification if there is such a word.

It doesn't take much to make people think a certain way or believe a certain idea or problem.

FIAT got it so wrong with the marketing of this car. One has to understand that when marketing to Americans, you have to market to people who are like children....literally. They are quick to judge, quick to act and respond, live in constant fear of not having enough, not feeling secure, not feeling adequate, not being bigger and better than the next person....these are well defined traits of Americans that marketeers and corporate American know all too well.

What hurts the FIAT (in my opinion) is J Lo’z commercial…it is pathetic…and has destroyed this car’s image in this country due to the way people think here. That is, at the very least, a very big part of the problem.

This car needs a serious GTI Style commercial of the 70′s and 80′s showing the car’s fun factor, sportiness, and style…not some lame dancer/singer running through a ghetto reminiscing about how food was tough to come by…this becomes a political statement and not something about the car.

I think cars like the FIAT sell better in other countries because people are more honest and upfront about who they are and what is important to them. Americans simply do not have that view of on life...everything here is about what you COULD HAVE and not what you really need. This is systemic on all aspects of how people live here...and extends beyond what car someone drives...it's inherent in how people behave here.

If FIAT doesn't get its act together, what will kill this car isn't the car itself, but the ignorant, closed-minded mentality of Americans. If you don't believe me, just visit other sites and read some of the comments people post...they are full of machismo, chest thumping hatred for this car...."Clown Car", "POS", "girly", etc...I'd venture to say many of these people drive around in huge, powerful, gas-guzzling cars to fill the huge void their egos have.

As they say, the size of your member is inversely proportional the size of your car....

FIAT is walking a fine line here...if it doesn't change its "image", it'll fail within a few years here. And that will seal the deal for another 15-20 years for the US market to never get anything fun and cool from Europe again...we'll simply be stuck with the current line of bland, sterile German crap we've had to endure for so long.

Noz
12-05-2011, 05:18 PM
You can get a ton more food at McDonalds for $50 than you can at Mortons.

But THAT is exactly how Americans think and want....it's all fear based psychology driven by "I'll miss out" or "not have enough."...this is deep-seeded stuff...

FiatPhil
12-06-2011, 01:32 PM
I've had only one person pass me and gesture at my car and make sure that I saw he was laughing at it. He was driving a ten year old Lexus. I just wondered what kind of psychotic does that? It must be someone with a deep-seated need to tear someone else down to feel good about himself.

I feel great knowing how fun the Fiat is, and how economical it is, and how environmentally friendly it is. I doubt if the Lexus is anything but another luxury slug. Been there done that. P.S. My other car is a 2011 Lincoln Hyrbrid. He'd probably laugh at it, too.

sjmst
12-06-2011, 04:22 PM
I've had only one person pass me and gesture at my car and make sure that I saw he was laughing at it. He was driving a ten year old Lexus. I just wondered what kind of psychotic does that? It must be someone with a deep-seated need to tear someone else down to feel good about himself.


Bingo. It is kind of an honor to insulted by a moron like that.

vdawg
12-11-2011, 12:04 PM
50,000 cars a year is a fair number of cars to sell when the only dealers are found in the big cities. Our local dealer just started selling them just prior to Thanksgiving. I've been inundated with folks looking at my car....everybody has an opinion about it ....good or bad. The TV ads have just recently filtered down to our market. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'll be optimistic about the car and it's future. As long as it's not the next Chevy Vega in reliability, sales will increase. It will at least become the next big present for graduating females across the country. It's unique style and the it's mainstream availability at Chrysler dealers will make some buyers think twice about purchasing one of the "me too" Asian compacts.

vdawg
12-11-2011, 12:14 PM
I'm underwhelmed by the J Lo adds also. When the Beetle came out, the ads were very whimsical. I think they were pretty effective. This car need to be sold using it's fun factor (which is high). There are a portion of the folks who dis the car because of its image who are secretly intrigued by them... perhaps the correct ad campaign could tap into this demand.

msjulie33
12-11-2011, 02:49 PM
I'm underwhelmed by the J Lo adds also. When the Beetle came out, the ads were very whimsical. I think they were pretty effective. This car need to be sold using it's fun factor (which is high). There are a portion of the folks who dis the car because of its image who are secretly intrigued by them... perhaps the correct ad campaign could tap into this demand.

I was at a small holiday gathering yesterday with my new red Pop... generally seemed folks liked it but nearly all asked/teased me if I got it because I was a J-Lo fan? What?? I got it cause it's a cool, efficient, fun car..

Felnus
12-11-2011, 06:59 PM
I was at a small holiday gathering yesterday with my new red Pop... generally seemed folks liked it but nearly all asked/teased me if I got it because I was a J-Lo fan? What?? I got it cause it's a cool, efficient, fun car..

I got the same thing from my family at Thanksgiving. Once I got them to actually get in it and show them all its features and how much I got for the money, they shut up.:orange: Frankly though, the J-Lo ads are killing this car in the US. She is over exposed between her other endorsement deals, American Idol, a new album etc. etc. you can't get away from her. Again, people see 'the J-Lo car' and not a Fiat and a majority of them think its a joke.

500ways
12-12-2011, 11:47 PM
I got the same thing from my family at Thanksgiving. Once I got them to actually get in it and show them all its features and how much I got for the money, they shut up.:orange: Frankly though, the J-Lo ads are killing this car in the US. She is over exposed between her other endorsement deals, American Idol, a new album etc. etc. you can't get away from her. Again, people see 'the J-Lo car' and not a Fiat and a majority of them think its a joke.

I sooooo hope someone at FIAT is reading this!!!!!! They have a great product! Please ditch J-Lo. It reminds me of when Italy hosted the Olympics in Torino and played 70s disco music during the opening and/or closing ceremony. Huh?? Totally out of place as is J-Lo with the 500. They have done such great Chrysler ads with the slogan "Imported from Detroit." The Abarth video is awesome!!! How can they produce those clips but miss the mark with the launch of the 500??!!!??? Come on - wake up and get to it ASAP. They also need to educate people about what the car has to offer and hammer away with how fun it is. It's not a joke. It seems so obvious, I don't know why they aren't getting it??? The type of advertising they are doing works in Europe, but not in the US. Again, the got it right with Chrysler, just transfer the same thinking to the FIAT ads!! The 500 will be successful and then we can get our hands on some Alfa Romeos! FORZA FIAT and Sergio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cmj912
12-13-2011, 02:02 PM
I note the ads seem to have dried up now. Wonder what's next...

I say they 'let us rest' with the ads designed for bilingual Canada (there are no people in them; only cars).

Then again, you often see certain cars heavily advertised and - after the launch - never again. I don't think I've seen a Honda Fit commercial since 2009 but you see them for the Accord at least once per day.

Fiat500USA
12-13-2011, 03:41 PM
I note the ads seem to have dried up now. Wonder what's next...

I say they 'let us rest' with the ads designed for bilingual Canada (there are no people in them; only cars).

Then again, you often see certain cars heavily advertised and - after the launch - never again. I don't think I've seen a Honda Fit commercial since 2009 but you see them for the Accord at least once per day.

Cars like the Accord pay the bills at Honda so you'll see them 24/7. LOL As Marchionne said 2 years ago, 50,000 Fiat 500 will not make much of a difference to Chrysler's bottom line. There's only so many ads we'll see.

Personally, I'm hoping for a re-launch beginning of the year. ;)

Fiat500USA
12-13-2011, 03:47 PM
How about this ad....


http://youtu.be/w8jbQBkcBuE

A lot of folks here HATED it when it first aired briefly last year. Doesn't look so bad now! :friendly_wink:

sjmst
12-13-2011, 03:54 PM
How about this ad....


http://youtu.be/w8jbQBkcBuE

A lot of folks here HATED it when it first aired briefly last year. Doesn't look so bad now! :friendly_wink:

I never thought it looked bad.

VTEC Mini
12-13-2011, 04:22 PM
How about this ad....


http://youtu.be/w8jbQBkcBuE

A lot of folks here HATED it when it first aired briefly last year. Doesn't look so bad now! :friendly_wink:It's ok..... I wish it would show more of the car and the music seams a little off but it is much better than the J- Lo add which seemed more about her than the car.

PFVA63
12-13-2011, 09:21 PM
I'm pretty much indifferent to that commercial, in that it just doesn't really show much about the car at all and really kind of gives me the impression that some how Fiat owners are supposed to be somehow different from normal people, which kind of seems a bit condescending to me.

Regards

Pat

Fiat500USA
12-13-2011, 10:13 PM
This was the intro run at the launch of the 500 in November 2010. Really just a teaser ad that just gives a few glimpses of the car. Never run on TV as far as I know, and was not even on their YouTube Channel. I made arrangements to get it for everyone to enjoy and to have it for posterity.

Would have (or should have) been part of a national campaign originally scheduled to run March/April. We know the rest of the story...

500ways
12-13-2011, 11:28 PM
Cars like the Accord pay the bills at Honda so you'll see them 24/7. LOL As Marchionne said 2 years ago, 50,000 Fiat 500 will not make much of a difference to Chrysler's bottom line. There's only so many ads we'll see.

Personally, I'm hoping for a re-launch beginning of the year. ;)

I am hoping for a re-launch as well!!

Agent P
12-19-2011, 03:01 AM
FIAT got it so wrong with the marketing of this car. One has to understand that when marketing to Americans, you have to market to people who are like children....literally. They are quick to judge, quick to act and respond, live in constant fear of not having enough, not feeling secure, not feeling adequate, not being bigger and better than the next person....these are well defined traits of Americans that marketeers and corporate American know all too well.

What hurts the FIAT (in my opinion) is J Lo’z commercial…it is pathetic…and has destroyed this car’s image in this country due to the way people think here. That is, at the very least, a very big part of the problem.

This car needs a serious GTI Style commercial of the 70′s and 80′s showing the car’s fun factor, sportiness, and style…not some lame dancer/singer running through a ghetto reminiscing about how food was tough to come by…this becomes a political statement and not something about the car.

I think cars like the FIAT sell better in other countries because people are more honest and upfront about who they are and what is important to them. Americans simply do not have that view of on life...everything here is about what you COULD HAVE and not what you really need. This is systemic on all aspects of how people live here...and extends beyond what car someone drives...it's inherent in how people behave here.

If FIAT doesn't get its act together, what will kill this car isn't the car itself, but the ignorant, closed-minded mentality of Americans. If you don't believe me, just visit other sites and read some of the comments people post...they are full of machismo, chest thumping hatred for this car...."Clown Car", "POS", "girly", etc...I'd venture to say many of these people drive around in huge, powerful, gas-guzzling cars to fill the huge void their egos have.


I think you really hit the nail on the head. Being an American, I never recognized what is going on because I guess I am just living in it as an American. I am battling with a husband who sees the car as a chick car... thank God the Abarth is coming and Jay Leno's Garage segments are helping me to re-open his mind to me buying the car. Every day I drive by the Van Nuys Fiat here in So. California and see the lot overstocked with vehicles and the dumb dealer is now trying to capitalize on the JLo commercial by placing a white cabrio with the words "JLo" painted on the windshield prominently next to their front door! My God! I can't tell you how many times I have thought about pulling over and balling the dealership out of this and the fact that almost all their stock is "automatic". I mean, who wants to drive that car as an automatic other than some old ladies or some 16 high school student??? The advertising campaign here in the L.A. market outside a few isolated billboards (I've seen a grand total of 2!) and zero TV and radio ads is what is killing the car. And the JLo Ads... I agree with most here - the market for this car is the same market that buys the Mini and even the Smart. I notice on the lot there's a few trade-ins, including a Mini and a Smart Car. Here in L.A. I think we should have the strongest market for the Fiat - its very 'green' and image conscious here - lots of Mini's everywhere and not a day goes by I don't see a Smart car. They need to step up the correct type of, stop with their obsession of linking the car to every B-rated celebrity that is willing to put their name to it, and fashion their marketing in the same manner as the VW Beetle and the Mini. Whatever it costs they should buy out their contract with JLo immediately. I have thought about stopping at the dealership and telling them all this or perhaps writing to the new head that replaced Suave but I figured they'd probably think I had a screw loose. BTW, I think the print ads have been pretty clever as have been their publicity stunts with the car - so why are the radio and TV commercials so bad?

Fiat500USA
12-20-2011, 02:07 AM
I'm pretty much indifferent to that commercial, in that it just doesn't really show much about the car at all and really kind of gives me the impression that some how Fiat owners are supposed to be somehow different from normal people, which kind of seems a bit condescending to me.

Regards

Pat

The concept is that folks that appreciate Fiats enjoy and embrace life. I think it is a positive thing. Looking at our members here, I see a lot of interesting and unique people. People who enjoy what they like and don't care what others think. This keeps things entertaining and I learn a lot from reading everyone's posts. Personally, I think people who drive Fiats have a little more going on than others that prefer to drive more mainstream and "accepted" cars.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-3J-a3nQGqk4/TvAfCf1nuUI/AAAAAAAAKj4/rS1yOsVBJ3w/s640/Fullscreen%252520capture%25252012202011%2525201234 59%252520AM.jpg

Have Trumpet Will Travel
12-20-2011, 03:12 AM
Very TRUE Chris as I've said many times, most of us have enjoyed our experiences with the exotic machinery we've owned before. Just today as I was driving thru a beautiful section of the Virginia countryside I couldn't help thinking about how even this base "Pop" takes me back to the early stages of having the privilage of motoring around as a teenager. When my Abarth arrives I'll be catapulted back to the REALLY enjoyable driving days of my youth - these cars make you feel young and alive again - can't put a price on that!!!