First Pics, US Spec Fiat 500 (?) - Page 3 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #31 of 294 (permalink) Old 10-14-2010, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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On a lark I called 8 of the biggest Chrysler dealers where I live (1 hr east of NYC) and asked if they were going to become a FIAT dealer. The lack of knowledge from the management that I spoke to was shocking. Not a single manager knew when they were going to set up the FIAT area. Several said the cars would be in sometime in 2012. Most did not have any clue about the recent announcements from Chrysler nor did they have any idea how I pre-ordered one. I was told "the customers know more then we do" to which I replied "it's in the Chrysler press releases and on the internet". Is there any wonder why most of these dealers are suffering? I hope FIAT makes sure the dealers they choose are interested in the product. It may make for fewer dealers but it will make for a better buying experience
Yes, that's what I heard. Not surprising.
Fiat is trying to do this right. They do not want old school Chrysler dealers. They do not want people walking in to the local dealer and have some snake oil salesman saying, "What oh yeah, Fiat? Vinny handles that. Tom, is Vinny in today?" "No?" "Sorry." "Have you checked out the Patriot, though?"

No, they want the dealers who want to sell the cars and at least act knowledgeable and like they give a ****.
Hence, since no dealer (as far as we know) has been given the nod yet, "we have no information" is the best they can say. Especially if they suspect they will not be selling the cars. Why even talk them up?
All in good time, Fiat will roll out all info. They sell all they can make in the rest of the world. Time will tell what will happen here.

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post #32 of 294 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so who lives in Detroit and is ready to order?

"Chrysler beings picking dealers to sell Fiat 500 in United States

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) - Chrysler has begun picking the dealers who will be selling Fiat brand automobiles in the United States.

Three dealerships in our [Detroit] area have been picked. They are Carl Galeana , Bill Golling and David Fischer. Galeana will have its Fiat dealership in its Saturn of Lakeside location. That Saturn store was slated to close at the end of next week. Golling Chrysler Jeep of Bloomfield was also selected. The third dealership was awarded to Suburban Chrysler Jeep.

These are the dealers that will be selling the American version of the Fiat 500 subcompact. They are the first in what Chrysler is hoping will be a wave of Fiat selling dealerships in 119 markets across the United States."

http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/money/auto_n...-united-states

Also, went to Port Newark today to pick up a car for a friend from the UK.
Saw this on the lot.
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-Sam

"You're not a proper petrol head until you've owned an Alfa."
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post #33 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-04-2010, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Business Week

Fiat's New Uphill Climb in the U.S.
With the 500 subcompact, it makes an auspicious return to the States—but it's a crowded market

By Tim Higgins

Sam Germana, a lawyer who bought his first Fiat in 1982, still has fond memories of la dolce vita behind the wheel of his Italian import. So he jumped at the chance to plop down $500 to reserve a special first-edition version of the 500, the tiny car Fiat hopes will make a big splash as the brand returns to the U.S. market this winter. Germana, who lives on New York's Long Island and commutes to New Jersey for work, has driven the European version and figures it will be perfect for his daily commute. "The Fiat is put together like a Toyota (TM), it is really solid," Germana says of his test drive. "It was a blast to drive."

Fiat hopes there are many more customers who fondly recall the sporty Fiat image of bygone days—and are willing to forget reliability problems that plagued the automaker (some owners said its name stood for Fix It Again, Tony) before it pulled out of the U.S. market in 1983.

The Fiat 500 subcompact, known as the Cinquecento in Italy, has already sold 500,000 units since 2007 in other parts of the world. Its U.S. starting price is expected to be about $15,000. Fiat hopes to sell 50,000 of the tiny fuel misers in its first year in the U.S. (no mileage rating has been determined yet), mostly in urban areas where traffic and scant parking make small cars attractive.

The Fiat brand's return to North America comes about 18 months after the Turin-based automaker gained control of Chrysler Group. The U.S. company's infrastructure is key to the effort: The 500 will be built at a Chrysler factory near Mexico City, starting in December, and it tapped existing Chrysler dealers to open new Fiat showrooms.

Chrysler has hired a marketing executive from Volkswagen, Laura J. Soave, a first-generation Italian American, to help translate the feeling of the Fiat brand to U.S. car buyers. Soave, who has a picture of herself visiting Italy as a small child, standing atop a Fiat, has been working on a grassroots marketing campaign to build support among longtime Fiat fans. She showed up in July in Asheville, N.C., for an annual gathering of Fiat-Lancia Unlimited, which claims to be the largest Fiat enthusiast group in North America. She's since donated a Fiat 500 to the National Italian American Foundation for a fundraiser.

Chrysler declined to make Soave available for an interview in advance of the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month, where the Fiat 500's U.S. version will be displayed. Two people familiar with her efforts say she'll concentrate on developing "experiential" marketing of the car, mostly in showrooms through high-service selling that focuses on adding options to let buyers personalize their cars. Rather than broad advertising pitches, they say she's likely to use social media and other grassroots approaches to target likely buyers and lure them into showrooms for individual treatment. "My ultimate goal would be not to spend one dollar in traditional advertising," says Phil Bivens, a Tacoma (Wash.) dealer who will open a Fiat store.

Fiat faces plenty of obstacles, analysts say. The small car is being introduced into a market crowded with competitors, including the new Ford (F) Fiesta and General Motors' upcoming Chevrolet Spark. While researcher IHS Automotive (IHS) predicts the U.S. subcompact market will grow 150 percent to more than 1 million by the end of 2015, IHS analyst Rebecca Lindland cautions that the growth is being pushed not by consumer demand, but by automakers' beliefs that small cars will become more popular. "Everyone is tooled up for this, and everyone is all excited about consumers buying small cars—except consumers," Lindland says.

European competitors such as Daimler's Smart and BMW's Mini small cars have seen sales fall lately. Smart sales have plunged 61 percent so far this year from the year-earlier period. Mini sales are down 1.6 percent, according to researcher Autodata.

Fiat decided to eschew selling Fiat vehicles next to Chrysler's Ram pickups and Jeep SUVs and now must quickly and smoothly open about 165 showrooms. "You had to get into a building, a separate establishment" for a Fiat dealership, where somebody could come in and truly feel like they were at an Apple (AAPL) store, says Fred M. Diaz, Chrysler's lead sales executive. Adds Tacoma dealer Bivens: "The Italian style and design and fashion will all play a clear role in who we hire and how we train them and how they communicate. It will not be a traditional car dealership experience."

The bottom line: A quarter-century after it pulled out of the U.S. market, Fiat is back with a small car built and sold with the help of its partner, Chrysler.

-Sam

"You're not a proper petrol head until you've owned an Alfa."
Jeremy Clarkson
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post #34 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:02 PM
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Anyone else here get the invite for the preview event in Los Angeles next week?

Today, they released the images of the three colors of the Prima Edizione. I ordered white, but from the pictures, grey looks better. I guess I need to see them in person to make my final decision.

Last edited by italcarguy; 05-17-2012 at 08:44 PM.
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post #35 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:21 PM
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I picked white as well but you're right, the gray looks pretty good.

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post #36 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:46 PM
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Just a question, How is it that folks received numbers? I must have missed the whole 'promo' for this a few months ago. With the way Fiat USA is set up so far, how and who has been responsible for these transactions? I work on vintage cars here in NYC and mostly Italian/German and would like to be a part of Fiat USA.
They really have no info but posting pics and 'trying' to hype up an online crowd only that really wants to go and see and feel the cars so they can be purchased. Any REAL info on what is going on with these so called dealers?? How about in NYC??


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post #37 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 10:09 PM
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I signed up on the Fiat website. The address is probably on this thread earlier. I cleared the wait list after a couple of months. They sent me an email and I had 24 hours to respond to it. I came within 2 hours of missing that deadline. I paid them a refundable $500 deposit and got confirmation back. I've had 3 or 4 emails since, including one today. Other than all that, at this point you know as much as we do. I still don't know if there will be a dealer locally for me. If there is not one, I'll probably step out of line and get a refund. If they announce Alfas will soon follow, probably back out on the 500 and wait. Who knows. Delivery is still about 5 or 6 months out.

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post #38 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GiuliettaLucine View Post
Just a question, How is it that folks received numbers? I must have missed the whole 'promo' for this a few months ago. With the way Fiat USA is set up so far, how and who has been responsible for these transactions? I work on vintage cars here in NYC and mostly Italian/German and would like to be a part of Fiat USA.
They really have no info but posting pics and 'trying' to hype up an online crowd only that really wants to go and see and feel the cars so they can be purchased. Any REAL info on what is going on with these so called dealers?? How about in NYC??


.
Check this site out. A few minutes on it will give you all the answers that are available up to this point.

Fiat 500 USA

-Sam

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post #39 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 06:00 AM
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Sam,

Great piece in BW, thanks for sharing. You're famous now! I chose the gray initially for my wife's car and I'm sticking with it. The white is the classic color that everyone will always associate with the new 500, though. You really can't go wrong with white (and of course the traditional Italian red).

John

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post #40 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Sam,

Great piece in BW, thanks for sharing. You're famous now! I chose the gray initially for my wife's car and I'm sticking with it. The white is the classic color that everyone will always associate with the new 500, though. You really can't go wrong with white (and of course the traditional Italian red).

John
Thanks, John. The color is a tough choice. I'd take any one of the three. Looking forward to more info next week.

-Sam

"You're not a proper petrol head until you've owned an Alfa."
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post #41 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Webcast

The Debut of the Fiat 500
Live Webcast of the Fiat 500 Reveal @ the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show
November 17, 2010
2:55 PM ET/11:55 AM PT
After a 25 year absence, Fiat returns to the U.S. with the truly unique Fiat 500. Designed and built through Chrysler Group, LLC to expand their small product offerings, the Fiat 500 takes original Italian design and blends safety and comfort features tailored to North America.

With its City-friendly proportions and iconic Cinquecento (500) cues, the car is wrapped in modern Italian styling that conveys simplicity and strength. The Cinquecento is the automotive equivalent of the iPod - sleek, simple, functional, user-friendly and inspired. With the lowest C02 emissions among Europe´s best-selling automotive brands, the Fiat 500 is equipped with an in-line four cylinder Fully Integrated Robotized Engine (FIRE) featuring Chrysler´s exclusive MultiAir ™ system. The Fiat 500 will be available in 14 colors, including three colors inspired by the vintage appeal of the first Fiat 500.

-Sam

"You're not a proper petrol head until you've owned an Alfa."
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post #42 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 02:29 PM
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The good news is that I will be on a business trip to the west coast that week. The bad news is that I will be in San Francisco on the 16th and unable to attend the preview event. I don't land in LA until the 18th. ****!

'56 Abarth 750 GT MM; '58 Giulietta Spider Veloce; '59 Appia GTE; '62 Flaminia Convertible; '68 Fulvia Sport; '70 Moretti Sportiva S2; '82 Fiat Turbo Spider; '12 Abarth 500
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post #43 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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The good news is that I will be on a business trip to the west coast that week. The bad news is that I will be in San Francisco on the 16th and unable to attend the preview event. I don't land in LA until the 18th. ****!
If you can log onto the webcast..I plan to.

-Sam

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post #44 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 08:29 PM
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I went to the Chrysler dealer in Huntsville today to get some parts for my other Italian car... my Jeep.

Hey, it breaks. That doesn't count?
Anyway.

I asked them if they were going to get one of the new Fiat dealerships. They said they hoped so, but have been told Alabama is only going to have one, and they think Birmingham will get it.

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post #45 of 294 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 11:59 AM
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I talked to a bunch of Italian car guys(mostly Ferrari owners) yesterday at a NJ C&C event in the morning and they were ready to go look and buy one or two cars. I personally know at least 25-50 people that are ready to buy the 500. I am sure there are others here that have the same story.
FIAT has it all wrong with the way they have this 'Intro' set up. I work in presentations and this 'delay' of dealers is really a problem. I think they did not know what type of dealership/customer situation we have here in US. There really should be 'brick/morter' shops going up as of yesterday so the 2011 season would start off on a real good kick off with the Holidays and car show season.
The east coast(mainly the NY metro area) has 'zero' info or any intros of FIAT what so ever. The blogs and all the internet jumble seems to be just that. I remember in '01-'02 when MINI was at this same point and BMW really had their ads/website and all their S**T together and the rest is history.



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