Do We Need Another Fiat 500?

Posted on 13. Apr, 2012 by in Auto News

The 500 had. A mild start to the U.S. thanks to a misguided campaign and the lack of positive awareness, coupled with a slowly building dealer network How does change Chrysler Italian brand plan? One way is by. The 500 limited in a variety of flavors in addition to the original two-door and convertible, including a Gucci edition for the ladies and the newest trim, the aggressive, sporty Abarth

If the original still catch on with American customers, we are ready for a different version? The amp-up Abarth version should inject a little pizzazz in the 500 step – literally. The high-performance version of the little Fiat is the regular 101-hp, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine for a 160-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder. Other Abarth upgrades include track-tuned suspension and brakes, dual exhaust, 16-inch aluminum wheels and specific exterior design cues. A base 500 starts at $ 15,000, the Abarth at $ 22,000.

The original brand marketing chief Laura Soave was overthrown. Last year and by Chrysler veteran Tim Kuniskis After Kuniskis the 500 Abarth "the right amount of wrong", the buyer looks enthusiasts looking for an affordable car with a spunky and should appeal to the drive train to back them up.

Kuniskis says the 500, including the Abarth model, a hit in Europe and a small affordable car with personality can find success in the U.S., too. After Kuniskis more than 800,000 500s were sold overseas. "We believe the success in Europe can be duplicated here."

He cites several factors that could make the 500 attractive for Americans and escalating gas prices, the smaller, more economical cars throws in a better light. The regular 500 gets 30/38 mpg city / highway, and the Abarth version gets 28/34 mpg. Fiat popular advertising campaign should also help: After overcoming the weaknesses of the early Jennifer Lopez Show, Fiat finds success with its TV ads as the Super Bowl and a new bad-boy stared actor Charlie Sheen.

Kuniskis noted there are signs that the brand is building momentum. The 500 has more than 500,000 Facebook fans, but the actual consumers are beginning to get the car warm. The $ 23,500 Gucci version quickly sold out, and more than 130,000 people spent the time to take a seat in a 500 at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.

The challenge, says Kuniskis be funneling that interest into actual sales. But if Fiat has trouble selling the $ 15,000 base 500, is why it is not easier with the $ 22,000 model Abarth?

Kuniskis says the Abarth "offers the perfect combination of emotional and rational." He claims that it is the least expensive, highest performance, highest mpg car you can buy today. We test for the math, dass

As a bonus: Fiat will also teach you how to drive it. Built in the 500 Abarth, the price is a day of driver training from Richard Petty Driving Experience instructors.

The Abarth 500 is now available in select markets, so we'll soon see if that means the marketing promises genuine buyers.

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