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The marketing has been abysmal. Combine that with the lack of dealerships and Im amazed the sales have now equaled the Mini. If we get some real marketing and a dealership network that doesn't ignore huge cities, then maybe the sales will more aggressively improve
 

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As much as they would like it to be otherwise, the new Fiat 500 won't sell itself. Dealerships are few and far between, very few on the road, questionable ads, no real brand recognition for those under 40, etc.

In my humble opinion, they need to put them on the floor of Malls and other public places where people can can "kick the tires" and get up-close looks. You really need to see it to appreciate it and no TV ad will grab that person who isn't in the market for a new car. I wasn't in the market, but when I was over in Daytona Beach babysitting my grandsons we went to look at Fiats as a way to kill some time waiting to go to the movies. Once I was able to see one it was "love at first sight".

Get them out there for people to see.
 

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Only one dealership in the entire state here in NC, no clue about other places, I've only seen three total in my area so four with mine, definitely slow to get out there but I am having people say things like "Hey, that's one of those new Fiats isn't it?" Something is making then known, just not fast enough...yet!
 

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As much as they would like it to be otherwise, the new Fiat 500 won't sell itself. Dealerships are few and far between, very few on the road, questionable ads, no real brand recognition for those under 40, etc.

In my humble opinion, they need to put them on the floor of Malls and other public places where people can can "kick the tires" and get up-close looks. You really need to see it to appreciate it and no TV ad will grab that person who isn't in the market for a new car. I wasn't in the market, but when I was over in Daytona Beach babysitting my grandsons we went to look at Fiats as a way to kill some time waiting to go to the movies. Once I was able to see one it was "love at first sight".

Get them out there for people to see.
I think there is FAR more brand recognition in the under 40 crowd due to TV shows like Top Gear. That an the shear ease of finding information about anything in this day and age of the internet. That said, I'd also agree that they need more personal exposure in malls and places people can see, touch, and talk about the cars.

That said, the Chrysler dealerships who bought into these Fiat Studio's had to spend upwards of $1,000,000 for the franchise. So it wasn't exactly a cheap investment.
 

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I think there is FAR more brand recognition in the under 40 crowd due to TV shows like Top Gear. That an the shear ease of finding information about anything in this day and age of the internet. That said, I'd also agree that they need more personal exposure in malls and places people can see, touch, and talk about the cars.

That said, the Chrysler dealerships who bought into these Fiat Studio's had to spend upwards of $1,000,000 for the franchise. So it wasn't exactly a cheap investment.
Brand recognition -- can't agree with your take. Agree that if you look for it, you can find it on the web, but wherever I go, my Fiat turns heads and I get that "what's a Fiat?" type of comment. The JLo ads have sparked some interest. People who watch Top Gear are already car people (as am I) and already knew about Fiat.

$1,000,000 dealership -- I am unaware of what was "promised" by Fiat. If I owned a Fiat dealer I'd want much better TV and print ads and some kind of advertising allowance that I could use to pay for floor space at the Mall, both rent at music festivals, etc.

I know this is only antidotal, but I still remember when Mini came to the US. Virtually no TV ads, no print ads, no local dealer here. The first one I saw was at the auto show in Tampa. I recall that there was this air of exclusivity. I know there was a waiting list to buy one.

Here we are 10 years (?) later and in a matter of only a few months, in the midst of a recession, Fiat sales are equal to Mini's. Not too sure what that means, just a reflection. I am confident that because of the Chrysler connection, Fiat is here to stay and that there will be acceptable sales numbers. It will never sell like a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla and will always have something of a cult-like following. Wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Fiat rally clubs spring up, especially when the Arbath comes to the US and when there are more after-market modifications available for the current version of the 500.

My 2 cents worth.:)
 

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The shear idea that it is a small, very useable and economical (and very fun) little car is the rub that most people like. There is a good bit of recognition from the fiasco that surrounded Ford, Chrysler, and GM as we all remember. It was well reported in media outlets (and especially newspapers and car magazines), that Fiat was party to the Chrysler buyout. Nonetheless, I still think you are right to, they need to think out of the box a little more to get more and more brand recognition. All good for anyone with a Fiat 500 :)
 

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...

Here we are 10 years (?) later and in a matter of only a few months, in the midst of a recession, Fiat sales are equal to Mini's. Not too sure what that means, just a reflection. I am confident that because of the Chrysler connection, Fiat is here to stay and that there will be acceptable sales numbers. It will never sell like a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla and will always have something of a cult-like following. Wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Fiat rally clubs spring up, especially when the Arbath comes to the US and when there are more after-market modifications available for the current version of the 500.

My 2 cents worth.:)
Hi,

Thanks for the post. It does kind of seem odd that although we are in the threat of a "double-dip" Recession (or whatever its called), that I suspect last year everyone had hoped wouldn't be the case. And, there appears to be some serious economic concerns that are re-appearing right now in Europe, somehow alot of people instead seem to be focusing in on the fact that since sales are currently only around 3000-3100 a month, that somehow this is all the fault of Mr. Marchionne and/or Ms. Soave.

If Fiat sales are similar to the Mini's right now, that would seem to me to actually be pretty good overall.

Regards

Pat
 

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Only one dealership in the entire state here in NC, no clue about other places, I've only seen three total in my area so four with mine, definitely slow to get out there but I am having people say things like "Hey, that's one of those new Fiats isn't it?" Something is making then known, just not fast enough...yet!
On the one hand, the Cleveland area is more fortunate than many others-- there are four FIAT studios within 90 minutes of us, two within less than 30 minutes.

That said, I've been to the two studios closest to Cleveland, got some literature and left my business card. Have I heard from either of them? Any follow-up? Did the second dealer e-mail me with links to additional 500 information he promised? Nope. Total silence. That's not going to sell cars or raise brand recognition. Given that $1,000,000 investment these dealers have made, you think they'd be a bit more motivated.
 

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Interesting. With my dealer, they were going early, it seems. Website, Facebook page, photos of the car at all the local landmarks, and a local TV ad. Maybe some dealers are a little more aggressive.
 

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Interesting. With my dealer, they were going early, it seems. Website, Facebook page, photos of the car at all the local landmarks, and a local TV ad. Maybe some dealers are a little more aggressive.
Same here. My salesman, the manager and the general manager have all called. I've gotten e-mails from the service manager and two letters welcoming me to the "Fiat Family."

The first dealer I went to, 3 1/2 hrs from my home gave me a couple calls to see how my search was going and when I told them I'd found the exact model and features I wanted they congratulated me and wished me luck with my purchase. Then they invited me to stop by there next time I was in town and told me if I ever had an issue they were there to help.
 

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On the one hand, the Cleveland area is more fortunate than many others-- there are four FIAT studios within 90 minutes of us, two within less than 30 minutes.

That said, I've been to the two studios closest to Cleveland, got some literature and left my business card. Have I heard from either of them? Any follow-up? Did the second dealer e-mail me with links to additional 500 information he promised? Nope. Total silence. That's not going to sell cars or raise brand recognition. Given that $1,000,000 investment these dealers have made, you think they'd be a bit more motivated.
Sounds like the folks you talked to are really motivated. I'm sure the general managers and owners are quite motivated to sell cars. It is not unique to Fiat though to have salesmen completely unmotivated to sell cars. Sorry you had to have a poor experience at multiple dealerships...:(

Interesting. With my dealer, they were going early, it seems. Website, Facebook page, photos of the car at all the local landmarks, and a local TV ad. Maybe some dealers are a little more aggressive.
Same here. My salesman, the manager and the general manager have all called. I've gotten e-mails from the service manager and two letters welcoming me to the "Fiat Family."

The first dealer I went to, 3 1/2 hrs from my home gave me a couple calls to see how my search was going and when I told them I'd found the exact model and features I wanted they congratulated me and wished me luck with my purchase. Then they invited me to stop by there next time I was in town and told me if I ever had an issue they were there to help.
You guys are both privy to very aggressive dealerships, sounds like they are both rather nice and appreciative of the opportunity for service! :)
 

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...somehow alot of people instead seem to be focusing in on the fact that since sales are currently only around 3000-3100 a month, that somehow this is all the fault of Mr. Marchionne and/or Ms. Soave.

If Fiat sales are similar to the Mini's right now, that would seem to me to actually be pretty good overall.
Not if FIAT was counting on selling 6,000 units per month, especially if their operating budget is premised on that level of sales.
 

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As much as I dislike the J-Lo ad, it has clearly increased awareness of the car. Of the few people who have come up to me to talk about my car, TWO commented on seeing it first in that ad. I rolled my eyes and told them how much I love the car despite J-Lo's endorsement. ;-)

Could they do more? Certainly. But I think the biggest problem is overcoming the American tendency to buy big. I've talked to many people over time who said they liked small cars, but wouldn't want to be in one for very long on the road, considering all the trucks and SUVs around. So, they add to the problem by buying another **** SUV. :rolleyes:
 

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I think the JLo ad was just as much about her new song as it was about fiat... Why was there a motoX jump in there???
 

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FYI -- I called a local restaurant to order take-out. They asked what kind of car I'd be driving (that's how they know when to bring your food.) I said, "a red Fiat." Response, "what's a Fiat?"

Still some work to do on brand recognition. This is task #1 for the new ad agency.
 
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