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Playing devil's advocate for a moment, is any owner sitting out there thinking, "Now that I've got mine, I wouldn't mind seeing the sales stay low, so my car stays somewhat unique".

Just curious.
I completely agree with this. I have been wanting one of these for a long time way before they announced they were coming to the US (my dream car is the original 500). When I got one, then many of my family members and friends now want one too (because they saw the JLo commercial). I don't know why but I find it annoying. I don't mind if total strangers get it but my friends and some members of my family are fad followers and if they the Fiat, well, it will be a fad to them. No real passion or love for the car. It's just, "oh, it's so cute I want one, wait what is it called again?"

I have social issues, I really do. But I can't help feeling a bit annoyed. :D
 

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it is not the type of sales arc you want for a new brand, especially when the target was 6000 units/month. IMO, the advertisement campaign to this point has been a complete bomb.

my concern has always been this: if not enough of these are being sold, the already relatively tiny studio network will start to shrink. this means less places to get service, less mechanics who are competent with the car, etc...

almost every state has huge geographical areas with no studios within a reasonable distance. id like to see sales pick up at least to the point where more studios can be opened.

sales could double and the car would still be unique. many of the chrysler dealers who opened studios did so with little enthusiasm. these sales numbers wont help.
 

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Just curious... what's the source for these numbers? Not doubting them, I'd just like to be able to look at them for myself instead of waiting on some kind soul to post them here.

Thanks
 

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Fiat's intro marketing plan was not well though out for the American market. how many of you remember going back a few years, when the Infiniti brand was being rolled out? for weeks there were concept ads - BDI ads in marketing parlance - to buld interest by creating curiosity about what is over the horizon. You need to sell the sizzle, not the steak, to create interest in something new - especially a market re-entry. A perfect ad: Snow falling on the highway and the rear wheel drive sedan is sitting spinning it's wheels, while a bright red Fiat 500 drives past with skis on top and happy skiiers inside. Voice over, "How will YOU get to your favorite slopes this winter?"

Ideally enough need to be sold to keep dealers alive, but just enough to keep the car somewhat rare and keep resale/trade values high.
 

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Hi

june 1803
july 3038
aug 3106
sept 2773

it is not the type of sales arc you want for a new brand, especially when the target was 6000 units/month. IMO, the advertisement campaign to this point has been a complete bomb.

my concern has always been this: if not enough of these are being sold, the already relatively tiny studio network will start to shrink. this means less places to get service, less mechanics who are competent with the car, etc...

almost every state has huge geographical areas with no studios within a reasonable distance. id like to see sales pick up at least to the point where more studios can be opened.

sales could double and the car would still be unique. many of the chrysler dealers who opened studios did so with little enthusiasm. these sales numbers wont help.
Hi,

Out of curiousity, do you know where this 6,000 units a month number comes from? I had always thought the goal was about 55,000 per year, but I can't find the source for that number either, and now I've been seeing this 6,000 per month number pop up. so, I'm kind of curious where it all comes from.

Thanks

Pat
 

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According to the sales manager at my "Studio" the 6,000 number is for combined Fiat/Alfa Rameo sales by 2114. There are still dealerships in the prep stage and the inventory is not as large as you might think. Still 6 weeks or more for the popular editions. He was telling me that the JLo 500C (white with Bordeaux top) is the most sought after. Second is the Red Sport.
 

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I will add that, current advertising controversy aside, I've found FIAT's marketing fairly abysmal.

There were no advance ads, which always puzzled me. Remember the New Beetle, when that came out? They ran so many ads I was sick of them before they ever hit the street.

Further, though, I signed up several times at FIAT's website as soon as they got a US site set up -- never got a single email. I would check it once a week for news because I was getting nothing. Then, when the Primas came out, they were sold out before I even knew they were being offered (not that I wanted one). I felt it was a completely lackluster, hit-or-miss prospect with them.

That said, I do wish them well, I love the car, it's a gem.
 

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Hi

...

Further, though, I signed up several times at FIAT's website as soon as they got a US site set up -- never got a single email. I would check it once a week for news because I was getting nothing. ...
Hi,

that's surprising. I get an email from them every now and then, such as when they announced the Gucci version and when they announced the Cabrio version.

Regards

Pat
 

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According to the sales manager at my "Studio" the 6,000 number is for combined Fiat/Alfa Rameo sales by 2114. There are still dealerships in the prep stage and the inventory is not as large as you might think..

inventory. there appears to be a glut of 500's at every srudio within 300 miles of me.

and, as usual, a sales manager knows not of what he speaks. Laura Soaves herself stated before the launch earleir this year that the first year target was 50,000 units, and that wasnt even in a full year.

those so called prep stages are really chrysler dealers waiting it out to see if its going to be worth opening their studio. that is why the sales numbers concern me.

i experienced this first hand. there were 2 studios listed on the fiatusa site that were within 100 miles of me (merrillville was the closest) and made me feel ok travelling 200 miles to another studio to purchase. the website listed these studios as planning an opening on 6/1/11. 6/1/11 rolled around and the studio said they were just "behind". another month rolled around and they said things were pending.

i called fiat directly and they told me the studio was opened. i told them no, they dont even have a physical building yet. my last call on 8/9/11 was to the owner of the chrysler group there. they decided not to open a studio at all. the next studio that had been listed on the site went up in smoke as well.

long story short, i do not trust one bit the infotmation about future studios listed on the fiat website.
 

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Panther, be wary of public pronouncements. I am 100% certain that Fiat would love to be selling 5,000 units a month by this time next year, but what they said in public and what they figured was a worst case scenario are two very different things. As far as the inventory issue is concerned, while there are plenty of units on the lot, the issue seems to be not having the specific configuration being sought after, thus the long wait experienced by many.

Think of it this way, Fiat thought the ratio of automatics to 5-speeds was going to be weighted heavy towards automatics, but the 5-speeds are what people want. I'm pretty sure my Studio has never had a Lounge convertible with a 5-speed. Does the lounge even come in 5-speed?
 

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Panther, be wary of public pronouncements. I am 100% certain that Fiat would love to be selling 5,000 units a month by this time next year, but what they said in public and what they figured was a worst case scenario are two very different things. As far as the inventory issue is concerned, while there are plenty of units on the lot, the issue seems to be not having the specific configuration being sought after, thus the long wait experienced by many.

Think of it this way, Fiat thought the ratio of automatics to 5-speeds was going to be weighted heavy towards automatics, but the 5-speeds are what people want. I'm pretty sure my Studio has never had a Lounge convertible with a 5-speed. Does the lounge even come in 5-speed?
a vast majority of buyers will ultimately buy what is on the lot rather than wait for something specific. sure, some will wait for a specific configuration. but, the studios job is to sell what they have. america is still an automatic car buying nation.

a lack of manual transmissions isnt what is causing fiat to be selling 1/2 of what they thought they could sell. its bad marketing, strategy, and perhaps just hoping for too much out of a car that doesnt have much practicality for many americans (ie cars are available at the same price ponts, or less, with as good or better mpg's, much more room, better reliability records, local availability). "iconic, cute, and quirky" can only sell so many cars.

it can be spun however they want, but cars are available and they arent selling a whole lot of them.
 

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Pat - to be clear, I started getting emails after I purchased my car. Before that, months in advance, I signed up as a "FIAT Follower!" on their US site. I signed up with my home address, my work address, my wife's address. Nothing. No welcome email, no notice to register for a Prima, nothing like that.

So, either their website wasn't working, or they weren't sending out anything. Zero print ads, TV ads, etc. How are people supposed to anticipate something they don't even know is coming?
 

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Pat - to be clear, I started getting emails after I purchased my car. Before that, months in advance, I signed up as a "FIAT Follower!" on their US site. I signed up with my home address, my work address, my wife's address. Nothing. No welcome email, no notice to register for a Prima, nothing like that.

So, either their website wasn't working, or they weren't sending out anything. Zero print ads, TV ads, etc. How are people supposed to anticipate something they don't even know is coming?
I had been looking for the car as well and didn't know that it was here until I saw one on the way to test drive another MINI.
I still haven't seen a TV commercial ---- they don't adverise on any show that we watch. Most of my coworkers have never seen an ad as well.

I had been told that the local Ferrari/Maserati shop was going to be the first dealer in the area; I was stalking it for a couple of years. It's very close to my office and would've been very convenient.

When I did see a 500, went home and googled the car, I found 4 dealers listed in the area. Two of them are red herrings and aren't planned to open anymore.

That's why I'm doing my best to flaunt the car, promote it, have fun with it in public. I'd love my local Jeep/Ram/Dodge dealer to start selling them; I don't like driving an hour and a half to the dealership...
 

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Hi

Pat - to be clear, I started getting emails after I purchased my car. Before that, months in advance, I signed up as a "FIAT Follower!" on their US site. I signed up with my home address, my work address, my wife's address. Nothing. No welcome email, no notice to register for a Prima, nothing like that.

So, either their website wasn't working, or they weren't sending out anything. Zero print ads, TV ads, etc. How are people supposed to anticipate something they don't even know is coming?
Hi,

Thanks for the clarification :) I guess I hadn't clearly read your post.

Regards

Pat
 

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It was just sooooo frustrating trying to find out anything, thank God for that 500 blog, I got all my info there. I was really irritated when I stopped by my local dealer during mid-build and got the same treatment. It took me awhile (and a good dealer experience at a different dealer) to start to feel positive about the company.
 

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There was a full page ad here when the local studio opened up. That was 4 months ago. I've not seen any advertising here in New Jersey since. There are no incentives to buy them. I think the ball is really being dropped promoting this car.
 

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OCTOBER....1,965.....J-Lo you've done wonders:rolleyes:

its nice to be unique, but if sales dont pick up, i would bet more studios will drop out and several of those that are scheduled to open never will (which has already happend).
 
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