Fiat Shifts Gears, Says 500 Sold in North America will have Fiat Badge
By Brendan Moore
Last week the people that work for Fiat, and, are stationed in Auburn Hills, Michigan, were saying that their main brand had too many negative connotations for US consumers, and that Alfa Romeo would be the brand that would represent the Italian might of Fiat Group.
Now Fiat is saying that four versions of the Fiat 500 will be sold in North America by 2011, and all of those cars will wear a Fiat badge, and the different iterations of the 500 will be the only Fiats sold in the US in the future.
Robert Giolito, the head of styling at Fiat, and, the designer of the 500, said so in Italy last week as the 500 cabriolet was launched.
Last week a Fiat spokesman said the 500 would be sold in the US, but without the Fiat badge. The 500 would be sold simply as the “500”, and would be sold at select Chrysler dealers.
The recent statement about the Fiat badge does not clarify how the Fiats will be sold in North America, whether that’s at their own stand-alone dealers, Fiat-Chrysler dealers, or, sold as the Fiat 500 at a Chrysler dealer.
Giolito stated that the four versions of the Fiat 500 that will be retailed in the US are the standard 500, an Abarth 500, a cabriolet and an estate/combi/wagon.
Many people questioned the wisdom of Fiat’s apparent desire to go without their main brand in the North American market, but it appears those concerns are academic, given the most recent statement from Fiat.
COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved