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Snowdoggie
Snowdoggie Dork
11/4/11 12:02 p.m.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/03/autos/fiat_500_launch.fortune/index.htm?section=magazines_fortune&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+rss/magazines_fortune+(Fortune+Magazine)

Maybe they ought to just drop the price and sell them at Dodge Dealers instead of 'Studios'. I think people are seeing through this upscale marketing deal. They just want cheap cars that get good gas mileage, like the original Fiat 500, and maybe a few hot rodded Abarths.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy SuperDork
11/4/11 12:03 p.m.

I think it will change a bit when the Abarth comes out. Also, I see more and more of them every month. The word of mouth has to catch up a little bit; MINI didn't sell cars like hotcakes right off the bat either.

Don1966 said: Fiat actually sold 15,000 of these. Not so sure I'd view that negatively. CNN should have provided comparable statistics for similar models' first year sales from other automakers. Besides, if I am correct: (1) Some auto exec optimistically predicted selling 50,000 in the first year (2) This car has only been available for 4-5 months (3) We are emerging slowly but surely from a recession - affects new car sales I am curious why the article took this point of view.
NOHOME
NOHOME HalfDork
11/4/11 12:06 p.m.

Wife would not even look knowing that it was priced at boutique prices for basic transportation. I wanted to go for a test drive!

Bobzilla
Bobzilla SuperDork
11/4/11 12:07 p.m.

A.) it's ugly as sin. 2.) it's slow, and isn't as fuel efficient as it should be. iii.) Have I mentioned it's hideous? d.) Studios? really? C'mon.

nderwater
nderwater SuperDork
11/4/11 12:14 p.m.

They're cute, but have 3/4 the interior room of a MINI or Beetle. So they're much less practical than a Fit, Mazda2, Fiesta, etc. They cost the same as an off-lease Accord. I don't see any compelling reason to buy one of these cars, except maybe "At least it's not a Smart!".

Josh
Josh Dork
11/4/11 12:30 p.m.

If the initial MINI campaign was a master class in how to effectively market a new niche vehicle brand, the 500's campaign is the polar opposite. What in the hell is J-Lo doing dancing around in front of it (if you weren't paying attention you'd barely know it was an ad for the car), and if you're going to market the thing in such a way, minimizing the enthusiast appeal of the car, and making it seem as feminine as possible, then why do most of the ads seem to be aired during football and baseball games?

They could have done something clever, played up the Italian heritage (it's the only Italian make available in the US now other than Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini), broadened the appeal of it without losing sight of its general cuteness and cheeriness, but instead they give us a rich hispanic-american lady dancing around for no apparent reason and talking a bunch gibberish about how looking at poor people out the window of her locked car makes her feel alive or whatever. Way to give yourselves an uphill battle to fight when the Abarth finally does come out, guys.

PHeller
PHeller Dork
11/4/11 12:31 p.m.

If they were cheaper or similar price of more utilitarian cars like teh Fit, Mazda 2, Mini, and Fiesta, then I think more people would consider them.

But a price premium on "cute" is not going to sell cars. "Cute' as a selling point as been replaced by "Electric".

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
11/4/11 12:33 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: A.) it's ugly as sin.

No it isn't.

2.) it's slow, and isn't as fuel efficient as it should be.

So I didn't know you needed 5000hp to have fun.

iii.) Have I mentioned it's hideous?

See earlier

PHeller
PHeller Dork
11/4/11 12:34 p.m.

Ooo, there is marketing campaign.

Have the 500 being chased by all the larger "small" cars, and illustrate that its faster than the Smart, narrower than the Fiesta, taller than the Mini, etc.

All of this Italian Job style.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
11/4/11 12:34 p.m.

I agree the marketing hasn't been very good.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey HalfDork
11/4/11 12:34 p.m.

Since when is a $16,000 funky car that gets 38 mpg frowned upon?

The base MINI Cooper is $20,000 and gets 37 mpg, I don't see anybody railing against it.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/4/11 12:35 p.m.

Ugly, small, underpowered cars do not sell well when there are better options, and there are way too many better options. And the 500 is ugly. Also, the car is a pretty ugly.

Snowdoggie
Snowdoggie Dork
11/4/11 12:44 p.m.
pinchvalve wrote: Ugly, small, underpowered cars do not sell well when there are better options, and there are way too many better options. And the 500 is ugly. Also, the car is a pretty ugly.

That's probably why they don't want to put them in Dodge dealers. The Dodge dealers where I live are selling V6 Challengers for 21K. The Fiat Studios around here are selling non-Abarth 500s loaded up with options for the same 21K. So you can get the Challenger that looks a lot like the one with the Hemi that you can't afford or the small tarted up girls car over here for the same price. You don't want to park those two next to each other in the showroom. I have yet to see a 16K 500. They are loading these up with expensive options. They will probably sell Abarths for 30K.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
11/4/11 12:47 p.m.
DaveEstey wrote: Since when is a $16,000 funky car that gets 38 mpg frowned upon? The base MINI Cooper is $20,000 and gets 37 mpg, I don't see anybody railing against it.

No kidding. I swear anything that is new and isn't the Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta or MINI gets torn apart on this site.

MG_Bryan
MG_Bryan Reader
11/4/11 12:54 p.m.
93EXCivic wrote:
DaveEstey wrote: Since when is a $16,000 funky car that gets 38 mpg frowned upon? The base MINI Cooper is $20,000 and gets 37 mpg, I don't see anybody railing against it.
No kidding. I swear anything that is new and isn't the Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta or MINI gets torn apart on this site.

I have to say, I find all three of those to be rather visually unattractive.

Snowdoggie
Snowdoggie Dork
11/4/11 1:01 p.m.
93EXCivic wrote:
DaveEstey wrote: Since when is a $16,000 funky car that gets 38 mpg frowned upon? The base MINI Cooper is $20,000 and gets 37 mpg, I don't see anybody railing against it.
No kidding. I swear anything that is new and isn't the Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta or MINI gets torn apart on this site.

If they sold a stripped down version of any one of those for 12K new at anyplace other than a 'studio' on the expensive side of town, I would be all over it.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Dork
11/4/11 1:06 p.m.

As only Nelson from the Simpsons can say it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdCUpiI1MSA

Alfa105_BMWE30
Alfa105_BMWE30 New Reader
11/4/11 1:06 p.m.

We just bought a Mazda2 for my wife's around town car (I'm sticking with my E30 318is as a DD and my Giulia Super for good weather weekends) and would agree that it's not as attractive as the 500. But, the 2 is a better package in terms of a usable backseat with 4 doors as well as still being fun to drive. We considered the 500, but our nearest "studio" being 250 miles away and lack of easy backseat access for babies/toddlers eliminated it. Being an Alfa guy, I'm strongly attracted to the 500 though and would have loved to justify buying one even without a local dealer. But, I'm more a driving enthusiast than an Italian car loyalist and hence I appreciate what Mazda has been doing for decades in that regard.

Hopefully Fiat does get their marketing/advertising straightened out as I agree that's been the biggest problem with the U.S. launch. Playing off the Italian heritage seems like the best play since that's their biggest distinction from the pack. I'd like to consider an Abarth 500 vs. a Mazdaspeed2 as my next daily driver in the next few years.

DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade Dork
11/4/11 1:08 p.m.

Here's a problem: I'd have to travel to New Orleans or Shreveport to find a dealer. Closest deal to me is about 200 miles away.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
11/4/11 1:14 p.m.

I'd like one....but I feel it's more of an $10k vs $16k+ Markup

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
11/4/11 1:18 p.m.

the more the fiat seems like a bad idea the more i want one

rob_lewis
rob_lewis Dork
11/4/11 1:25 p.m.
Snowdoggie wrote:
pinchvalve wrote: Ugly, small, underpowered cars do not sell well when there are better options, and there are way too many better options. And the 500 is ugly. Also, the car is a pretty ugly.
That's probably why they don't want to put them in Dodge dealers. The Dodge dealers where I live are selling V6 Challengers for 21K. The Fiat Studios around here are selling non-Abarth 500s loaded up with options for the same 21K. So you can get the Challenger that looks a lot like the one with the Hemi that you can't afford or the small tarted up girls car over here for the same price. You don't want to park those two next to each other in the showroom. I have yet to see a 16K 500. They are loading these up with expensive options. They will probably sell Abarths for 30K.

The markup on loaded models is typical DFW dealers and typical of the first cars a dealer gets in. When I bought my MINI years ago, the only ones the dealer had on the lot were loaded to the hilt.

FWIW, the Austin dealer, who has been open for quite some time, has about 16-20 at $16000.....

-Rob

Snowdoggie
Snowdoggie Dork
11/4/11 2:02 p.m.
rob_lewis wrote:
Snowdoggie wrote:
pinchvalve wrote: Ugly, small, underpowered cars do not sell well when there are better options, and there are way too many better options. And the 500 is ugly. Also, the car is a pretty ugly.
That's probably why they don't want to put them in Dodge dealers. The Dodge dealers where I live are selling V6 Challengers for 21K. The Fiat Studios around here are selling non-Abarth 500s loaded up with options for the same 21K. So you can get the Challenger that looks a lot like the one with the Hemi that you can't afford or the small tarted up girls car over here for the same price. You don't want to park those two next to each other in the showroom. I have yet to see a 16K 500. They are loading these up with expensive options. They will probably sell Abarths for 30K.
The markup on loaded models is typical DFW dealers and typical of the first cars a dealer gets in. When I bought my MINI years ago, the only ones the dealer had on the lot were loaded to the hilt. FWIW, the Austin dealer, who has been open for quite some time, has about 16-20 at $16000..... -Rob

Interesting. My cousin came down here to Dallas wanting to buy a Mini when they first came out. Like me he was a British car guy from way back. The cheapest one he could get was 22K with all options and the one he wanted with the supercharger was almost 30K and the dealer would not negotiate one cent. He went back to South Dakota and bought a Pontiac from a local dealer there. The price didn't bother him as much as the fact that the dealer wouldn't negotiate. He has the money. If the dealer had asked 35K for it and come down to 30K he probably would have bought one and told everybody how much he talked the dealer down.

How many go into the showrooms to see something new and cool and leave shaking their heads about the pumped up price, not realizing that the prices will eventually come back down to earth.

I thought a new Mini was still a 20K and up car and out of my range. I may actually go look at one now. They are cheaper than the Fiats.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey HalfDork
11/4/11 2:22 p.m.

MINI's are still $20k and up, which makes them $4k MORE than the Fiats.

Timeormoney
Timeormoney Reader
11/4/11 2:39 p.m.

The mini was a pretty big success when it hit, 7 month wait list for an "S". I bought mine for 20,500. By failing to be an asshat, I moved waaaay up the list. The 500 just doesn't hit the same emotions. The other biggie, a mini backed by bmw does not strike fear in my heart like a fiat backed by dodge.

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