Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: Chrysler Fiats almost here...

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,776

    Chrysler Fiats almost here...

    The Fiat 500 is due to begin sales here in the U.S. by the end of the year, and Chrysler is now beginning to choose the dealers that will get the car--and represent Fiat in the U.S. The choices made will be critical, as Fiat's reputation from its last run in the U.S. isn't exactly stellar.

    The first phase of dealers appointed are already chosen and ready for the first orders of the 500. More dealers are currently being "worked with" to bring the car to more markets by the end of the year. In total, Chrysler hopes to have 119 markets covered, primarily in "areas chosen for their high concentration of small-car registrations." Translation: primarily in larger cities along both coasts.

    Selling the 500 should go a long way toward repairing the lasting memories of Fiat's previous reputation, however, as by nearly all accounts abroad, it's an excellent vehicle. Mechanical reliability and dealer service go hand-in-hand, however, and those 500s that do require service or repair will be key in making or breaking the brand's return.

    “We are looking for a customer experience that is as unique and personalized as the Fiat 500 itself,” said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat Brand North America. “Some of the proposals are extremely creative and in many cases not only met but exceeded our expectations. We are looking forward to working with our dealer team for the successful launch of the Fiat Brand in the United States and offering our customers the personal experience that they deserve in our Fiat Studios.”

    The dealers chosen so far are from within the existing Chrysler Group dealer network, though the company says outside dealers have also shown interest in selling Fiat-brand vehicles.
    The first of the vehicles to be sold through the newly-selected Fiat dealerships will be the Fiat 500 Sport, a version specially configured for the U.S. market.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chicago vicinity
    Posts
    549
    It's a cute looking car with a six speed transmission. I like it and hope you get to test drive it Eric.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,776
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    It's a cute looking car with a six speed transmission. I like it and hope you get to test drive it Eric.
    Yeah, I'm looking forward to trying one out, too.

    I haven't driven a new Fiat in more than 15 years, at least....

  4. #4
    I would like to see the Abarth version come over..... 170 hp in a car that weighs pratically nothing would be a real hoot.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,776
    Quote Originally Posted by Mustang_Boy View Post
    I would like to see the Abarth version come over..... 170 hp in a car that weighs pratically nothing would be a real hoot.
    I'd be surprised if we see it - but maybe.

    Fiat will need to be very aggressive to make a go of it. The US market is already saturated (for one) and (for two) the economy is dead. I don't envy them - and I wouldn't put any money on Fiat surviving here. My bet is they'll be gone by 2015, if nor sooner.

  6. #6
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408
    I think they're pretty wise to re-enter the US market with a "cult car". I doubt Fiat will ever have a full-line presence in the US again, but in a few years all of Chrysler's passenger cars smaller than the LH will have Fiat DNA.

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,776
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    I think they're pretty wise to re-enter the US market with a "cult car". I doubt Fiat will ever have a full-line presence in the US again, but in a few years all of Chrysler's passenger cars smaller than the LH will have Fiat DNA.
    If gas goes back to $4 (or higher) and stays there, they may make it this time.

    GM and (less so) Ford are loaded with over-heavy, over-thirsty cars that will suffer a mass die-off if it costs $80 to fill up.

  8. #8
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    If gas goes back to $4 (or higher) and stays there, they may make it this time.

    GM and (less so) Ford are loaded with over-heavy, over-thirsty cars that will suffer a mass die-off if it costs $80 to fill up.
    At least Ford is ready with the Fiesta and new Focus.

    Speaking of how Ford is going to Focus, have you seen the Focus Electric? Kind of looks like a cross between an Aston Martin and a Citroen Ami:


  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,776
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    At least Ford is ready with the Fiesta and new Focus.

    Speaking of how Ford is going to Focus, have you seen the Focus Electric? Kind of looks like a cross between an Aston Martin and a Citroen Ami:

    Yeah!

    It looks swanky enough (for an economy-compact type of car) but there's the rub. I'm bearish on electric cars because as impressive as they certainly are as technology, as consumer products they don't make sense to me. The cost premium is still very high relative to an otherwise similar car - and the way I look at it, if the real object is saving money (by spending less on fuel) but the car costs so much it eats away most if not all of its efficiency advantages in up-front costs and higher down-the-road operating costs (for repairing/replacing the electric components, etc.) then it defeats the whole purpose.

    Maybe I'm just dumb or don't "get it." But it seems to me if you, as a consumer, were really looking to save money you'd just go out and buy a 2-3 year old economy compact that gets 35-40 MPG for under $10,000 and drive the wheels off the thing.

    Right?

    Also, I'm still waiting to see how these things perform in cold-weather environments. It has been below freezing here now for almost six weeks, with a few days of respite in between. How would 12 degree (or less) temps affect battery performance/range? How effective is the heater?

    Etc?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
    Posts
    2,072

    Larger than the original

    We've got them here in Australia and I like the look of them.
    They may be a little overpriced though and we are only getting that model

    I had an original 500D (Bambina) back in the 60's. air cooled500cc twin cyl
    4 speed manual (crashbox) non-synchro. Lots of fun to drive albeit somewaht underpowered
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  11. #11
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408
    A LOT larger than the original:


  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,776
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    A LOT larger than the original:

    It's startling, isn't it? New cars - all of them - are huge - relative to their forbears.

    Here's a picture of a new Camaro parked next to my '76 Trans Am. The Trans-Am is a pretty large car. It has a 108 inch wheelbase (big for a coupe) and weighs about 3,800 pounds. But it looks petite compared to the new Camaro!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chicago vicinity
    Posts
    549
    I remember the first Honda Civics back in 1970. They were like a fly in a buttercup compare to today's Civics.

  14. #14
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lincolnshire, United Kingdom.
    Posts
    3,436
    [quote=Eric;130121]It's startling, isn't it? New cars - all of them - are huge - relative to their forbears.

    [quote]

    T'ain't only the cars, Eric. I was looking at a picture of me back in the 70s - just like cars the modern version of me is twice the size, might go a bit faster but sure stops quicker.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  15. #15
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408

  16. #16
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia
    Posts
    2,072
    I doubt that the new minis are powered by the "prince of darkness"
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  17. #17
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,776
    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1 View Post
    I doubt that the new minis are powered by the "prince of darkness"
    Thank God, no!

    I still prefer the originals (even though I also like the new Mini). The old models were much more accessible and even though they did have their issues, most of the work you could do yourself - which rules out pretty much all new cars...

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,072
    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1 View Post
    I doubt that the new minis are powered by the "prince of darkness"
    They've found something even worse. . . Bosch!

  19. #19
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408
    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1 View Post
    I doubt that the new minis are powered by the "prince of darkness"
    At least the new ones have a suspension.

  20. #20
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,776
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    At least the new ones have a suspension.
    Yes, that's one of the upsides. So is much better reliability/build quality - as well as features that were inconceivable (even among exotic cars) 30 something years ago.

    The downsides are these new cars cost a fortune; not just to buy but also to maintain, since all but the most basic service is beyond the skill set (and toolbox) of the average person.

    On balance, I'm not sure which is the better deal...

    One thing for sure (for me). I'd be much more favorably inclined toward modern cars if all the safety crap that they're required to have and which we're forced to buy were optional.

    I don't want six air bags; I can easily live without stability/traction control and ABS.

    Cars would cost thousands less if such equipment were not mandatory (or de facto mandatory).

Similar Threads

  1. Chrysler 300 convertible
    By Eric in forum Classic Car Corner
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-17-2010, 08:55 PM
  2. Nothing new at Chrysler . . .
    By Eric in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-18-2009, 09:19 AM
  3. Chrysler Carnage:
    By misterdecibel in forum Automotive News
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-18-2009, 12:26 PM
  4. Chrysler does ok... outside the USA!
    By Eric in forum Automotive News
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-07-2008, 12:50 PM
  5. What should Chrysler do?
    By Eric in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-06-2007, 04:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •