Italian fiat revival

August 12, 2007

In 1957 the F500 Cinquecento,  the symbol of Italian pride was at the height of it’s popularity. 

Half a century later Fiat’s chief executive, Luca De Meo has masterfully designed a tribute to the nostalgic Cinquecento which captured the hearts and minds of Italians, appealing to Italian patriotism.  Optional extras include a stripe in the colours of the Italian flag and flags embroidered into the upholstery.

His motivation was to capture a slice of the retro market following in the footsteps of BMW with it’s launch of the Mini.  The revival of the Fiat groups ailing fortunes is largely attributable to the popularity of the car, with Fiat being the fastest growing car maker in the European region in 2006.  57,000 of the cars have sold in just one month with many more on order.

 The appeal of the car is also a sign of Europe’s interest in smaller cars with increased fuel prices and congestion on the roads,  a lesson learnt by BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler.

The revamped 500 is made in Poland, rather than ‘made in Italy’, but it is the pride and joy of Italians. It is reminiscent of the Cinquecento and the romance is the important thing to Italian pride.  Just when Fiat’s fortunes were looking doomed, there have been massive shake ups in management structure and a resurgence of the Fiat brand.

Fiat’s revenues have climbed by 35% in 2006 with the Fiat group once again a viable concern.

The revival of the legendary F500 was visionary, for the F500 was an Italian icon and a symbol of Italian pride as the people’s car.

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