The FIAT Gucci’s are gone, as is the Abarth, and as hard as our dealers try to maintain and build excitement in this brand – which, may I say, I am an unabashed devotee of – I am increasingly more disappointed in FIAT’s seeming lack of ability to truly hold the American interest – rather, teasing them for months as they have done in the past and then creating such an overwhelming shortage in the product that it does little more than incite and completely turn off would be customers.
I had hoped that lessons had been learned with the extremely underwhelming initial introduction to the FIAT back in the American market in 2011. Despite, whatever marketing misjudgments were made, fortunately, the quality of design of the car and it’s features have continued to build an interest – dare I say, DESPITE erratic and indeed somewhat condescending marketing campaigns – telling women (or at least having Jennifer Lopez telling us) straight out that we should spend $2k more on the Gucci model. Never mind that it was priced higher that the high performance Abarth…another debacle of epic proportions!
More than six months of non-stop hype about this vehicle, which, more than succeed at bringing about intended affect – a fever level pitch of excitement. And then the first Abarth hit the dealerships…and the commercials that had run nonstop since Super Bowl and the digital advertising came to a screeching halt! But why? This was not to be a limited edition like the Pink Ribbon Edition, or the Gucci Model – this was to be the mainstay (albeit, high end) that was going to bring in the masculine and performance conscience customer – to which, Olivier Francois, head of the Fiat brand and chief marketing officer for Fiat for Chrysler Group, I still fervently assert is also, very much a woman.
Despite your concerted and single-focused efforts to market myopically to the male population. However, at this point marketing strategy seems to have no bearing, as FIAT failed considerably at even being to address consumer demand. Announcing within two weeks after delivering the first Abarths to the Dealerships that there would be no more make for the model year.
So, I guess I ask the obvious question. What plans does FIAT have for seriously stepping up its game in the American market?
Consumers that have been fortunate enough to get their hands on a FIAT know that the style, performance and value is there. However, as we move into the third season of the FIAT in America, I think that I safely echo the sentiments of many consumers when I say that the U.S. public has been less than overwhelmed about the commitment that FIAT has exhibited about bringing its product into the American market. FIAT has shown it’s self to be the the “”Little Car That Could”… Can FIAT Corporation follow suit?
The Tagliero Fiat garage in Asmara, Eritrea by Eric Lafforgue on Flickr.
By The Greenway Girl
As if our weather here in Florida, hasn’t already fooled us into thinking that it’s Spring. Another sure sign that Spring has almost sprung - Daylight Savings starts this weekend.
You will not find me to be one of those critics grumbling about the archaicness of Daylight Savings Time. No siree, Bob! In fact, I am almost giddy at the thought of being able to leave work while there is still plenty of daylight to enjoy. Yes, even in Florida it is possible to get the Winter Blues.
As jubilant as I am about extended daylight hours, I am also a mom and so by nature, a worrier. More daylight in the evenings means that our children will be walking to school and waiting at school bus stops in the morning while it is still dark.This school year alone, in Central Florida, we have seen avoidable accidents that have resuled in injuries or death of 16 of our students.
The switch into Daylight Savings Time can have a dramatic effect on disrupting our regular sleep cycle as it puts us out of sync with our circadian rhythm. The biggest impacts of the time change on drivers can be felt on some of the key skills that affect the quality of our driving – poorer concentration, alertness behind the wheel and reaction time to potential hazards.
Therefore, it is critical that we all take the issue of safety on ourselves when driving, but especially during times that children are on their way to or returning from school.
By The Numbers
According to the National Safety Council, chances of being struck and killed as a pedestrian increase 1100% during hours of dark.
Additional research finds that pedestrians are three times more likely to be hit and killed by cars right after the switch.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension Program published a report that states “pedestrians walking along a road in dark clothing in the early morning or at night are first seen approximately 55 feet away, giving a driver less than one second reaction time. A driver traveling at 60 mph needs over 260 feet to stop”. Black\Blue can be seen 55 feet. White can be seen 180 feet ahead. Reflective materials can be seen at 200 - 1500 feet or more.
Prepare and Prevent
Making an effort to adapt to the time change can really pay off. Here are tips to help adjust to the time change:
Getting into the groove - Be aware of how your own body adapts to the time change and how that may affect your ability to concentrate and avoid hazards. Plan to get to bed earlier on Sunday to be ready for the Monday morning commute.
Lights on for safety - Prepare your vehicle for the change in conditions, particularly the darker morning commutes. Clean your vehicle’s headlights and check they are all working properly, especially your rear lights.
Can you see me now? - If walking, running or biking in the early moning hours or at night, wear white or light colors, use appropriate lighting on your bike, and always wear highly-reflective gear which provides 360° visibility.
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about how to keep your family, friends, and yourself safe and share the road!
#JEEP. SWEET then and now!!!
Abarth - North Las vegas arts district