The 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show marked more than the relaunch of an iconic nameplate in the 2017 FIAT® 124 Spider. This year’s show represented a victory lap for the FIAT brand, delivery on a promise to both its consumers and dealers, and irrefutable proof of the brand’s evolution in the North American market.
When FIAT debuted the 2012 FIAT 500 on the same stage nearly five years ago, the market for small cars was practically non-existent in North America and the brand had yet to open its first FIAT Studio. But, to quote Olivier François, FCA Global Chief Marketing Officer, “FIAT went from a speech to a brand in record time.”
Today brand awareness is soaring, 95% of FIAT purchases are conquest sales, and FIAT enjoys the highest level of perception in the North American market. During his presentation at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Mr. François attributed much of the FIAT brand’s success to its embodiment of an ideal rather than a collection of features and benefits. In his presentation to a packed house, Mr. François pointed to the FIAT brand’s ability to deliver the freedom of expression to its consumers and the unique sense of style only the Italian culture can deliver as key drivers to its success.
A staple of European cinema and old Hollywood, the FIAT brand has reached new heights in terms of its pop culture crossover. Two examples of FIAT vehicles turned art installations were displayed on the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show floor in the form of the FIAT 500e Star Wars: The Force Awakens Stormtrooper and the exclusive collaboration with Diane Von Furstenberg — the custom-wrapped DVF FIAT 500X.
The launch of the FIAT 500X with available all-wheel drive earlier this year represented an expansion into new markets, delivering a vehicle capable of handling any driving conditions. It imparted the freedom to roam, the freedom to wander at will. At the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, FIAT debuted a vehicle that takes this concept even further and perfectly embodies the singular freedom of the open road and the Italian art of driving: the 2017 FIAT 124 Spider. The all-new FIAT 124 Spider takes design and performance cues like rear-wheel drive, an excellent power-to-weight ratio and short-throw shifting from its iconic predecessors. But the new roadster also features today’s latest technological amenities and safety features. It also delivers on a promise made by FIAT to its Studios to bring back a sports car that quickens the pulse of its consumers. In the words of Mr. François, “This convertible is not a car that changes, it’s a car that changes you.”
Watch the entire presentation by Olivier François, FCA Global Chief Marketing Officer.