By on July 11, 2010

Fiat retreated from U.S. shores in 1983, but that doesn’t stop die-hard Fiat fans from keeping their Fix-it-again-Tonys alive, and from congregating once a year. This weekend, the annual convention of the Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited was held at the Biltmore in Asheville, NC. At their closing dinner, Laura Soave, Head of Fiat North America, made Fiat fans an offer they can hardly refuse:

Get first dibs at the Fiat Cinquecento ‘Prima Edizione’ (First Edition) model. A total of 500 of the collector-edition Fiat 500 models will be sold in the United States. And what makes la Prima Edizione so especiale? Wait until you hear this:

  • Each Fiat Cinquecento Prima Edizione will feature a sequentially numbered vehicle identification number (VIN) and a matching badge
  • Fiat fans will be able to select their model build number
  • A total of 500 Prima Edizione vehicles will be sold in the United States

Perfettamente. Just great.

Once Fiat fans find out that the Cinquecento Prima Edizione will be available in bianco (white), rosso (red) and grigio (gray), that car will be oversubscribed.

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17 Comments on “Incredibile! Il Cinquecento Prima Edizione...”

  • avatar

    Nice! Not as nice as the Mercury girl, but nice nonetheless.

    And this kind of thing usually make the diehards fall in love all over againn. I see no foul, neither do the fans, but some think this opportunistic and cynical. Hard to please ecrybody!

  • avatar

    The new 500 doesn’t look as appealing when placed next to the classic 500.

  • avatar

    “doesn’t stop die-hard Fiat fans from keeping their Fix-it-again-Tonys alive”

    Et tu, Brute?


    However, for the sake of car enthusiasts in America, I hope the case will be, in the words of Julius Cesar, “Veni, vidi, vici”.

  • avatar

    I’ll bet that young lady was not even born yet when the last Fiats were sold here. Fiat has been gone for long enough that many prospective American buyers will have no personal memory of, or experience with Fix it again Tony. This means Fiat is essentially starting from a clean slate.

    Me? I owned a Fiat 128 and one of my sisters owned an X-1/9. I welcome Fiat back to North America, but I will stick with Honda.

    • 0 avatar

      Not really because potential buyers have older relatives who remember, and who mostly won’t say nice things about Fiat.

      In the long term the market seems to me to have gone for long term reliability to keep ownership costs down over the life of the car. That’s why the Japanese, and lately Koreans have been successful here. In tough economic times, that seems even more likely.

      Fiat is either starting with a bad rep, or at best no rep, which will cause many to take a “wait and see” approach to determining Fiat’s reliability. Can Fiat sell enough cars to fashionistas to survive say 5 years before the average buyer is confident in their products?

      Some early bad reports on reliability will kill Fiat very quickly.

      Even if Fiat is on par with say VW (and that remains to be seen), why wouldn’t people still prefer Honda or Hyundai or KIA?

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not so sure young people will listen to the advice of their elders. Jaguar and Land Rover have always had bad reputations and people still buy them. Likewise VW with its hit and miss quality and customer service.

      I have a feeling that Fiat will be niche brand targeted at fashionistas. Volkswagen is the best selling European make in the U.S. market and it only sells around 250,000 units per year and has a market share of around 2%. Fiat is going to have do a lot better than VW if it is ever going to be anything more than a niche brand.

  • avatar

    Wow – now that’s really something. The first 500 cars will have sequentially-numbered VINs? That’s an amazing trick. Is the matching badge attached to the dash at the bottom of the windshield on the driver’s side? I guess it’s cool that you can pick which one you want, but that’s not exactly magic either. They ought to include an extended warranty and lifetime roadside assistance, considering how well-built the first 500 Fiats are likely to be. A little spiff for the early adopters.

    As for “Fix it again Tony,” FIAT was the first car brand where I learned what the letters stood for in more than one language. In German, FIAT stands for “Fehler in allen Teilen.” (Defects in every part) That might be a good subject for an article – what car companies’ abbreviations have come to mean in different languages and which one has the most.

  • avatar

    Here’s hoping that FIAT finds a market here in the USA…sure, it may be a niche market, but if profitable, who cares? Given all of the look-alike blobs on the road these days, something different and unique will be a welcome addition to the landscape. And the thought of Alfas plying the roads again is truly tasty! Was at the local Benz dealership testing a C300 (not overly impressed, by the way) and what pulls into the dealership? A pristine (and fine-sounding, might I say) Alfa Romeo Milano! Maybe (probably) they won’t be as reliable as a Honda, but when parked next to an Accord…give me the Alfa…

  • avatar

    As a former fiat owner (124 sport and a 128) It’s great they’re back! I love ’em. I’ll buy one.

  • avatar

    For Fiat enthusiasts in the US, buying a Cinquecento ‘Prima Edizione’ is probably a decent proposition, as far as collectible cars are concerned. If Fiat does get reestablished here and grow their brand, the total number of Fiat enthusiasts will increase so the Prima Edizione 500s will hold value. If Fiat once again fails to get established here, well, orphaned brands have their own collectibility. The Fiats and Alfas I see on Bring A Trailer fetch decent money.

  • avatar

    Ha. “Fix it again Tony.” Haven’t heard that before.


  • avatar

    I agree with ScottMcG that it would be nice if the first 500 cars gave you something you can’t get on car #501 besides a number. You know, special interior trim, etc.

    Otherwise, I think it’s nice that that Fiat gal is named after an Italian wine.

  • avatar

    “Even if Fiat is on par with say VW (and that remains to be seen), why wouldn’t people still prefer Honda or Hyundai or KIA?”

    Because they have not the same buyers.
    People who buys Kia and Hyundais see cars as transport.
    People who buys Fiat 500 and Alfa are looking for an image.

    • 0 avatar

      You’re right, of course.

      I’m kinda merging this discussion with the “stand alone dealer” discussion of a day or two ago.

      The 500 is for fashionistas, but that’s a limited and temporary market. For Fiat to actually survive, much less do well, they’ll have to provide basic transport machines, w/o the image. I doubt if Fiat is up to competing with the Japanese – at least in the NA market.

  • avatar

    Well, i´m not sure how the Fiat 500 will do in the usa.
    Will it be a short lived fashion item, or will it be a classic?
    That remains to be seen.
    In Europe it´s already a classic.

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