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Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Fiat North America CEO wows them in Asheville
Head of Fiat North America, Laura Soave, took time off of her busy schedule to visit the Fiat Lancia Unlimited (FLU) car club's national convention in Asheville, North Carolina this past weekend.
For those of us lucky enough to talk with her, she impressed us with her energy, enthusiasm and passion to bring Fiat back into the country.
Not an aloof corporate type, Ms. Soave took a genuine interest in what the enthusiasts had to say about the marque.
Here are some highlights of the brief conversation we had:
Good news for Fiat fans is she is committed to growing the brand
The American version of the 500 will be more refined, but will still retain it's iconic European looks
As for the Abarth, she could have had just the engine, but wanted the whole package
The Fiat 500 transcends many demographics, from kids just out of college to retirees
Canadian followers of this blog will be happy to hear that there is a little competition between Soave and Sergio Marchionne (who has dual Canadian and Italian citizenship) on which country, the US or Canada, will buy the most 500s
With her extensive experience in marketing, coupled with a strong background in customer relations, Soave is the perfect choice to lead the return of Fiat to the North American Market.
Thank you for your loyalty...
During the closing ceremonies of the FLU convention, Soave made a surprise announcement that members of the club would be given the first opportunity to place reservations and select their vehicle build number for the unique Fiat Cinquecento ‘Prima Edizione’ (First Edition) model. A total of 500 of these collector-edition Fiat 500 models will be sold in the United States.
“The Fiat Cinquecento Prima Edizione was developed especially with the Fiat fans in mind,” Soave said. “For over a quarter of a century, the members of this Club have kept the spirit of the Fiat and Lancia brands alive in North America through their unique and passionate support for true Italian design. We really value their loyalty, and the Prima Edizione is our gift of appreciation to these fans on behalf of Fiat North America.”
The Fiat 500 Prima Edizione will be exclusively available in three colors: Bianco (White), Rosso (Red) and Grigio (Gray). These limited-edition Fiat 500 models will be equipped with a manual transmission and will feature an exclusive Prima Edizione badge. Each of the 500 Prima Edizione vehicles will feature a sequential VIN and badge according to production order.
Fiat North America will also offer other Fiat fans the opportunity to reserve their Prima Edizione model, up to a limit of 500, via a special website that will be made available at a later date through http://www.ciaofiat.com/.
Parts adapted from Fiat NA press release