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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 brandThe 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

Parts adapted from Fiat NA press release


Terry said...

Hi Chris,

Did Ms. Soave give any hints that the Abarth may arrive before the last quarter of 2011?


Anonymous said...

That's great news about getting a REAL Abarth version and not just the turbo engine. I just want to know when I can order my Abarth! said...

Hi guys,

Yes, the Abarth is coming, but right now, they are concentrating on first things first, the launch of the 500 sedan and then the 500C. So no new time frames.

One thing I was impressed with in my talks with the people from Chrysler/Fiat is the level of commitment and intensity these folks have on making the very best vehicles possible.

Want an example? They are doing reliability tests on the new Jeep Cherokee, driving an actual (not simulated) combined 2.5 million miles in just 13 weeks.

By the way, here's a little trivia, the European Fiat 500 was driven on tests more than 2.4 million Km.

Rusty said...

Wow is it just me or is she Super Cute for an executive... I'd start giggling like a little girl if I heard her talk cars like an abarthisti

Jordan said...

Nice little hint about the Abarth! I really hope they're not still deciding whether or not to bring it based on Fiat 500 sales. Not that I don't expect it to do well, but I certainly don't want a base Fiat.

Anonymous said...

I hope they bring the Abarth SS sometimes by May 2011. Growing up in Eritrea, the 1950/1960 Fiat 500 were all over Asmara. In the 80's, when I was a child, the majority of cars were Fiat 600 and 500. I can't wait to own Fiat 500 Abarth SS.