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Monday, July 30, 2018

Fiat and Hoonigan Looking for Racers!

Fiat 124 Abarth Rally

Fiat and the Hoonigan brand is holding a contest looking for racers to compete for a free car and to join the Hoonigan team.  Ten contestants will be selected to compete in a series of driving challenges, and the winner will get a track-ready Fiat 124 Spider Abarth specially modified and prepared by Hoonigan, the car motorsports enthusiast brand. 

Sara Price, last year's winner, competing in a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Rally factory-built racecar in the Mt. Washington Hillclimb, the nation’s oldest hillclimb event.

Entering is easy, just create a 60-second video on your phone about why you should be included in the competition, and upload it to YouTube with the #hooniganswanted hashtag. You then fill out the form on, and promote your video on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Submission period ends at 12pm PDT on August 10th. So get going!

Below is the official Fiat press release with details:

FIAT Brand and Hoonigan Team Up for Next Great Driver Search

  • After the success of crowning the next great female racer last summer, the FIAT brand and Hoonigan are teaming up for a second straight year to support auto racing and to find the next great driver/Hoonigan personality with this year’s competition
  • Contestants will be put through a number of driving challenges in FIAT models: the Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, and (in the ultimate challenge) a Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Car - FIAT’s factory-built race car
  • Finalists will be selected by celebrity drivers and team captains, including Rhys Millen
  • Winner will be announced in September
  • Follow the competition as it rolls out on FIAT and Hoonigan social channels
  • Included with the purchase of every 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth and 124 Spider Abarth is the opportunity for new owners to attend a segment-exclusive Abarth Driving Experience at no additional charge

Hoonigans wanted!

FIAT Brand North America and Hoonigan, a motorsport-lifestyle brand, are teaming up for a second straight year to find the next Hoonigan great driver.

Beginning this week, drivers who feel their skills are worthy may submit their video entries via, illustrating why they should be chosen to be a part of the challenge series.

“Building on last year’s success, FIAT will once again team up with Hoonigan in search of the next great driver,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “The Abarth name is synonymous with a strong racing heritage and finalists will have a unique opportunity to showcase their skills in our Italian-designed, fun-to-drive Fiat 500 and 124 Spider Abarth models.”

From all submissions, 10 contestants will be chosen to battle for the chance to join the Hoonigan team. In response to the tremendous and passionate enthusiasm received from last year’s search for the next great female racer, this year’s competition is expanded to include both female and male contestants.

Top finalists will be selected and divided by each of the celebrity drivers and Team Captains, including Rhys Millen, who has won countless racing championships, as well as Hill Climb records, and wins in multiple disciplines, including off road, drifting, rally and rally cross.

Over five episodes, the teams will be put through a number of challenges in a Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 124 Spider Abarth and Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Car models, testing their skill behind the wheel, team work, pit duty, stunt driving and time-attack trials, to name a few.

This year’s grand prize winner will receive a custom Fiat 124 Spider Abarth track-ready car (custom modified by the Hoonigan team). Viewers will be able to watch the vehicle build in its entirety via Hoonigan’s You Tube channel on their show Garage Garage.

Last year, driver Sara Price from Canyon Lake, California, was chosen the winner from more than 150 all-female entries as the next great female racer. She went on to compete with the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Rally factory-built racecar in the Mt. Washington Hillclimb, the nation’s oldest hillclimb event.

Stay tuned to Hoonigan and FIAT social and digital channels to watch as the competition unfolds and find out which contestant will ultimately represent FIAT and be the next Hoonigan great driver.

-July 24, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Michigan


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sergio Marchionne Has Died

Sergio Marchionne

Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, passed away Wednesday, July 25, from complications following surgery. In addition to being the CEO of FCA NV, he was also the chairman and CEO of FCA US LLC, the chairman and CEO of Ferrari and the chairman of CNH (Case and New Holland) Industrial.

John Elkann, who is the chairman who controls FCA NV and also who runs EXOR, the holding company that owns most of FCA and Ferrari among other companies, has issued a statement.

EXOR announcement
July 25, 2018 , Amsterdam - It is with the deepest sadness that EXOR has learned of the passing of Sergio Marchionne.

John Elkann said: “Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone.

"I believe that the best way to honor his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion.

"My family and I will be forever grateful for what he has done. Our thoughts are with Manuela, and his sons Alessio and Tyler.

"I would ask again everyone to respect the privacy of Sergio’s family.”

Monday, July 23, 2018

Marchionne Gravely ill, Manley New CEO

Sergio Marchionne and Fiat 500

We have sad news to report that Sergio Marchionne has fallen ill and Mike Manley has been appointed as the new CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Marchionne was expected to announce his successor sometime after second-quarter results, which are being published on Wednesday, July 25, however, Marchionne has had a health crisis necessitating Manley's immediate appointment this past Saturday.

FCA has not released details on Marchionne's medical condition, but the information in Italian media has been grim, reporting he is in a deep coma, gravely ill and unlikely to recover.*  Marchionne is 66 years old and was to retire in 2019.

Mike Manley has been Head of Jeep brand since June 2009 and Head of Ram brand since October 2015. He will be implementing the Five-Year plan that Marchionne outlined on June 1st this year.

Marchionne and Elkann

John Elkann, the chairman of FCA and the great-grandson of Giovanni Agnelli, one of the original founders of Fiat and whose family would later come to control the company, was instrumental in giving Marchionne the job in 2004 to help turn the company around. Elkann himself was newly put in charge, having taken over for his uncle, Umberto Agnelli who just died that year and had himself just taken over for the legendary Gianni Agnelli who died in 2003. Marchionne became Fiat's CEO on June 1, 2004.

Fiat Auto back then was laden with debt and had suffered from a vast bureaucracy that stifled growth and innovation. Marchionne's careful and skilled leadership extracted the company from an alliance with GM via a Put Option that the late Gianni Agnelli had shrewdly made GM agree to when the two companies formed a joint venture on platform and powertrain development.

 In this alliance, GM acquired 20 percent of Fiat Auto, but the Put Option forced GM to buy the remaining 80 percent upon Fiat's request. In the early 2000s, Fiat Auto finances were in dire conditions, and by 2005 the car division was losing several million dollars a day.* That year, Marchionne successfully negotiated a $2 billion payment from GM to get out of this deal.

Marchionne took the windfall, cut the bureaucracy and overhauled the company turning it completely around. The result was just three years later in 2008, the company would have its most profitable year ever in its 109 -year history.

Marchionne wasn't done yet, and in 2009, he saw an opportunity no one else saw in acquiring the bankrupt Chrysler company. The two companies would form an alliance eventually becoming one company in 2014. This vision would be fortuitous because an economic downturn in Europe hit Fiat particularly hard and what was first a helping hand saving the Chrysler would be reciprocated by Chrysler helping Fiat weather their own economic storm over the past few years.

Fast forward to today, and the company is expected to announce soon it will be debt free, possibly by the end of this month. Under Marchionne' s 14 years of leadership, he has turned a company that had $10 billion of debt into a company valued at $40 billion and increased the Agnelli family's holding company (that controls FCA) value 10 times over, to $80 billion.***

Marchionne has not been without his controversies. A particularly sharp criticism is his ignoring European brands to concentrate and save the American brands. Fiats lack of new models has strongly upset longtime owners and enthusiasts of the brand, who feel abandoned by his actions. His moving the company headquarters to London and out of Turin and incorporating FCA in the Netherlands has also been pointedly criticized.

Criticisms aside, what cannot be argued is his commitment and around the clock effort to the company in keeping it alive. It is tragic to see someone who worked so hard not see, possibly missing it by days, the ultimate debt-free outcome he worked so hard to achieve.

Below are the latest company statements including a personal note from John Elkann:

Marchionne and Worker

FCA Announcement
With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours.

As a consequence, Mr. Marchionne will be unable to return to work.

The Board of Directors of FCA, meeting today, firstly expressed its closeness to Sergio Marchionne and his family and underlined the xtraordinary contribution, both human and professional, that he has made to the Company in these years.

The Board resolved to accelerate the CEO transition process that has been proceeding over the past months and named Mike Manley as CEO. The Board will therefore propose to the next Shareholder Meeting, to be called in the coming days, that he be elected to the Board and serve as an executive director of the Company.

In the meantime, in order to provide for his full authority and operational continuity for the company, the Board has with immediate effect granted Mr. Manley all the powers of CEO. He will also assume responsibility for the NAFTA region.

Mr. Manley and his management team will proceed with the implementation of the 2018 – 2022 Business Plan as presented on 1 June this year, a plan that will further assure FCA’s strong and independent future.

London, 21 July 2018

Statement by John Elkann
I am profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio’s state of health. It is a situation that was unthinkable until a few hours ago, and one that leaves us all with a real sense of injustice.

My first thoughts go to Sergio and his family.

What struck me about Sergio from the very beginning, when we met to talk about the possibility of him coming to work for the Group, even more than his management skills and unusual intelligence, were his human qualities, his generosity and the way he understood people.

Over the past 14 years together we have lived through successes and difficulties, internal and external crises, but also unique and unrepeatable moments, both personal and professional.

For so many, Sergio has been an enlightened leader and a matchless point of reference.

For me, he has been someone with whom to share thoughts and in whom to trust, a mentor and above all a true friend.

He taught us to think differently and to have the courage to change, often in unconventional ways, always acting with a sense of responsibility for the companies and their people.

He taught us that the only question that’s worth asking oneself at the end of every day is whether we have been able to change something for the better, whether we have been able to make a difference.

And Sergio has always made a difference, wherever his work took him and in the lives of so very many people.

Today, that difference can be seen in the culture that he introduced in all the companies he has led, a culture that has become an integral part of each and every one of them.

The succession plans we have just announced, even if not without pain from a personal point of view, mean we can guarantee the maximum possible continuity, preserving our companies’ unique cultures.

It has been my privilege to have had Sergio at my side for all these years.

I would ask everyone for their understanding in these circumstances and to respect Sergio’s privacy and that of those who are dear to him.


* Marchionne Condizioni di Salute Irreversibili
** GM Pays 2 Billion to Sever Ties

*** Updated article to clarify company value. Source: Auto News Europe

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fiat 500e and 124 Abarth on Coolest Cars List

Fiat 124 Abarth Spider

Fiats can be very practical cars, but arguably their most celebrated attribute is how much fun they are. From the cheerful 500 to the exciting 124 Abarth Spider, each one packs character and enjoyment into their just-the-right-size dimensions. It seems the experts at Driving Today agree and just listed the Fiat 500e and 124 Abarth Spider in the Top 10 List of Coolest Cars Under $35,000. Another FCA vehicle, the high-performance Dodge Challenger R/T was also named.

Fiat 500e

Driving Today was established in 1999, and their mission is to provide all you all you need to know to make satisfying car-buying and car-ownership decisions. Their automotive experts put together a list of cars the coolest cars under $35K - the average price of a new car today. The cars chosen go beyond solid transportation and are for those who want something with personality. They can be fast, stylish and/or technologically advanced. This is an excellent way to describe the whole Fiat line up, and the Fiat 500e and 124 Spider Abarth were placed high on the list of cars.

Jack R. Nerad, contributing editor, Driving Today, is quoted in FCA press release saying:

"From a pure electric vehicle, to a classic two-seat sports car, to what has to be the best muscle car bargain on the planet, FCA is offering some of the coolest cars out there. The Fiat 500e is the cheekiest EV on the street; the Fiat 124 channels the best aspects of the traditional sports car, and then there is the Dodge Challenger R/T and its beefy HEMI V-8. Each one of them is cool."

124 Abarth Spider

The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth was ranked number two coolest car and beat out notable competition including the Number 4 MINI Cooper S Convertible, Number 5 Chevrolet Camaro, Number 7 Ford Mustang and even the Number 9 Mazda MX-5 Miata! The experts at Driving Today voted the 124 Spider ahead of the Miata for its exotic Fiat / Italian heritage and design and more powerful engine.

Fiat 500e Electric Car

The Fiat 500e was ranked number six on the list, ahead of the Number 8 VW Beetle convertible, the Mustang, the Miata and the Number 10 Chevy Volt. The editors thought the limited production 500e all-electric vehicles was stylish, fun and packed with technology.

Read more:

Source: Driving Today, FCA US LLC

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2018 Fiat 500 / 500 Abarth Colors

2018 Fiat 500 Billet Argento

The 2018 Fiat 500 is available in up to 11 exterior colors, depending on model. This year, there are three models to choose from:
• Pop
• Lounge
• Abarth

Fiat has added three new colors for 2018 and has changed the name on carry over colors from the previous year. Below are all available colors, including their former name.

Available Exterior Colors for 2018:
• Brillante Red (new for 2018; late availability)
• Luminosa Orange (Formerly known as Spitfire Orange)(not available on Abarth)
• Oliva Green Pearl
• Metallo Gray (Formerly known as Rhino Clear Coat)
• Laser Blue Metallic (Formerly known as Laser Blu (Bright Metallic Blue)
• Mezzanotte Blue Pearl (new for 2018; late availability)(not available on Abarth)
• Granito Gray (Formerly known as Granito Lucente (Granite Crystal)
• Pompei Silver (Formerly known as Billet Argento (Silver)
• Vesuvio Black Pearl (new for 2018; late availability)
• Perla White Tri-coat (Formerly known as Bianco Perla (Pearl White Tri-Coat)
• Bianco White Ice (Formerly known as Bianco (White) (not available on Abarth)

The eye catching Giallo Moderna Perla color has been discontinued for 2018.

Abarth fans will be sad to see Giallo Moderna Perla (Modern Yellow Pearl) Tri-coat is no longer available. Retired for 2018 are the following colors.

  • Giallo Moderna Perla (Modern Yellow Pearl) Tri-coat
  • Grigio Cenre (Light Gray) Clear Coat
  • Celeste Blue (Light Blue) Clear Coat
  • Latte Menta (Light Green) Clear Coat
  • Nero Puro (Black Gloss) Clear Coat
  • Rosso (Red) Clear Coat
  • Verde Chiaro (Green) Clear Coat

For reference, below are the color names and paint codes available for 2018:

2018 Fiat 500 Pop and Lounge Color Codes and Names

Formerly known as Bianco (White)

Late Availability

Formerly known as Granito Lucente (Granite Crystal)

Formerly known as Laser Blu (Bright Metallic Blue)

Formerly known as Spitfire Orange

Formerly known as Rhino Clear Coat

Late Availability

Formerly known as Verde Oliva (Olive Green)

Formerly known as Bianco Perla (Pearl White Tri-Coat)

Formerly known as Billet Argento (Silver)

Late Availability


2018 Fiat 500 ABARTH Color Codes and Names

Late Availability

Formerly known as Granito Lucente (Granite Crystal)

Formerly known as Laser Blu (Bright Metallic Blue)

Formerly known as Rhino Clear Coat

Formerly known as Verde Oliva (Olive Green)

Formerly known as Bianco Perla (Pearl White Tri-Coat)

Formerly known as Billet Argento (Silver)

Late Availability

*Newly available on Abarth

Learn more:

Images:Author and FCA

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fiat Sales for June 2018

Fiat 500C and Friends

Fiat sales for June 2018 show the brand sold a total of 1,426 cars last month, a 36% drop compared to the same month a year ago.  The lack of availability of the traditional best selling hatch and Cabrio models has continued taking its toll on sales. Fiat closed the 500's production line last September to retool for the 2018 model year. While production of the 2018 500 has begun, the arrival of the new models have been painfully slow, and there is still a dramatic lack of cars at dealerships.

Fiat 500L night on the town

Sales of the Fiat 500L MPV have benefited from the lack of 500 hatch and Cabrio models, and while the sales show a drop of 15 percent compared to the same month last year, 500L sales year-to-date are still running 21 percent ahead of last year.

Sales of Fiat 500X and Spider were also down for June, 7 and 21 percent respectively.

As 2018 500 hatch and Cabrio models start filling dealer inventories this month it is expected sales of these models will rebound. How much they do, we will have to wait and see.

2019 Alfa Romeo 8C

Fiat News for June
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles presented their 5-year business plan on June 1st. The highlight of the presentation is FCA has reduced its debt dramatically and will for the first time since the Fiat/ Chrysler merger in 2009, have more cash on hand than debt at the close of business in June. While the Fiat brand was not featured in the business plan outline, comments by FCA's CEO Marchionne indicate the brand will become heavily involved in Electric and Hybrid-Technology. The new 500, which is due out in the 2020 model year, will feature these alternative powertrains. With luck, we'll see the new 500 here in this country. Meanwhile, 2019 Fiat models are on in the pipeline, with 2019 model year 124 Spiders being produced and 2019 500L MPVs in dealer order books.

Released during the 5-year business plan was Alfa Romeo's 2018-2023 model roadmap. The exciting news is there will be a new GTV Coupe, an 8C supercar, a smaller crossover utility and some stretched versions of various models. We posted the complete business plan here for your enjoyment:

500X Adventurer Edition

Joining the recently announced Fiat 500X Blue Sky Edition is a new 500X Adventurer Edition. The 500X Adventurer trim enhances the 500X's rugged, athletic good looks.

Fiat 500L Best Value Winner

The versatile and roomy Fiat 500L won the best value and lowest ownership cost award in Automotive Science Group's Annual award study. The Best Economic Performance Award is given to the vehicle with the lowest cost of ownership in its class. The Fiat 500L beat all its competitors in its segment.

Finally, the Fiat Club America Fiat FreakOut National Convention will feature Anneliese Abarth, the wife of the late Carlo Abarth, as the keynote speaker. The Fiat FreakOut is a fun, five day event filled with activities, great people and cool cars. It shouldn't be missed.

Fiat Brand Sales in the United States January through June 2018
Fiat 500Current MonthLast YearVol ChangeCurrent YTDLast Year YTDVol Change





































Sources: FCA US LLC.