Published Tuesday, 08 November, 2011 by Nathan Spencer.
Published Tuesday, 08 November, 2011 by Nathan Spencer.
LAS VEGAS ? The Fiat 500 has been named to the list of hottest vehicles at the 2011 SEMA Show, beating out a dozen competitors in its category, including the Hyundai Veloster, Ford Fiesta, Honda Civic and Scion iQ.
The Fiat 500 took home honors in the new hottest sport compact car category. The crowded field also included the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Focus, Honda CR-Z, Lexus IS, Mazda 2, Scion tC and Subaru Impreza.
The Chevrolet Camaro, Ford F-Series and Jeep Wrangler were the winners in their respective categories for the second year in a row.
The Camaro was named the hottest car at the 2011 SEMA Show, blowing past the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, Kia Soul, Lexus CT 200h and Mazda 5.
The Ford F-Series was named the hottest truck at the 2011 SEMA Show, defeating the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Transit Connect, GMC Canyon, GMC Sierra, Ram, Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra.
The Jeep Wrangler was picked as the hottest 4x4-SUV, beating the 2012 Dodge Durango, Dodge Journey, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4 and Toyota FJ Cruiser.
SEMA said the awards were designed to point consumers toward the "most accessory-friendly vehicles on the market."
Show organizers said contender vehicles were picked "based on the support the automaker has demonstrated to the SEMA industry, pre-registrations of the show's feature vehicles, involvement in one or more SEMA OEM collaboration programs, coverage in enthusiast publications and more."
It is the second year for the SEMA awards.
Published Wednesday, 02 November, 2011 by Nathan Spencer.
?I think what is outstanding is that we won for our iconic vehicle, the Jeep Wrangler, and with the just-introduced Fiat 500. It tells the story of both the heritage of the brand and the new story of the brand,? said Pietro Gorlier, CEO of Mopar, Chrysler's parts division.
Hottest car went to the Chevrolet Camaro, and the truck award went to the Ford F-Series pickup.
?Vehicles that show up here at SEMA are a clear indication of what our industry sees as the movers and shakers, which are going to be leading the trends, which will be the trendsetting models in the upcoming year,? SEMA CEO Christopher Kersting said.
Published Tuesday, 01 November, 2011 by Nathan Spencer.
Over the past couple of months, the automaker -- which is part of the Chrysler LLC organization in Auburn Hills, Mich. -- held over a dozen live storytelling events in New York and other markets, then recorded and filmed them for a program called "Alternate Routes."
The radio and Web program, which aligns with the company's urban-resonant "Life is best when driven" mantra, puts two-minute abbreviations of those performances on CBS radio stations in the New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Orlando markets. The radio ads direct viewers to Fiat's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fiatusa), where the performances can be heard and seen in their entirety as filmed before a live audience.
The effort was developed with Universal McCann, CBS Radio Altitude Group and creative branding company RadioFace.
Casey Hurbis, head of media, social media and CRM at Fiat, said the effort will comprise 12 stories that air over an eight-week period starting this week, plus eight other story performances on the Fiat Facebook page. "We have been running a mass-media play on national broadcasts geared toward building awareness," he says. "So when the Altitude Group brought this to us, we started going though the concept and idea, saw the media connection between what Moth and storytelling does and what the Fiat brand represents."
The radio spots make spare mention of Fiat, but allude to the brand personality. Voiceover for the radio assets say "That's Matteson Perry [one of the storytellers] talking about the most exciting and dangerous day in his life. It's part of 'Alternate Routes,' a new storytelling experience brought to you by Fiat. Fiat believes life is best when driven."
"There is a nod and a mention of Fiat, but it's really about the content, the story," says Hurbis. "The two minutes draw you in, so you want to know about the story. We see with folks interested in Fiat and with owners that they love culture and love to discover new things." He says the company listened to some 200 performances before tapping the top ones to feature in the campaign. Matteson Perry, for example, talks about his experience running with the bulls (or away from them) in Pamplona, Spain.
"We are still building awareness around Fiat," says Hurbis. "The Moth and storytelling seemed a natural fit for Fiat. We see connection with storytelling and life experience."
Published Monday, 31 October, 2011 by Nathan Spencer.
The Fiat 500 Abarth is designed for track enthusiasts and driving-purists, the company said. The car will be equipped with a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, performance-tuned suspension and brake systems and race-inspired design and technology features not traditionally included on the Fiat 500.
Pricing details were not disclosed.
The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth will go on sale during the first quarter of next year, giving Fiat dealers a third version of the stylish micro car.
Chrysler majority-owner Fiat reintroduced the Fiat brand in March after a 28-year absence in the U.S.
Through September, 13,861 Fiat 500s were sold in the U.S., according to Autodata.
Laura Soave, head of the Fiat brand in the U.S., said in August that Chrysler probably will fall short of its initial goal of 50,000 Fiat 500s in North America this year.Sales of the Fiat 500 were held-back by a slower than expected opening of Fiat dealers in the U.S. Fiat now has 124 U.S. dealers. The Fiat 500 is produced at Chrysler?s plant in Toluca, Mexico.
Published Friday, 28 October, 2011 by Nathan Spencer.
Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The following companies? shares may have unusual moves in European trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 3.6 percent to 249.42. The Stoxx 50 Index gained 3.2 percent to 2,362.64. The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, a benchmark measure for nations using the euro, jumped 6.1 percent to 2,476.92.
Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA (ACS SM): The Spanish construction company agreed to sell 93 percent of the company that owns the Extresol II thermosolar plant to GE Energy Financial Services and a fund backed by Germany?s KGAL for 111.1 million euros ($157.6 million). The Madrid-based company rose 3.4 percent to 28.90 euros.
Altarea SCA (ALTA FP): Altarea, controlled by property entrepreneur Alain Taravella, made an offer for French internet retailer Rue du Commerce SA (RDC FP) that values the company at about 100 million euros. Altarea?s offer is 48 percent above yesterday?s share price of 6.08 euros when Rue du Commerce was suspended from trading. Altarea?s shares were unchanged at 129.80 euros.
Areva SA (AREVA FP): The world?s largest provider of nuclear equipment and services said third-quarter sales dropped 2.9 percent to 1.95 billion euros because of disruptions at its waste recycling business. The shares advanced 5.3 percent to 22.50 euros.
Banco Espirito Santo SA (BES PL): Portugal?s biggest publicly traded bank in market value will try to meet capital requirements without tapping the 12 billion-euro recapitalization facility for Portuguese lenders that?s part of the country?s financial assistance program, Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Salgado said. The shares jumped 8.7 percent to 1.58 euros.
Fiat SpA (F IM): The Italian carmaker that owns Chrysler Group LLC said third-quarter profit more than tripled to 851 million euros on higher demand for the American automaker?s vehicles. Fiat gained 4.5 percent to 5.13 euros.
Renault SA (RNO FP): France?s second-biggest carmaker said third-quarter sales rose 12 percent to 9.75 billion euros on higher demand for the Sandero model in Brazil and Russia. The shares climbed 5.6 percent to 30.31 euros.
Telenet Group Holding NV (TNET BB): The Belgian cable operator controlled by Liberty Global Inc. raised its profit forecast as customers sign up to more products and higher-priced broadband Internet and mobile-telephony contracts. Telenet gained 2.8 percent to 29.29 euros.
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Published Thursday, 27 October, 2011 by Nathan Spencer.
First off, we?re going to avoid any ?element? jokes here. Too easy. Now into its first year in the U.S. market, the adorable little 500 has something to prove to the aftermarket hordes gathering at the 2011 SEMA show. The Fiat 500 Carbon and 500 Titanium will occupy the Mopar booth along with larger, more-American Chrysler Group products. Here are some details on the unalloyed pair. (Okay, just that one.)
Fiat 500 Titanium
The 500 Titanium (above) has been given the fully dark treatment: All of the former brightwork?the wheels, the brake calipers, and even the gauge-cluster brow?are redone in appropriately named Matte Titanium. LED fog-light spears sit in a one-off front fascia that?s set off by honeycomb grille work. Like any good Mopar-massaged vehicle, the 500 also benefits from lowering springs, a cold-air intake, and a cat-back exhaust, the latter terminating in a trapezoidal, center-exit tip. Bolstered performance seats covered in black leather round out the interior.
Fiat 500 Carbon
Replace the Titanium?s black paint with Anodized Azzurro (we?ll call it blue), switch to black trim, and tone everything down un po, and you?ve got the 500 Carbon. It takes the front clip from a 500 Sport and adds carbon-fiber fog-lamp surrounds, a chin spoiler, and shiny black trim. The wheels are similarly shiny 17-inchers. Carbon fiber also dresses up the mirrors and is used to create a liftgate spoiler. Mopar-available elements (sorry, that?s two references) include a cat-back exhaust, a strut-tower brace, and a cold-air intake, while the whole thing sits on custom lowering springs.