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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nov 24: When is a Fiat not a Fiat

When is a Fiat, not a Fiat?

Ah, the famous Fiat 124 Spider. Almost everyone's idea of an inexpensive Italian sportscar, but the key word here is "Italian". What, with all the other sportscars from Italy costing BIG bucks, this little gem was the next best thing, unless you wanted to rob a bank or run some sort of ponzi scheme. Naw, much better to revel in this fun little Fiat sports car for relatively little coin. Gone but not forgotten, after all didn't Mazda develop their beloved Miata to take the place of cars like this Fiat 124 or those old and long gone Brit roadsters?

The Miata........

........a great little car and its gotten better with each new generation. Maybe time for Fiat to develop a new, little and affordable car to compete against the Mazda? Well, the time is exactly right, since Fiat unveiled their new 124 at last week's Los Angeles Auto Show. The result.........

Look familiar? You have a good eye, since to compete with the Miata, Fiat has gone into a joint venture with Mazda and developed their own sports model based on the Miata. Although they have done a good job of adding in 124 design features, there is no doubt about its origins. A bad thing? No, not at all. These days there are all sorts of cars that exist as different models by different companies, such as the Scion and Subaru sports coupes - same car, different name. With all the competition these days, it's very tough to make a case for spending millions (billions?) to develop a car for a relatively small market segment.

When is another Fiat not a Fiat?

Recognize the bottom pic as the Dodge Journey? Recognize the top pic as the Fiat Freemont? Probably not, but to enter this segment in Europe, it was easy for Fiat to "borrow" one of their vehicles from the North American market and rebadge it as a Fiat crossover. Make a few minor changes and for a couple of hundred bucks you get yourself a brand new vehicle for Europe. Inspired?

This makes sense to me, although it is rather odd to see the companies advertising that, their version is the best, when the dealership next door has the same thing. Fiat is not the only one to do this. Recognize the origins of this Chevy van? Hint, check out the Nissan below it.

Just the realities of today's ultra competitive and ultra fragmented market place.

Want to see one more (do you have a choice?)?. Now, this one is only sold in Europe........

This is the Lancia Thema. Look familiar?

Until next time........

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