Coming off the success of its luxury Gucci edition, Fiat unveils the devilish 500 Cattiva this Friday at Concorso Italiano in Monterey, Calif.
“The Fiat brand is all about personalization and self-expression,” says Jason Stoicevich, head of Fiat brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC, calling the Cattiva’s look “devilish” and “designed-for-the-street.”
In Italian, cattiva can describe a person or situation that is naughty yet cool. The custom edition features an aggressive demeanor and “blacked out” windows.
While the Gucci partnership involved creation of many accessory companion products, this is a stand-alone endeavor, Ariel Gavilan, Fiat brand head of communications, tells Marketing Daily.
Cattiva will be supported through social media and word-of-mouth marketing, Gavilan said, but declined to reveal how many units will ship in the fourth quarter.
“It's a common practice for auto manufacturers to introduce limited editions to create a buzz for their brands,” says Sharon Sudol, automotive consultant and creator of The Car Life. “They keep the units manufactured very low so they sell out and create a demand, not only for the limited edition, but for residual sales across the brand.
“One of the best examples is the Indy 500 Pace Car,” Sudol adds. “Every year there is a limited edition based on that car.”
First introduced in Europe in 2011, the Fiat 500 Gucci Edition was touted as a pairing of two Italian icons of style and came to the U.S. this past June.
“The success of the Fiat 500 by Gucci demonstrates that there is a clientele in America that appreciates and demands high-quality small cars loaded with the craftsmanship, technology and the style that only the Italians can offer,” Stoicevich told reporters at the time.
While the Fiat 500 and Mini both target a mid-price consumer with a taste for self-expression, it would be unfair to compare the brands directly. Fiat has been back in the U.S. market only since March 2011.