I read with interest your piece on the new Fiat 500 (DW 24 January), as it pre-empted my ordering the new little ‘Car of the Year’. Impressed as I was by its design, materials and overall cuteness, and delighted that I was gaining a little town car with so much character, I was nonetheless horrified at the Fiat brand experience.
The customer service was poor, with saleswomen dressed in almost see-through white Lycra knowing next to nothing about the car. Ordering was a painstaking process whereby most of the ‘special options available’ were not available until 2009. Fiat then refused to transfer a registration plate (too costly for such a low-budget car, it said) and, finally, three weeks after ordering I got a phone call to tell me that my car will be five months later than planned because despite offering a sunroof – and having every model in a showroom with one – they are not able to make them on the production line ‘just yet’.
Fiat 500 – a great design, a lot of character, a car that will raise Fiat’s brand and win over new customers with it’s experience… but not yet.
Elizabeth Lockwood, Head of brand marketing, Addleshaw Goddard, London EC1