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Funny little Italian cars are finally coming into vogue, or so it seems after Fiat reported its best month of U.S. sales to date in February.
“I’m holding my breath, but to beat February would be a big, big win for us,” Fiat brand head Timothy Kuniskis told the Detroit Free Press.
With 3,227 units sold last month, it seems the company is on an upward trend. Still, it’s not terribly surprising because sub-compacts and compacts are out-pacing every other market segment for growth. Thanks in no small part to rising gas prices, the two sections are attracting new buyers to trade in larger vehicles in anticipation of fuel climbing beyond $4 per gallon in the near future.
While it’s undeniable that economic factors are playing a big part in boosting Fiat and other small car manufacturers, the company’s marketing strategy also deserves recognition.
Edgy ads like the Fist 500 Abarth Superbowl commerical and those that followed it are helping to bring the otherwise obscure name in front of consumers.
That obscurity is the direct result of Fiat’s 28-year hiatus from the American market. When the brand relaunched last March it had little marketing support and could have been written off as an unfortunate experiment by Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Nevertheless, it seems like the company might have actually times its release wisely, leaving it in a position to sell sub-compact cars with Italian styling cues in a market where most of the competition sells sans-pizzazz.
Managing to replicate its February sales would be a big victory for the company, which is seeing growing interest in the hot-rod Abarth thanks to the aforementioned commercial and others like the recently-aired “House Arrest” spot featuring notorious badboy Charlie Sheen and a slew of sexy women.
Thankfully, it won’t take long to see how the company fares, at least in the short term. If current market trends are any indication of consumer preference there may be more Fiats in sight than you otherwise might have expected.
GALLERY: Fiat 500 Abarth
[Source: Detroit Free Press]