But this time they can’t be blamed on the car.
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I mean, would you?
Porsche can afford to be hard-to-get. It is an iconic brand and Porsche-o-philes would probably be willing — no, happy — to crawl on their hands and knees for 100 miles merely for the privilege of being permitted to enter a Porsche dealership. And then pay full MSRP plus 10 percent.
Fiat can’t do that.
In fact, Fiat management ought to know it must do precisely the opposite. That is, do the equivalent of crawling on its hands and knees to potential customers, in order to entice them into giving the 500 — and Fiat — a shot at their business.
Remember: This is a brand that most Americans under 45 have no living memory of. Or, they have bad memories of. As in Fix It Again Tony.
To overcome that — to get people to even look — you’ve gotta make it easy as well as enticing for them to do so. Make it hard and — well, forget about it.
The part that really mystifies is that Fiat — the new owner of Chrysler — has access to Chrysler’s vast dealer network. Indeed, access to Chrysler’s vast dealer network was, reportedly, the only real reason for Fiat’s investment in the otherwise belly-up Chrysler brand. Yet Fiat decided, for reasons I cannot fathom, not to sell the 500 through the existing network of Chrysler dealers.
Of which, by the way, there are many.
Or at least, a sufficiency.
We have two in or near Roanoke. Two more in Richmond. Five more — from what I dug up — in Northern Virginia. And of those five, three are spread out roughly mid-way between Roanoke (at the southern end of the state), Richmond (in the middle) and Northern Virginia, near DC. Most people interested in looking at or test-driving a new Chrysler, or Jeep or Dodge can find a dealer within an hour (or even a half-hour) of where they live. Very few would need to drive more than about 50 miles to do so.
So, why not Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Fiat?
I wanted to ask Laura Soave, the Fiat North America honcho. Except she just got fired.
I wonder why.…
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?