2009 fiat 500 convertible 500c 2 026Enlarge Photo
There's been a lot of speculation about Sergio Marchionne's plans to consolidate the Chrysler and Fiat families. But amid all the rumor and hearsay and out-and-out gossip, there's one thing we know for sure: Fiat is bringing its long-lived, very popular 500 model to the U.S. And now, we also know that Fiat wants your input on the 500's stateside logo.
Last Friday, Fiat posted the image at left to its Facebook gallery, featuring the 500's traditional logo (at top) and five possibilities for the U.S. version below. The pic is captioned in slightly clunky, slightly non-native English-speaking style: "Fiat USA is excited for the arrival of the Fiat 500 to the United States, and we wanted to get your opinion. Which one of these logos do you prefer? Respond with your vote!"
Unfortunately, there are no voting buttons, no word of contests or whether Fiat actually plans to do anything with its fans' suggestions other than brag about the number of comments the post received on Facebook. Which makes us wonder: (a) who's handling Fiat/Chrysler's Facebook page, and (b) do they really know what they're doing with social media, or, like Mercedes-Benz, are they still fumbling around in the dark?
Even Chrysler would likely admit that it doesn't have a strong social media presence. The company's Twitter feed is less-than-engaging, and it has yet to pull off a social campaign to match Ford's Fiesta Movement, or even the tentative ones GM trotted out at South By Southwest (although the recent Jeep Islander scavenger hunt might be an exception). On the other hand, Fiat is pretty good on the social front -- after all, Fiat Brazil harnessed the highly unstable power of Formspring.me to engage customers in advance of a new product launch, and given Formspring's unwieldy nature, that was no easy task.
Our guess for the rationale behind this strange and not-so-easy-to-find Facebook post? Fiat's testing the waters for the 500 in the U.S., but it's relying on Chrysler's PR team to do the work. We expect to see more of this engagement down the line -- but hopefully in a way that matches the excitement of the 500 itself.
Oh, and BTW: #4 is the only iteration on that page worth a second look.