Fiat is releasing a 2014 version of their 1957 500 model, a car that was popular in Europe at the time but had very little following in America. The car company is attempting to release a car that has “vintage Italian styling” and with the 500, not just a specific model, but a specific year. Now, this Fiat was relatively popular in Europe and was produced from 1957 to 1975 but was not popular in the US, where at this point in American culture, big cars with fins were the popular styles. However, as we know the VW Beetle was still very popular in America, but the Fiat did not gain the same popularity.
Fiat is attempting, however, to create a nostalgic feel towards this car by releasing commercials that show
“a couple heading to a drive-in, while the man demonstrates chivalrous behavior by opening his date’s car door. They watch a black-and-white movie, accompanied by Elvis Presley’s ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ which was the No. 1 song in 1957, the year Fiat debuted.”
This is interesting because it seems as though Fiat is trying to convince not only America but themselves that their car was popular in the 1950s and attempt a “special edition” release of a retro car that Americans don’t necessarily know. The car itself is set up to look and feel very retro with its “16-inch wheels and hubcaps”, along with interior that looks like a 1950s car.
Overall, it seems as though Fiat is attempting to re-brand itself as a car that has been popular in American culture since the 1950s, but in reality it wasn’t. They want the American population that doesn’t remember (i.e. 20-30 year old) to think that their brand of car was as popular and as “cool” as a Volkswagen was back in the 1950s and that it is somewhat of a classic. The company is trying to instill a retro feeling for their “special edition” release of the 500 1957 Fiat to appeal to a generation that has been in love with the retro fad for some time.