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Fiat Muscles up with Abarth 500

Italian flair at “an affordable price.”

by on Nov.17, 2011

Fiat brand boss Francois Olivier unveils the 500 Abarth at the LA Auto Show.

Just a year after tiny little Fiat 500 made its American debut at the L.A, Auto Show, Olivier Francois, Global head of the Fiat Brand and chief marketing officer, stepped on the stage at the Los Angeles Convention Center to unveil the latest version of the Italian microcar.

Though the name Abarth might not be familiar to the average American, there are still plenty of aficionados who recognize the heritage of the Fiat 500 Abarth, which traces its roots back to the work of Carlo Abarth, a former European motorcycle champion, who founded Abarth & Co in 1949, producing aftermarket products for production cars.

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In 1958 Fiat introduced the original 500 and Carlo Abarth saw some use for the tiny city car. His company gave it an extensive makeover, increasing the compression ratio of the small 479 cc engine, fitting it with a Weber carburetor, optimizing the intake system and adding an Abarth exhaust system.


Another Big Auto Ad Shake-up As Doner Gets Chrysler

Estimated at $500 mil, deal offsets agencies earlier loss of Mazda.

by on Nov.16, 2010

Doner wins the year-end ad business at Chrysler and could be in for an even bigger plum.

After suffering the potentially devastating loss of its Mazda account, earlier this year, independent Detroit ad agency Doner has landed on its feet, capturing the dealer and retail advertising business from Chrysler LLC, an account worth an estimated $500 million.

The move comes as the latest in a series of shake-ups in the automotive advertising business over the last year that have seen even some of the strongest and longest-lasting account teams broken up, notably including a shift by Chevrolet away from its partner of nearly a century, suburban Detroit’s Campbell-Ewald.

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The Doner deal with Chrysler will see the Southfield, Michigan bounce box from the blow of losing the $150 million Mazda business,one of its most high-profile accounts.

Officially, the deal the agency landed with Chrysler is just a temporary assignment, with Doner putting together the retail and dealer advertising needed to clear out the unsold inventory of the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands.  But it is likely, according to inside sources, that Doner will not only keep the account, moving forward, but potentially also get the big Chrysler brand account, as well.