Posted by Dale Buss on March 9, 2012 03:01 PM
One model that caught our eye out of the Geneva Motor Show this week: Fiat is selling a limited-edition 500 model, decked out in American colors and icons. It's made in Italy, for Italians (and presumably anyone else) who might want to celebrate the fact that the Italian automaker is now selling Italian-made 500s ... in America.
And that's not all that is interesting and potentially mind-bending about the Fiat 500 America. There's also the fact that it is being sold on TwitBid, a Twitter-based auction site, to the highest bidder.
"To launch this car, which is a tribute to America and to the launch of the 500 in the United States, we decided to go for a slightly different approach," Giorgio Neri, senior product manager of 500, explained to a reporter (watch below) on the floor of the Geneva show. He was standing in front of the nifty-looking America, which is an appropriate blue, with a red, white and blue pinstripe along the length of the shoulder on each side of the car, and with other touches of Americana such as a stars-and-stripes design covering each side mirror.
Neri called using TwitBid "unprecedented in the car world. It basically means the price of the car will be [set] by the people, by customers." Fiat started with a one-euro bid on the America and, after four days, "we are far over 10,000 euros," Neri said. "We are happy." The Twitter auction is "just something different [to do] to speak about this icon which is made in Italy."
No word on whether the winner will also get an autograph (or worse, a night out) courtesy of Charlie Sheen, who recently replaced Jennifer Lopez as the face of Fiat USA.