Adding the Abarth treatment will especially appeal to the youth segment of Fiat's market. The formation of a racing and rally team comes off as an attractive progression to the market when the Grand Punto Abarth S2000 won the Italian and European Rally Championships in 2006. Marketing schemes include promotional clothing and merchandise.
As announced, the new Abarth division within Fiat comes off strong in experienced manpower support, "with a total of 113 experts, including 26 engineers, 43 on the manufacturing side of the business and nine dedicated purely to motorsport."
The use of the scorpion emblem on the new Grande Punto shown in the recent Geneva Motor Show also is a particularly strong and visceral image that communicates well that Fiat's small car has power and "sting".
Further, the marketing of the new Grande Punto Abarthe uses in full force the Abarthe legacy within Fiat that has been long relegated to the company's in-house tuning division. Absorbed by Fiat in 1971, the Abarth company founded by Carlo Abarth produced sporty versions of Fiat models. The last stand-alone Abarth model produced by Fiat was 1984 Ritmo 130 TC Abarth according to the Carblogger website.
The strategy of reviving the Abarth marque within Fiat seems to be half-measure towards a full return of the Abarth model in the aut ...