Cars > News

Fiat won’t sell you a gray car anymore

It announced this by dipping an unreleased car in a vat of paint

The monotone hue won't be available starting this month. PHOTO FROM FIAT

Look along EDSA on a busy day and what do you see? Loads of cars, sure, but the vast majority of them also seem to be finished in safe—or, should we say, boring—color choices. There’s a ton of white, silver and gray dominating the roads, and not just in the Philippines.

If Italian carmaker Fiat had its way, however, then that’s about to change. In what seems to be a bold move in more ways than one, the firm has just announced that it will stop making gray cars from now on. According to the company, in the land of colors, it wants to be the brand of colors.

Cutting gray from the available paint options might make for a fancy press release and a decent marketing stunt, but one would hope that Fiat has thought this through properly. Gray is one of the most popular color choices for new cars around the world.

Gray is a safe color choice for a reason—and there are lots of cars to prove that. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

In some places like the UK, it’s even the most popular one, with around a quarter of all new vehicles sporting it. To suddenly take that off the table is a brave move and risks alienating customers.

But the men and women behind the car company seem to be serious, and the press release talks about breaking the rules, being disruptive, and reinforcing an image of being a leader when it comes to automotive joy and optimism.

Marketing boss Olivier Francois pointed out that the idea is meant to reinforce the “New Dolce Vita values”’ and the “Italian DNA of the brand.” The changed color pallet will start with the new Fiat 600e, which is due to be officially released on July 4.

Fiat boldly proclaimed this by dipping an unreleased 600e in a vat of orange paint. PHOTOS FROM FIAT

Instead of gray, customers can choose from such shades as Gelato White, Sicilia Orange, Passione Red, Italia Blue, Rugiada Green, Rose Gold, and Cinema Black. Inspiration for these tones apparently comes from the many colors one can see when traveling the southern European country, and the bold strategy (no pun intended) is meant to make the manufacturer stand out in a pretty crowded marketplace.

Seeing as many buyers are concerned about resale values, and that gray is considered a safe choice here, it will remain to be seen if the future is indeed bright—or if there might be gray clouds ahead for the plucky Italians.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.