I picked up my Prima on 3/19, and since then have experienced a variety of events evidencing confusion/lack of organization with how FIAT and its dealers are managing brand identity. First, I began receiving e-mails from the dealer (Reedman-Toll in surburban Philadelphia) pitching all sorts of Subaru accessories and service. Reedman sells approximately 1 million different auto marques, including Subaru and of course Chrysler, which is how it extended its range to FIAT. It's apparently got the rudiments of the sales and delivery parts of dealing in FIATs set up since it delivered my 500 and had a couple of others in (the Chrysler) showroom and on the lot at the time. But it can't have taken the time to tailor its post-sale messages to the actual make of the car? Impressive not.
When I went to insure the car with Amica (great service, BTW), the VIN produced a "Chrysler 500", which name then showed up on my insurance ID card. No FIAT's in the system at all. I had to call to get it manually changed because I didn't want to have to explain to a police officer why my Chrysler was covered in FIAT logos.
Today, I got spammed by Chrysler marketing, essentially congratulating me on the purchase of my Chrysler and trying to interest me in a minivan. I've owned three FIATs and an Alfa and would rather stick needles in my eyes than even think about driving any Chrysler product, let alone a minivan.
I get that I'm an early adopter, but FIAT and Chrysler are hardly start-ups, they're established manufacturers, marketers and servicers of autos. If they're selling them they should have the basic infrastructure in place. This has all the earmarks of something being made up as it goes along, which means people aren't paying attention to the details.
Of course, the above stuff could all be intentional. Maybe FIAT NA been sucked into the black hole of Detroit-think. Maybe it plays better in Peoria to sell and manage the brand just like any other Chrysler product, using the same metal-moving engine that moves Chargers and Rams, and if they can make most people believe FIAT's are really just good ol' American cars they'll hit that 50,000 mark (though Mini didn't have to do that, and when Iacocca tried selling Alfas through Chrysler dealers in the the 80's, he killed the brand completely). Anyway, I suppose this would be consistent with what's happening in the other direction: it's actually less ridiculous than taking a barely re-faced Sebring and calling it a Lancia. By these lights FIAT and Alfa could end up as mere badging conceits or brand extensions for what are really just Dodges and Neons.
Anybody else experiencing this brand identity crisis?
I think you are reading way too much into email newsletters.
Can't say I share your disregard for anything Chrysler. But sometimes people have their reasons for hating one corporation or another and won't be swayed. There are many that still hate Fiat and won't ever consider them because of what happened in the past.
That stated, I do agree with what you said about the emails and insurance info. That will probably change over time, as Fiat is still just starting out, and piggybacking on existing infrastructure (Chrysler group, which they part-own).