FIAT and Chrysler Not So Different After All

Just in case you felt you hadn't "expressed yourself" enough.

Demonstrating that Chrysler has not cornered the market on patronizing condescension, FIAT has announced a new version of their 500 subcompact designed exclusively for women.

How could it have possibly gone wrong?

Now, we don’t normally care about new cars, but in this case it’s a rehashing of something we’ve seen before. Tthis is not a new trick; Dodge presented perhaps the most blatant example of pandering to the “weaker sex” in 1954 with its LaFemme. It was little more than a Custom Royal Lancer with a custom paint job and some trim pieces, but it was those trim pieces that made the difference. Every LaFemme was equipped with a matching handbag, matching compact (anyone?), matching lighter and matching cigarette case. The interior was finished in higher-quality materials, and it was equipped with a slightly upgraded power steering and power braking unit, as well as a different gear-shifter that was thought to be more “elegant”. All the images in the manual featured women in Parisian fashion, and all the instructional diagrams featured buttons being pushed by slim gloved hands.
FIAT, on the other hand, is not taking it to quite that level. Included in this trim package, formerly referred to as the “Barbie Special Edition”, is a bright pink paint job, custom floor mats, a bright pink key… and a sunroof. That’s it.
“It will appeal to free thinking drivers who have a distinctive personality,” said Elena Barnadelli, Fiat’s UK marketing director. We’re assuming this is a translation from Italian, and that it got filtered in the process. What was actually said was likely something to the effect of “This will appeal to easy girls who you can take back to your apartment after only a glass of wine and a few shallow compliments.”
On second thought, maybe it’s not such an awful idea after all.
Classy and feminine. Or, so they tell us. Repeatedly.

[Source: Autocar UK, HowStuffWorks]

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25 responses to “FIAT and Chrysler Not So Different After All”

  1. muthalovin Avatar

    “It will appeal to free thinking drivers who have a distinctive personality!" I am one of those people! I think freely AND have a distinctive personality! I also sell Mary Kay cosmetics and have a European carry-all. And I love pinks. This is the ride for me!
    Oh wait, wait, no. None of that stuff. Also, Dodge La Femme sounds like a personal hygiene product.

  2. Deartháir Avatar

    I like the fact that "La Femme" just means "The Woman". So it's called "Dodge the Woman".
    Always good advice, if she's swinging something that'll hurt.

    1. engineerd Avatar

      …or driving.

      1. superbadd75 Avatar

        Or mentions the words "baby" or "marriage".

  3. engineerd Avatar

    In reality, Dodge has always catered to the fairer sex. It's just that with the women's lib movement they couldn't be so blatant about it. I'm sure the original plans for the Neon included calling it La Femme, as well as the PT Cruiser, Spirit, Stratus, and Caliber. The Avenger was codenamed "La Butch".

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      Actually, the Avenger was going to be called "La Shame."
      And the R/T version? "You gotta Be La Kidding Moi"

  4. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    I can't help but notice that even in the brochure for the women's car, the concierge is opening the passenger door.

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      I got that, too. Perhaps the gigolo is behind the wheel?

  5. Jo_Schmo Avatar

    In related news, Renault and Ford are working on a new small car for women. They are mixing the Clio and the Taurus, and calling it the “Clitaurus.” It comes in pink, with or without fur on the dash, and the average male thief won’t be able to find it, even if someone tells him where it is.

    1. engineerd Avatar


    2. superbadd75 Avatar

      We're not worthy! We're not worthy!

    3. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      Great! Similar to one I heard before, where you ask if someone purchased their Taurus at Pinkly Motors….
      Yeah, isn't that your Pinkly Taurus?

    4. seoultrain Avatar
    5. Charles_Barrett Avatar

      …Although the truly discriminating female motorist, who demands only the finest, will settle for nothing less than the Infinite G-Spot. Available with a choice of several large displacement drivetrains… (Not available in all markets).

    6. CptSevere Avatar

      Klicky for that. I just wish I knew the shift pattern. Actually, I'd kill to have a remote starter keyfob thing.

  6. scroggzilla Avatar

    This post needs a woman's touch. Where is Susie Denbow when we need her?

  7. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    If they tone down the color a bit they would have the Mary Kay car for the 21st century

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Apparently the SRX is the new Mary Kay car. I've seen a few pink ones driving around. I knew some girls that tried to sell Mary Kay for a while. None of them would use my slogan: "Mary Kay, you're ugly, but we can help"

  8. Tanshanomi Avatar

    In other news, a new all-woman off-Broadway play will premier this evening: The Fiat 500 Monologues."

  9. superbadd75 Avatar

    Who comes up with this shit, anyway?

    1. citroen67 Avatar

      Only the best person for the job, obviously.
      A half bald, upper middle-aged, uptight auto executive with no real foresight…but who has 43 middle-management douchebags packed into a boardroom that are either in fear for their jobs, or they are hoping for that big break into upper management to tell him "good idea, sir" every time he comes up with ass-mobiles such as these.

  10. skitter Avatar

    Aston Martin will also sell you a car with a matching compact, which manages to be an insult to not just half, but all of humanity.

  11. Maymar Avatar

    That would've been the perfect special edition for the Pontiac Sunfire. It's not too late for GM to still cash in on it, and bring out the Aveo Barbie edition.

    1. Thrashy Avatar

      I used to have a neighbor in my college-student-rental neighborhood who drove a yellow late-model Cavalier. She had put a row of vinyl stars across the top of the rear glass, and though I never met her and really don't even know what she looked like, I always assumed she was a stripper, just on account of the car.

  12. M44Power Avatar

    I see all sorts of post-modern fems driving these as a statement. Of what, I'm not that sure.