COVID-19

New FCA initiative offers 0% financing, online purchasing, 1 million meal and mask donation

FCA's new giving and business initiative is called "Drive Forward".

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

A new initiative by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles called "Drive Forward" will allow customers to take advantage of low-cost financing, online vehicle purchasing, and several donations to aid the nation.

"We are all one community and we can help during these unprecedented times," said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA. "We want to both offer consumers support and assist them financially while we all work hand in hand toward better days. And we'll continue to explore additional opportunities as a company to help as we all navigate our way through this difficult time together."

FCA Brands - Fiat, Chrysler, Ram Trucks, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Dodge

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Today, FCA launched a new Online Retail Experience (ORE). According to a release, "ORE is a digital retailing solution that allows customers to complete the entire vehicle purchase process online and from the comfort of their own homes. Not only can consumers purchase a vehicle off a dealer lot, they can conduct a vehicle trade-in, apply for credit, receive price and payment estimates and review service protection plan options."

Customers can explore the new shopping experience via the company's branded Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck, Fiat, and Alpha Romeo websites. A local dealership works to finalize the sale and deliver the vehicle to the purchaser's home.

FCA is also offering well-qualified buyers zero percent financing for 84 months and no payments for 90 days on select FCA 2019 and 2020 models.

In March, the company announced that they would work to produce 1 million face masks per month to aid first responders and health care workers. Now, FCA has announced that it is donating 1 million meals to school children across North America as well.

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The Fiat 500 made a snazzy debut earlier this year and a new film documented the one-off models designed to celebrate the new generation of Italian design.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

There's so much more to the auto business than getting a vehicle to a dealership. One of the sides rarely captured in newsreels, but drooled over by fans are restored and modified creations. Heck, SEMA has built an entire convention around it. The MotorTrend network is almost entirely devoted to the cause.

Those mods are usually on existing cars, however. A new film released by Fiat takes a look at how three Fiat 500s were modified before they debuted.

New Fiat 500⎮One Shot - Trailer www.youtube.com

"One-Shot" is the first docufilm by the automaker. It covers a six month journey to create a unique one-off ahead of the debut of the redesigned Fiat 500 earlier this year. The new model is an all-electric car that retains much of the classic Fiat looks but with a completely modern powertrain.

"You never get a second chance to make a good first impression." These words, from Olivier François – President, Fiat Brand Global and FCA Chief Marketing Officer – open the film, explaining how the debut of the New 500 should be considered as a milestone in the brand's history.

The documentary is dedicated to the three cars designed by high-end brands - Armani, Bvlgari, and Kartell. Armani is a fashion house, Bvlgari is a jewelry company, and Kartell sells contemporary furniture.

Filmmakers take the viewer on a journey from the moment the company representatives first met with Fiat in Turin through the launch of the three exclusive cars in Milan earlier this year.

Fiat 500 "One Shot" docufilm still shots

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The new 500 has a more aggressive exterior that's less bulbous but still retains many fo the design characteristics of the 500 of years past. It has a range of approximately 199 miles (WLTP). Fiat has given the car three drive modes: Normal, Range and Sherpa. The Range drive mode allows for one-pedal driving.

The 500 is the first Fiat to receive FCA's new UConnect 5 system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless communication. It comes equipped with a 10.25-inch touch screen.

Officially, the decision on whether or not to bring the new Fiat 500 to U.S. shores is still up in the air.

You can watch the film below.

New Fiat 500 | One Shot documentary by VICE - Genesis of the New 500 One-Offs www.youtube.com

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Franco Scaglione was tasked with developing the designs for some of the most iconic cars of the mid-20th century including this Aston Martin DB 2-4.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

His name isn't highlighted in the annals of car history quite like that of Enzo Ferrari, Battista "Pinin" Farina, or Karl Benz. However, Franco Scaglione's work helped shaped the auto industry in a substantial way.

The Italian was of noble ancestry, born to a well-off family in Florence, Italy the year the first transfusion using stored blood was performed - 1916. His father was a chief army doctor and his mother was the captain of the Italian Red Cross.

His upbringing was by no means extraordinary according to most reports. His father died when Scaglione was young and his favorite hobbies included reading and riding. He went to university to study aeronautical ennginenering and entered military service riding to the rank of sub-lieutenant.

World War II changed his path. Scaglione volunteered to be sent to the front, heading to Lybia where he was taken prisoner by the English at El Duda in the aftermath of the Battle of Point 175 in December 1941. He was sent to the Yol detention camp in India near Dharmsala where the Dhali Lama lives today. He stayed there until he was released in 1946.

After a year of receiving from the war at home, engineering went to the side and Scaglione began seeing styling as his new passion. In 1948 he went to Bologna looking to work in the automobile industry. That type of work wasn't easy to find as the auto industry was in post-war survival and recovery mode, with many of them suffering near-catastrophic damage to plants during the campaigns leveled against Italy.

Scaglione made his living sketching clothing for fashion houses instead. The lucrative work was not enough to change his mind. He wanted to work in the automotive industry.

BAT  Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica Continued coachbuilder collaboration Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo

By 1951, he was married with a daughter. That year he uprooted his family ad moved to Turin, the home of major coachbuilding companies including Pininfarina, Ghia, and Maggiora. He tried to work with Farina but it ended up not working out. He then was introduced to Giuseppe "Nuccio" Bertone, an automobile designer who ran Carrozzeria Bertone. This meeting was far more fruitful.

He worked with Bertone for the next eight years, creating a number of iconic vehicles including the Siata 208 CS (1952), Alfa Romeo Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica (BAT) (1953, 1954, and 1955 versions), Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva (1954), Aston Martin DB 2-4 (1957), Jaguar XK150 (1957), and the Maserati 3500 GT (1959).

The Siata is notable for its rarity. Just 18 were built - 11 by Balbo and 7 by Stabilimenti Farina. The ones by Balbo were badged as "200 CS" while the ones by Stabilimenti Farina wore "208 CS" badging. The 208 has a 1,996 cc V8 engine that delivers 110-125 horsepower (depending on who you believe). The engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission. It has an aluminum body and weighted 2,200 pounds.

The Alfa Romeo Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica (BAT) models were all commissioned to study the effect of drag on a vehicle. They were all built on an Alfa Romeo 1900 chassis. Each model is different and achieves a very low coefficient of drag, even by today's standards. All the models survive.

JAGUAR XK150 / XK 150 DHC 1961 - Test drive in top gear - Engine sound | SCC TV www.youtube.com

Only four Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportivas were made but their features made their way into one of the most beloved Alfas of all time - the Giulietta.

The Aston Martin DB2/4 was a slightly more mass market car than the others. The company made 764 of them. Depending on the model year, the cars had 125 or 140 horsepower. The car gained some notoriety after it was featured in the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds"

Jaguar succeeded the XK140 with the Scaglione-designed XK150. It was successful enough but not nearly as iconic as what came next - the E-Type.

By 1959, Scaglione had made enough of a name for himself that he was able to break out on his own and attract clients. He first collaborated with Carlo Abarth and Porsche designing the Porsche 356 B Abarth Carrera GTL, the forerunner of the 911.

Aston Martin DB 2-4

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

He was commissioned to design the Lamborghini 350 GTV, ATS 2500 GT, and the Prince 1900 Skyline Sprint, among others. The Lamborghini 350 GTV was the predecessor of the 350 GT production model. Scaglione designed its body, which was purposefully reminiscent of the Aston Martin DB4. However, its hidden headlights and six exhaust pipes were unique for its time. However, Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of Automobili Lamborghini, was said to be unhappy with some of the design so he requested revisions prior to the 350 GT going into production.

The Prince 1900 Skyline Sprint was introduced at the 1963 Tokyo Motor Show. It shared a body type with the Skyline saloon. The Skyline Spirit was a sports car that spurred the development of the Skyline GT-R sub-brand and though decades of mergers, acquisitions, engineers, and designers has led us to the modern Nissan GT-R as its direct successor.

In 1967, he worked with Alfa Romeo to design the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, which was one of the world's first supercars. The car made its debut at the 1967 Paris Salon de L'Auto and became the first production vehicle to feature dihedral doors. Just 18 of the models were produced

MASERATI 3500GT | 3500 GT 1962 - Test drive in top gear - Engine sound | SCC TV www.youtube.com

His success was also met with a fair amount of chance. As a designer working with Intermeccanica, he had come up with vehicles including the Apollo, Torino, Italia GFX, Italia IMX, and Indra. When finances at the company became tight, Scaglione invested his own money, funding the production of the Indra out of his own pocket.

INTERMECCANICA INDRA Spider 1972 - Modest test drive - Engine sound | SCC TV www.youtube.com

Intermeccaninca went bankrupt and its owner, Frank Reisner, moved to Canada leaving Scaglione disillusioned with the industry. Scaglione retired, moving to Western Italy where he lived in relative obscurity. In 1991, Scaglione was diagnosed with lung cancer and died two years later, leaving a lasting legacy that influenced the way Italian sports cars look like, even today.

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