Home » We Should All Respect Fiat Dunking A Car And Its CEO Into Paint And Promising No More Grey Cars

We Should All Respect Fiat Dunking A Car And Its CEO Into Paint And Promising No More Grey Cars

Fiat No More Gray Topshot
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How’s this for a way to kick off a week? Fiat just dunked a 600e crossover in a vat of orange paint with its CEO inside. It’s a stunt that puts huge faith in door seals, but also one that raises a big question: Why? See, Fiat is thoroughly done with grey, and a bold cause sometimes requires a bold statement. Consider this a declaration of war on an important part of the German rainbow.

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Vidframe Min Bottom

The war on gray is a noble pursuit. Matte gray is stale, solid gray looks like wet primer, and most metallic grays are just dull. It’s the beige of the modern era, a neutral choice that’s so common and joyless that it just doesn’t sparkle. According to PPG, 14 percent of cars sold globally in 2021 were gray, up two percent from 2020. While interesting grays exist, they typically have different-colored pearls or microflakes, or something to add a pop of color that isn’t gray.

As of today, Fiat has committed to banishing gray from its lineup, with CEO Olivier Francois stating that “Italy is the country of colors and, starting from today, Fiat’s cars too.” So far, it seems to be a European change, but it could branch out to other markets. More importantly, this means that Fiat’s European color range now consists of two oranges, three blues, two greens, one red, one rose gold color, and if you want to be boring, white and black. Nothing resembling an overcast sky here.

Bmw M2 Frozen Portimao

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While Fiat is unique in its anti-gray crusade, other manufacturers are giving bright colors a helping hand. BMW has been expanding the reach of its extended Individual palette of colors to include limited shades at plants not set up for the full program. For instance, the San Luis Potosi plant where the M2 is made isn’t ready for full Individual yet, but the M2 will soon be available in Frozen Portimao Blue, a matte medium blue that’s a bit off-the-wall. At the same time, Porsche’s PTS extended color palette has soared to new popularity in recent years, and the bright fuchsia Ruby Star Neo color has made it onto the standard color menu for 911s and 718s.

Img 3915 Scaled

On the other end of the market, the Chevrolet Trax has a massive range of actual colors, from metallic orange to nuclear snot yellow to blue to pastel green. Needless to say, I’m a fan of the yellow, as it’s just so distinctive on today’s greyscale roadscape.

So what about the main argument for gray — resale value? Earlier this year, automotive data company iSeeCars crunched the numbers on how color affects depreciation. It turns out that yellow cars depreciated the least over three years of ownership, with orange, green, and red right behind. Unsurprisingly, gray was right in-line with the overall average depreciation rate of 22.5 percent, so popping for the bright color may actually save you money in the long run.

Basf Colour Report 2022

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What’s more, automotive paint giant BASF reports that the tides may be starting to gently shift in regard to grayscale colors. In 2022, chromatic colors gained overall market share, with violet emerging as an unlikely winner of 2022. Admittedly, these aren’t huge gains, but a win is a win.

Moving back to Fiat, while it’s easy to dismiss this stunt as just another bit of film fakery, the marque actually dipped a real 600e into an enormous vat of paint with the actual CEO inside. The craziest part is that Francois doesn’t even come out looking like an Oompa Loompa — the door and window seals actually hold well, keeping him fairly dry. Whatever Fiat is making its door seals out of should be the gold standard because I would’ve never expected such a successful outcome.

Fiat 600e dunk

It should go without saying, but do not try Fiat’s stunt at home. A little bit of liquid is fine, but cars just aren’t made to be submersible. Spray water on a car, and you might clean it. Dunk a car in water, and you’ll probably total it. However, sacrificing a pre-production car that most likely had a non-registerable VIN for the sake of art is always a good idea. If it needs to be destroyed for legal reasons anyway, you might as well do something fun with it.

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(Photo credits: Fiat, BMW, Thomas Hundal, BASF)

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Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago

It’s a start 😀

The Spark and Sonic were available in lots of cool colors 🙂

Rivian is by FAR the best for a non-legacy company. You can get red, yellow, blue, or green, and you cna get a green interior with ANY exterior color!

Last edited 1 year ago by Dogisbadob
Porschebago
Porschebago
1 year ago

We purchased a VW Atlas Cross Sport for my wife a couple of years ago. During the purchase process I railed at the lack of any real color choice, which was essentially white, black, grey, silver, a bloodclot red, and a blue so dark that it was essentially another black. We ended up selecting a black one that had a pretty fun tan interior.

Two hours after delivery I pop the owner’s manual out of the carrier. On the cover of the manual is a stylized painting of a VW Cross Sport in a beautiful gold color that wasn’t even an option.

Fuck you, VW.

Last edited 1 year ago by Porschebago
V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

Fun fact, that snot yellow on the Trax is the exact same paint code for the new yellow on the Cadillac Blackwings.

A less similar pair of vehicles sharing a parent company and paint color could hardly be imagined.

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 year ago

Paint is expensive*! That commercial must have had an anonymous MCU movie level budget.

*Currently painting a bathroom, 18′ of built-in cabinets I made, and a 900 sq ft room and I long ago learned cheap paint is false economy and, in the end, not much cheaper. Yeah, that’s acrylic latex, not automotive (or marine!), but I doubt they’re using automotive, either.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago
Reply to  Cerberus

I’d be astonished if that vat was full of paint. More likely it was a “hydro-dip,” where there’s a thin film of non-water-soluble paint floating on top of a tank of water. Dunk the car, flood the surface with paint, pull the car out, and the paint sticks to the car as it emerges from the water.

Gee See
Gee See
1 year ago

I noticed a lot of new Tacos, Cayennes in my neck of the woods with flat grey. As long as the manufacturers offer the semblence of the whole gamut of colours, it is all freedom of choice for the buyer. Besides 3M and other wrap companies would like to have more business opportunites to sell wraps.

Last edited 1 year ago by Gee See
AlienProbe
AlienProbe
1 year ago

All cars should be that fantastic Mazda red, nothing else.

NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
1 year ago
Reply to  AlienProbe

Counterpoint: Soul Red is fantastic, but is a Mazda thing. If every car was that color it would be as boring as black or grey.

FUCK YOU
FUCK YOU
1 year ago

“If it needs to be destroyed for legal reasons anyway, you might as well do something fun with it.”

Words to live by. Not a day passes that I don’t have reason to recall this ancient aphorism. This is from Aesop, right?

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
1 year ago
Reply to  FUCK YOU

Sun Tzu

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
1 year ago
Reply to  FUCK YOU

My husband briefly worked in a metal recycling yard years ago and I can tell you .. they did something fun with it.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 year ago

So I’ve seen lots of journalists complain about every car being gray. Are we going to complain about every car in the last eight years being gray, and ignore the fifteen years before that when every car was silver? Or the thirty years before that when every car was beige?

White cars are far more common and far more boring anyways.

NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
1 year ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

White offsets the murdered out every trim piece needs to be black trend that won’t die. Championship White is the best choice for the Type R and is better than black/red/yellow on Ferraris (green and blue Ferraris are the best). Black cars are more popular, more boring and really soulless overall.

SarlaccRoadster
SarlaccRoadster
1 year ago
Reply to  NebraskaStig

Counterpoint: making every piece of trim (plus the wheels) chrome makes cars look like gypsy wagons. When I moved here from Europe about two decades ago it took me a while to get used to the ghetto bling look of chrome-dipped everything.

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
1 year ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Silver is just gray before the major depressive illness kicks in.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
1 year ago

I’m always in support of more bright or different colors on cars and trucks! My wife’s Subaru is a bronze/brown while my old Dodge is a glorious metallic burned orange with white. Favorite color I’ve owned though is the Dark Highland Green I had on my ‘08 Bullitt.

Brian Gray
Brian Gray
1 year ago

I agree with the effort by FIAT, and I look forward to more colorful vehicles. However, the writers need to be consistent with their spelling, they start out with grey and then switched to gray. When describing the color, use grey. And when referencing the carmaker, use caps, FIAT not Fiat.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brian Gray
Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Gray

I appreciated the chaotic approach of using both gray and grey. The only way to avoid a debate in the comments……… until you start it anyways.

Marteau
Marteau
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Gray

MERCEDES-BENZ

CITRÖEN

///M3 XM RED LABEL

LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER AUTOBIOGRAPHY

See the problem, Mr corporate?

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
1 year ago
Reply to  Marteau

I think his point is that FIAT is an acronym: Fabbrica Italiana Automobili di Torino

SarlaccRoadster
SarlaccRoadster
1 year ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

That’s way too much to expect from a writer on a bakery blog.

Oh, wait.. ‘Autopian’?? I wonder what they write about here..

Brian Gray
Brian Gray
1 year ago
Reply to  Marteau

Um, no, no I don’t.

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Gray

As a US-based website, shouldn’t they be using gray? Grey is the UK spelling.
Gray is a color, but grey is a colour.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 year ago
Reply to  Phuzz

Canadian writer.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago
Reply to  Phuzz

I believe grey and gray are both considered acceptable in US English, gray is more popular, but they are used interchangeably

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Gray

And when referencing the carmaker, use caps, FIAT not Fiat.

Perhaps ironically, this is an example of some consistency from us!

Auto news websites, including this one, use a style guide modified from AP Style. The AP Stylebook instructs writers not to respect company name stylization when that style is awkward. So, no company names in all caps unless you pronounce each individual letter (BMW), no company names in all lowercase (smart), and modify company names that use special characters.

So, instead of E*Trade you would write E-Trade. Instead of Yahoo! you would just write Yahoo. And if you’re writing something where eBay is the start of a sentence, it then becomes EBay. Further, IKEA becomes Ikea, but CBS is allowed to stay as CBS.

Normally, I’m annoyed by AP Style but this is one area I understand exists. If you look at the LinkedIn pages of executives at Smart, they all write Smart in all lowercase…then start a bunch of sentences with Smart in all lowercase, and it just looks and reads goofy. Likewise, if I wrote “smart” in a sentence, a reader might not know I’m talking about a brand, since smart does mean other things, too.

TL;DR – Auto writers type Fiat and not FIAT because some nerds said so.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mercedes Streeter
Brian Gray
Brian Gray
1 year ago

C’mon Mercedes, don’t let the nerds take over.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
1 year ago

And yet those same people write “NASA”, which I assume they do not pronounce as “N” “A” “S” “A”

Last edited 1 year ago by Dar Khorse
Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago

I’ll believe it when I see it. Automakers love to introduce a couple interesting colors when a new model goes on sale, then drop them after the first year in the name of production efficiency, or bundle them into expensive options packages. There’s never any serious commitment to giving color options

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
1 year ago

Dunking by Italian organization should involve East River and concrete.

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
1 year ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

“Leave the Fiat, take the cannoli.”

Cam.man67
Cam.man67
1 year ago

I’m in support of this. My ‘96 GMC is an idiosyncratic 90s green, and I’ve said for a while that we need to see more than neutral shades on cars.

Richard Klein
Richard Klein
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam.man67

The nice thing about neutral shades, in my experience, is you don’t get pulled over as often.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 year ago

All new Fiats will come with one quart of orange paint till 2027.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
1 year ago

As the owner of a 2017 Celeste Blu 500e, I wholeheartedly approve. My Polestar 2 is “Thunder” grey but it’s at least an interesting blue-grey that changes hue depending on the light.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

I like gray (grey) just fine, but not just that. These days, sitting in traffic can feel like I’m watching the world on an old black and white TV. Free the Pantone! Uh oh, is that “woke?”

Marteau
Marteau
1 year ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Stay away from this bud light !

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
1 year ago

I, for one, welcome our new, colorful overlords.

Viking Longcar
Viking Longcar
1 year ago

On the right car, gray is good, the modernist Citroën SM for example, but gray is over-used today.
If Fiat is going for “cheap” and cheerful, more vibrant colors make sense. Maybe even a marketing cross-over with Pantone would be cool?

Nic Periton
Nic Periton
1 year ago
Reply to  Viking Longcar

I have, for longer than I can easily remember, been trying to turn several SMs, into two good ones. I am very tempted to do one in YELLOW, yes, not a subltle musterd shade, or a limeflower hue but full on infant school no holds barred full on primary yellow.
With a purple velour interior, tastefully piped and highlighted with more yellow.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 year ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

With a purple velour interior, tastefully piped and highlighted with more yellow.

“Tastefully.” I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Also, are you the world’s biggest Lakers fan? Is “Nic” short for “Nicholson”?

Nic Periton
Nic Periton
1 year ago

I had to look that up, and no, Maybe I shall have to rethink this, acid green leather, no pinstripes? Or very a bright blue? Worry not, I do have to sell the thing, it will end up as brown metallic with a tan leather interior.
I am fully aware of what “tasteful” means, I just rather wish I was not.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 year ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

Go for French blue paint with tan leather interior. You can throw some more blue highlights on the inside for a little pop, but the key is subtlety.

ES
ES
1 year ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

don’t listen. so many ways you could go: a sunflower/egg yolk/daffodil outside and plum/lilac/imperial/periwinkle upholstery with a slightly different yellow piping. bring a little purple outside with a pinstripe or color matched hub caps. Make the VW harlequin designers blush for their timidity.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 year ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

Do it. I painted a clear RC monster truck body in purple with yellow lightning bolts and accents. I think it looks nice…

LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
1 year ago

What’s the over/under on how many interns got dunked in Fiat’s secret “zona cinquantuno” laboratory/volcano hideout until they got the trick down? I say 5 and over

Dsa Lkjh
Dsa Lkjh
1 year ago

I like grey. Both my cars are grey. I’ve had cars in all the colours and I prefer grey.

Both cars have colour on the inside, where I can enjoy it when I’m driving. Bright red in one, brown in the other.

I can’t explain why I like grey, but it’s certainly not resale as I normally keep cars until they are scrap. I don’t think it’s because I’m boring either, because GT86 and Z4C.

My motorcycles are lime green and purple (that’s just one bike) and red, white, blue and purple (that’s the other bike). So it not like I don’t enjoy colours, just not on my cars.

I wasn’t going to buy a Fiat anyway.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
1 year ago
Reply to  Dsa Lkjh

For me, gray with a non-black interior always gets a pass, especially if its a nice red or brown like you have.

AssMatt
AssMatt
1 year ago

My favorite is how hard carmakers try to avoid calling it gray. My gray Honda is “Modern Steel.”

Dsa Lkjh
Dsa Lkjh
1 year ago
Reply to  AssMatt

My grey Toyota is “Tarmac Grey”.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
1 year ago
Reply to  AssMatt

I always joke that my Toyota “Antique Sage” is the fanciest way ever to say “old beige”

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
1 year ago
Reply to  AssMatt

Mine is Thunder Grey but its combination of blue and grey-ish depending of the time of the day

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 year ago

Cars should be colorful, not just for safety reasons either. If you want a bland colored car get a white one. The only reason I’d buy a white car is so I could have it painted another color I cannot get otherwise.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago

It’s cause the 80s are fully back; lots of colors, pleather pants, and mullets!

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Wake me when A Flock of Seagulls goes on a reunion tour with Wang Chung.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
1 year ago

What, are you expecting me NOT to have fun tonight?

TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
1 year ago

That reminds me I need to get Tears for Fears tickets

Spyrius Robot
Spyrius Robot
1 year ago

They still offer black and white? They haven’t really done anything, then.

Newcarpetsmell
Newcarpetsmell
1 year ago

Dark gray has always looked good though. Black with black wheels needs to go back to 2008 if we want to get rid something.

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