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.

Vidframe Min Top
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.

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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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Martin Ibert
Martin Ibert
1 year ago

No more grey cars is great, but the real bane of the automative world IMHO is black. Which Fiat is still selling.

Scott
Scott
1 year ago

Of course, I’m all in favor of color… that goes w/o saying.

What’s that 600e thingy? Is that what we used to get as the 500X… a car that I always thought was kind of cute, but got consistently negative reviews, topped only by its 500L sibling?

I’m hoping new entry level EVs might be offered at $25K starting MSRP in the not-too-distant future, be they Tesla’s theoretical Model 2, or something else. Since American buyers seem well-smitten with SUVs, I expect some of these new, lower-priced EVs will be small crossovers, which I regard as slightly lifted hatchbacks and not necessarily a bad thing.

The base hybrid Maverick lists for about 23K now. The plug-in I expect will be in the upper 20s, if the Escape EV is anything to go by. Which means that the all-electric Maverick Lighting EV will likely not show up for less than $33K IMO, unless they deign to offer a smaller-battery version, which would surprise me.

A simple/small $25K EV pickup would make a great daily driver IMO. Fingers crossed someone does it. 🙂

Last edited 1 year ago by Scott
Richard Klein
Richard Klein
1 year ago

I thought the problem wasn’t that you can’t get cool colors, but that you’re incentived to buy the colors the dealer has on the lot.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

{ round of applause }

Hell yeah. Give me COLORS.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
1 year ago

Hot take: Black is worse than gray. The only reasons your car should be black are if you are a chauffer, an undertaker, or Mad Max.

(Regardless, I strongly approve of this effort by Fiat.)

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

Counterpoint: Black vehicles are beautiful.

“The only reasons your car should be black are if you are a chauffer, an undertaker, or Mad Max.”

What if I’m just extremely serious about applying wax?

Sure, it’s a chore.
But the end results are assured.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Myk El
Myk El
1 year ago

I just bought a yellow car (2005 Holden Monaro Pontiac GTO) and my DD is a Basque Red Pearl Honda Accord. I remember 50 shades of gray being a joke at the color choices in Audi’s lineup.

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
1 year ago
Reply to  Myk El

Good old Devil Yellow, I painted my brother’s Kawasaki ZZR250 that colour after we repaired it so he was more visible than the dark purple it was originally

Robert Pridgen
Robert Pridgen
1 year ago

For perspective, 71% of the earth is covered by water, 78% of the atmosphere is nitrogen and gray monochrome cars make of 81% of vehicles on the road.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
1 year ago

My ’71 FIAT 128 sedan color was -called- Artic Grey, but it was actually green. go figure!

Andrew Bugenis
Andrew Bugenis
1 year ago
Reply to  Knowonelse

The Hyundai Santa Cruz has a color called Sage Gray that’s actually green as well. I don’t get why the “gr” colors get so mixed up :’D

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Bugenis
TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
1 year ago

I’m all for this, but something else stood out to me in this ad. When did Fiat start using the “Four Lines” logo again? I thought it went away around 1992.

Last edited 1 year ago by TriangleRAD
Fjord
Fjord
1 year ago

It will be an added bonus if the fun colours are available with the lowest specs, and not only packaged with the top trim levels a la Honda and the Civic Si exclusive orange.

Mike Dris
Mike Dris
1 year ago
Reply to  Fjord

Get yourself a Kia Soul in Alien grey. They practically gave them away.

Dave Beth
Dave Beth
1 year ago

I don’t mind gray, per se, but this trend lately towards matte car finishes is horrible and I hate it. The two worst ones are matte gray and matte beige. I don’t know why anyone chooses those.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

Honestly, I’d rather they crusade against silver. There are grays that I like, especially the ones with a slight tint of a real color. There are no silvers that look good.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
1 year ago

When my parents bought a Grand Cherokee in 1997, they went with Bright Platinum. Admittedly, there weren’t many interesting color choices for the ZJ that year; the red had a weird orangey hue, and the Amethyst looked like a strange shade of black unless it was in direct sunlight. The green was pretty, but I think it was a Limited/Orivs trim package exclusive? That Platinum has held up beautifully though; it does an outstanding job of hiding scratches, and still sparkles when clean. Of course, when it’s dirty, it gets called “grey.” (And I have gotten very tired of having to explain to people what, exactly, platinum is…)

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
1 year ago

Alright, I’m going to defend gray, silver and all other in-between variants.

I do not like standing out more than I have to. I have red hair (though as I age it’s fading to blonde). I have stood out my entire life and hate it. The problem is that when you own atypical or interesting cars, they can stand-out regardless of color. However, monochrome colors make them slightly less eye-catching and that’s what I want.

I bought the car because it’s fun, not for the attention.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

If everyone bought colorful cars you wouldn’t stand out though. 🙂

TJ Heiser
TJ Heiser
1 year ago

I have owned – from first to latest- Blue Pontiac Catalina, Red Ford Mustang, Green Chevy Monza, Red Dodge Magnum, Black VW Beetle, Red Pontiac Fiero, Gray Ford Econoline, Silver Ford LTD, Maroon Plymouth Volare, a different Red Pontiac Fiero, Blue Ford Aerostar, White Geo Metro, Green Mazda Miata, Blue Ford F150, Red Toyota Camry, Gray Mazda 6, Yellow Jeep Wrangler, Red Honda Insight, Red Willys CJ2a.

19 different vehicles – only 3 grayscale, 1 white, and 1 black.
I like color!

Last edited 1 year ago by TJ Heiser
Drew
Drew
1 year ago

I saw another article on this that pointed to the percentage of cars sold in gray. Their conclusion was that this was a risky move by Fiat, as if all those cars were chosen for their (lack of) color.
I hope this improves their sales and pushes other companies to follow suit.

Abraham Smith
Abraham Smith
1 year ago

down with monochrome cars!

M K
M K
1 year ago

My last new car, I had to join a list and get whatever color came off the truck…Ended up with silver, which might as well be gray. Silver/gray cars have been the bane of my adult life. Only upside is they are pretty much invisible if you are a spy or criminal and need such anonymity.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 year ago

I think the slight uptick in colors being optioned is due to more people ordering their cars instead of purchasing off the lot. Dealers are the reason why we’ve ended up with a national fleet of nothing but greyscale.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 year ago

You are not wrong, I had a dealer try to tell me that the black and gray cars have a higher resale value, to which I replied actually yellow and orange have the highest resale, do you have any of those? He quieted down a bit on the ridiculous claims after that. I did not buy from them either.

Thomas Benham
Thomas Benham
1 year ago

…and automatic transmissions.

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 year ago

Colours are good, but are Fiat still going to be making cars in that really unpleasant ‘hearing-aid beige’ paint?
(for example)

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
1 year ago
Reply to  Phuzz

Nah, that color is for macho man trucks like this and this! Slab styling does that color no favors

Anders
Anders
1 year ago

Driving through the industrial areas in Milan, Turin, Rome or Palermo I’d argue Italy is not exactly the land of colors, and what’s left of the architecture from the Roman empire is either in white or terracotta ..but hey! a nice marketing spin.

Ronald Pottol
Ronald Pottol
1 year ago
Reply to  Anders

I believe that Roman stuff has wild paint jobs, it just doesn’t last as well as the marble and concrete.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
1 year ago
Reply to  Anders
Marlin May
Marlin May
1 year ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

Here is more info on polychrome Roman statues that isn’t behind a paywall – https://www.npr.org/2022/07/12/1109995973/we-know-greek-statues-werent-white-now-you-can-see-them-in-color

Drunken Master Paul
Drunken Master Paul
1 year ago

Speaking of car colors, my buddy has an Autobahn GTI. Awesome car, but we disagree on the color. So, my Autopian Autobots, when you see this color is your first thought Yellow or Green? https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/volkswagen/golf-gti/2022/oem/2022_volkswagen_golf-gti_4dr-hatchback_autobahn_fq_oem_1_815.jpg

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Neither, it’s clearly lemon meringue.
Or is it more lime meringue?
I’m gonna go with lemon lime meringue.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
AKA Rukh
AKA Rukh
1 year ago

Yellow that leans more toward green than orange.

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
1 year ago

I’ll call it…Mello Yello. (quite rightly)

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
1 year ago

Yes.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
1 year ago

Atomic Citron

William Sheldon
William Sheldon
1 year ago

nuclear chartreuse, similar to pantone 14-0445x?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

Someone has clearly worked in a print shop.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 year ago

Yellow

Drunken Master Paul
Drunken Master Paul
1 year ago

I really wanted them to show the car going under instead of that long crane drop and out camera move. I makes me question whether they actually dunked him.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

four inch
door hinge
like the red tail lights of a Chrysler Cirrus prototype
these are the thoughts that keep me up at night
nothing rhymes with orange

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
1 year ago

I hope that was non-toxic water-based paint so those spills on the pavement could be cleaned up easily.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
1 year ago

I don’t think they’d dump their CEO into a vat of VOCs, but you never know.

Thomas Benham
Thomas Benham
1 year ago

It’s actually just tinted ranch dressing.

William Sheldon
William Sheldon
1 year ago

i saw that too! should wash away (right into the bay)

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