Business Case Studies, Positioning, Repositioning, Reverse Positioning Strategies Case Study, Fiat, Marketing Case Studies

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Positioning, Repositioning, Reverse Positioning Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

Fiat Relaunching the 1950’s Fiat 500: Replicating the MINI’s Success?

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Shanul, Mercy Mathew

Industry: Automobiles


Case Code: POS0014

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Retro models seem to be the car industry's hot favourites. BMW came out with MINI and Volkswagen with the New Beetle. Both were cult cars in their initial run and their new avatars did not do anything less. Fiat also flirted with this trend, by relaunching its 1950's Fiat 500 afresh, half a century down. Through this relaunch, Fiat wants to consolidate its recent recovery - ratcheted up by its CEO, Sergio Marchionne - and work towards an upmarket image.

This case study outlines the car industry trends and helps analyse the success of the MINI and the New Beetle. The case enables a discussion on the targeting, positioning and marketing techniques of carmakers, especially those of Fiat. It triggers discussion on how Fiat - while cashing in on the retro nostalgia - has to ensure young drivers are not left out. Spotlight is also on Fiat's trade-off between maintaining the car's retro-image and making it thoroughly modern.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To analyse the essential elements for the relaunch of retro models and those of the relaunched MINI and the New Beetle
  • To understand the concept of targeting and positioning, with respect to the relaunch of MINI and the New Beetle
  • To understand the concept of marketing mix and apply it to the relaunch of the Fiat 500.

Keywords : Trends in and dynamics of automobile industry, consumer behaviour in automobile industry, segmentation, targeting and positioning, Brands & Branding Case Study, marketing mix, relaunch of retro models, bottom-up marketing, viral marketing, Fiat 500, BMW MINI, Volkswagen New Beetle


  • The Car Industry
  • Fiat
  • MINI
  • New Beetle
  • The Fiat Cinquecento or the 500

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