The European Expansion of ‘FIAT Likes U’ to Kick Off FIAT Project

Thursday, October 03, 2013

  • Following the success of the “FIAT Likes U” car sharing scheme in Italian universities, the project begins its expansion across Europe, commencing with the prestigious Royal College of Art in London, UK
  • The “FIAT Likes U” scheme launches at the same time as the ‘FIAT Two of a Kind’ initiative which offers Royal College of Art vehicle design students the chance to participate in a project which includes lectures by FIAT-Chrysler design directors, the chance to have a clay model produced by Fiat Centro Stile as well as internship opportunities with Fiat Centro Stile in Turin
  • The first lecture was given yesterday by Roberto Giolito, Vice President of the Fiat-Chrysler EMEA Design Centre
  • Free Fiat Panda and FIAT 500 car sharing service provided to the students for two months

Following the success of the initiative in Italian universities, the “FIAT Likes U” project now goes international, reaching out to a number of selected European universities starting from one of the world's design centres of excellence - the Royal College of Art in London.

Students from the university will be granted the opportunity through the ‘FIAT Likes U’ project to experience the benefits of car sharing for sustainable mobility. The UK edition of ‘FIAT Likes U’ is the natural development of the project launched in 2012 by Fiat and the Italian Ministry of Education with the patronage of the Italian Ministry for the Environment, which offered an array of advantages to some 280,000 students from the eight universities involved. Numbers confirm the great success of the project in Italy: the car sharing service was used by over 6,000 students who made approximately 28,000 trips totalling more than 320,000 kilometres in the eight cars - Panda and 500L - made available. Moreover, more than 180,000 visits to the dedicated “likesu.FIAT.it” site were recorded.

Spurred by these results, Fiat has chosen to expand the project to other universities in Italy and to open the initiative up to selected universities across Europe beginning with the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. The college is also working with Fiat on the new ‘FIAT Two of a Kind’ project where 14 teams each comprising an average of five students from different design backgrounds will imagine the possible design evolutions of the Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda in 2020. Both these cars are expressions of the essence of Fiat design from two very different points of view, as the title of the project suggests. Both are unmistakably Fiat cars but while the Panda is the perfect expression of the concept of ‘functionality’ the 500 is unquestionably unbridled ‘emotion’. “Two of a Kind”, so to speak!

More specifically, the project will ask aspiring designers to develop new solutions for the interiors and exteriors of the Fiat 500 and Panda, which integrate innovative, immediate ideas in various areas, such as interactivity, digital interface, sustainability and global appeal. They will be asked to take the various markets into account and respect the stylistic features of the Fiat brand. The ambitious, exciting experience will be supported by a series of lectures held by the design directors that will accompany the teams as they develop their projects from October to December 2013. The objective of the lectures will be to put the expertise and experience of an international group of designers at the disposal of young students to make a tangible contribution to their education.

The finished works will be presented in December to a panel of experts including Lorenzo Ramaciotti (Head of Global Design Fiat -Chrysler), Roberto Giolito (Head of Design EMEA), Rossella Guasco (Head of Colours and Materials), Andrea Mainini (Head of User Experience & Interaction Design), Andreas Wuppinger (EMEA Design Fiat), Steve Zanlunghi (Managing Director Fiat Group Automobiles UK) and academic staff and authorities from the Royal College of Art.

The projects will be scored according to various criteria: stylistic value, functionality, innovation, originality, connection and market coherence, product, users, communication skills and overall quality of the presentation. The eventual winners will then be invited to the Fiat’s design centre in Turin for four days to discuss the creation of the clay models of their winning proposals with the modelling team. The models will be completed in advance of the 2014 graduation ceremony at the ‘Royal College of Art’ in London.

The ten winners will also be offered internships with Fiat in Turin from July/September 2014 to February 2015. In addition to applying their skills and acquiring experience in the processes involved in developing a design model, the training will permit the students to immerse themselves in Italian culture and the values of the Fiat -Chrysler Group brands.

While the project is underway, from October to December 2013, Fiat will be supplying a Panda and a 500 as part of a free sharing service to the students of the Royal College of Art, while also allowing them dedicate themselves and fully understand two great Fiat icons they are attempting to re-interpret for the future.

The European expansion of ‘FIAT Likes U’ confirms Fiat’s desire to provide practical answers to the mobility problems of young people, who are increasingly focused on environmental and economic issues. Young people put the utmost emphasis on reducing environmental impact and at the same time seek cars with low fuel consumption and running costs, priced according to their spending potential and with suitable purchasing plans. That is why in 2012, for the sixth year running, Fiat proved to be the brand which recorded the lowest level of CO2 emissions in Europe among the best-selling automotive brands, with an average value of 119.8 g/km. This important achievement, confirms Fiat’s on-going commitment to sustainable mobility: in the last six years, Fiat has reduced its average emissions by 13%, from 137.3 to 119.8 g/km of CO2, far surpassing the target set out by the European Union for 2015, 130 g/km.

As the name suggests, 'FIAT Likes U' is something more. It is an investment in the university that Fiat likes, a new way of saying 'I believe in you' to all those students who are committing today to make tomorrow better. This is a safe investment for the brand, especially in these times of economic instability, because 'merit' and 'know-how' are concrete values that represent a 'safe-haven' asset in any country, regardless of market fluctuations.

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