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Fiat showroom details

by David Zatz on

Fiat has shown Chrysler dealers what its North American showrooms should look like — modern, uniform, and relatively simple; the long, simple dealerships have clearly marked service bays on one side, with a lower roof height than the showroom building.

Chrysler dealers may not sell Fiats alongside Chryslers in their existing showrooms – not even in a separate area while the main showroom is being built. They may, however, use an existing showroom, not shared with any other brands, to sell Fiats while they build.

Sergio Marchionne’s similarities with Steve Jobs come out in the design specifications, which are fairly exacting. Elements include the “enduring appeal of concrete… representing long-term quality and strength… Aluminum Composite Material metal panels in distinctive FIAT red reflect light and exude understated elegance…” (The metal panels may not be taller than the parapet).

Energy saving or generating elements such as solar and wind power can be integrated.

Dealer signs must be individual letters, backlit, and made of painted aluminum. The service door manufacturer, model, and specifications are spelled out, as is the storefront curtainwall. Dealers can use an optional shading device (tube or airfoil sunshades of extruded aluminum with a clear anodized finish). Heights of the signs and sizes of the logos are spelled out along with other dimensions.

Interiors and floor plans are also highly specific, with several options provided for placement of the showroom cars, desks, office space, and service lifts. Again, specific materials, colors, textures, and dimensions are laid out, including for lights, ceiling decorations, and ceiling patterns and materials. Furniture is specified, but alternates can be proposed if they are “at least equal in quality.” Manufacturers include Gordon International, Steelcase, and Herman Miller.

Fiat notes that the fiber cement panels, aluminum panels, carpet tiles, and polymers all have recycled content, while shading devices and LED lights used in some cases reduce power use. Low VOC paints help air quality. (Thanks, JRS200x.)

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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