The American arrival of the cutsie FIAT Cinquecento this week (NOT to be called the five hundred, per favore!) made headlines the world over – and of course, in Italy it was quite a big deal here in Bell’Italia. The ultimate in 'Bella Figura.' It was as if overnight, those ships they once cracked a bottle of Champagne over were transformed into mini-cars launched with a bottle of Prosecco. This time, however, the Italians disembarked with their heads held high. No more Fix it again, Tony – or at least, we’re all touching our privates to keep that jinx far away. So beloved of the press, we can call it, Tony's Vendetta.
But what was the most titillating, from news articles to editorials to facebook commentators was the launch itself – not so much the car. Italian-American Laura Soave was just as much in the headlights of the cute little car she presented to the world. Here we had, a spokeswoman, start the engines of the FIAT 500. After centuries of men droning on about their autos while Stepford women draped the cars, smiles as frozen as their cerebral cortex, an MCP like Agnelli is probably turning somersaults in his grave. And, she got rave reviews. Most striking was, she was actually clothed! No T&A, no flirtations - although she looks quite good on camera – a huge step for womankind not to be presented as a dim hood ornament, but actually as fully clothed & conscious, Mistress of Ceremonies (without being the mistress-not that I'd know...but Marchionne??!!). As usual, her age was bantered about in all the media—not sure if it was because she was so young to have such responsibility, or if it was because she was so old – she was clearly not to be taken for eye candy. Either way, in Italy, she nearly garnered as much print space as the car & Company itself.
Now that they've allowed a woman to smash through the windscreen, let’s see what else is under the hood.
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