Recognize that tag line? It was used in the first ad for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 90-second spot devoted to resetting our image of Jeep and, subtly, America itself. Chrysler parent Fiat evidently thinks so much of the tagline that they've taken it to Italy for use in the ad campaign for the 2012 Fiat Panda.

Italy's had a tough time of late: just as it was trying to get Berlusconi and his "bunga bunga" in the rearview, its debt crisis went from 'critical' to 'euro-zone threatening,' austerity measures led to social and labor unrest, and now comes the capsized Costa Concordia and an Italian captain with the unique ability to trip and fall into a lifeboat before his passengers.

The Panda doesn't softly beat the drum of national spirit, it instead presents the Panda as just one symbol of what Italy can be if it is dedicated to working its way out of its funk. The Panda is so symbolic that, unlike in the Jeep commercial, the narrator never mentions the car. It's airing on Italian television now, and you can see it after the jump.



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  • 28 Comments
      Bill Burke
      • 3 Years Ago
      Italians have alot of which to be proud, arguably one of the great cultures that clearly created the foundation of western civilization. Having also a history of political conflict, conquest and occupation, failed governments and recent military defeat, their inate abilities and intellectual prowness has been underestimated too often and ridiculed by the narrow minded. Italy is at a crossroad in their history and a very difficult one in which they must choose second tier national status or a leadership role in the world. To fullfill their destiny and build on their centuries of achievement, extremely hard and difficult choices must be made, ones which will test the basic character of the nation and it's people. In fact, this commercial is all about that choice and the future of Italy itself. Fiat is a significant part of that destiny surely, as it's partnership with Chrysler will define the nations recognition of modern global economics and it's ability to rise to the challange of international partnerships and 21st century technology. This commercial hits at the heart of the situation in a similar way in the Chrysler 200 commercial as to whether America's urban cores can recover and prosper though hard work and sacrifice or succumb the easy choice of generational government subsidies,economic dependance and cultural desinergration. This commercial hits to the heart of the matter and for Italians the stakes couldn't be higher. Fiat and Chrysler should be applauded for their honesty and courage.
        stclair5211
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bill Burke
        Yes. Massive debt and a collapsing economic system is something to be proud of. The Italians were used, lied too and manipulated by the globalists. They still don't see it either. If I were them I'd be pissed and embarrassed not building pandas feeling all patriotic. America is no different BTW. This is the path we are on right now.
          maxdamage
          • 3 Years Ago
          @stclair5211
          there are things more important than economics. Like this for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_Index
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 3 Years Ago
      well **** I want a Panda now
      ccweems
      • 3 Years Ago
      I drove a Panda for a week in the hills of Tuscany last year and found it a fun drive. Standard models (w/ aircon and 5M) run about 25% less than a similarly equipped Toyota Yaris. In the US a Yaris is about $15K so the Panda could be sold for close to $12K. For all the folk that used to buy Honda Civics because they were cheap and fun to drive, the Panda would be a godsend. The 4X4 version adds about $1500 and would sell like crazy in snow country. How does a girl know she has had Panda sex? He eats shoots and leaves.
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would love to have this car here as an alternative to the lousy Countryman...if it ever came here with AWD and a diesel, it would be just about perfect for a compact entry level SUV.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      You just gotta love corporate ad campaigns that tug at the heart strings of nationalistic pride, and yet when it comes time to look at the bottom line, these same corporations are very quick to explain-away the outsourcing of jobs as simply a numbers game. I actually think its a pretty darn good commercial and all (and thought the Jeep one was great), but at the same time I think its quite a manipulation of consumers that these companies really don't give a rat's ass about.
        Colin
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Well, the new Panda is being built in a refurbished factory near Naples, rather than in Poland where the current one is built. I thought the shot with the chsiel was a bit contrived and cheesy, but this technique is a refreshing change from the endless shots of pristine cars driving along totally empty scenic routes. Reality is urban traffic from hell, which is where the Panda comes into its own. That it is comfortable and quiet at speed is an added bonus. Great little car by the way, and the 4X4 will be a hoot. It's on my list...
          Hazdaz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Colin
          Its great that the new Panda is built in Italy, but not unlike what US companies do here in the US, I have little doubt that that refurbished Naples plant got some kind of incentives from the local government to keep them there. So in essence, these companies want it both ways. They need to be paid-off to keep Italian jobs in Italy, and yet they want Italians to buy this new vehicle in part because of nationalistic pride. If that is the case, then Fiat should have refurbished that plant all on their OWN - for nationalistic pride - and not because of tax write-offs. When it comes to the car itself, I think it looks pretty cool for folks needing a small run-about with decent room. It definitely should come to the US to help fill the lineup.
          Colin
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Colin
          Of course the companies want it both ways, if they can get it. I have no idea how much the Italian government helped Fiat with this factory, but I do know that governemnt subsidies are not what they were and they are very tightly monitored by the EU. Marchionne signed a new deal with the unions in order to give the go-ahead for this factory, and even so it wil lstill be more expensive per unit than the Polish factory. That suggests confidence rather than cynicism to me. And yes, it is a very good little car, but too small for the US market I'm afraid. Don't forget, tiny cars have to have all the same bits as large cars, so only the samller volume of relatively inexpensive steel costs less, and this is a small part of manufacturing cost compared with design, engineering, tooling and all the rest. And yet buyers see small and demand cheap, whch is unreasonable but unfortunately a fact of life. Americans want a small car to cost half the price of a big car and yet deliver the same space and amenity, which can't happen and ensures that big cars will always be the American norm. In crampt European villages, towns and cities tiny cars are essential, in America they are not.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      An incredibly homely car, from an incredibly beautiful country.
        axiomatik
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        I think it's a decent looking city car. There are certainly uglier cars on the market.
        Shiftright
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        Not a show winner, but hardly ugly. It's a refined, well engineered, well built honest and practical daily driver
      mik
      • 3 Years Ago
      the panda would be a better fit in US instead of the 500 because of the higher ride height, 4 doors and 4x4.
        flychinook
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mik
        Instead of the 500? No. IN ADDITION TO the 500? Hells yeah. It would be nice to have a small Jeep that's actually capable (lol compass)
      XJ Yamaha
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ugh, what a boring looking little car.I love the part of the video where the woman is designing the panda. She obviously has a lot of creative talent.
        k9182
        • 3 Years Ago
        @XJ Yamaha
        The Panda is more about functionality and price than it is about looks. For looks and less functionality, Fiat has the 500 in this segment. The Panda is basically a cube on wheels because it has to fit 5 people + cargo in a 3,5 m car, and it does so rather well (this comes from a 1,87 m guy). It competes with the VW Up/Seat Mii/Skoda Citigo triplets, Citroën C1/Peugeot 107/Toyota Aygo triplets, Ford Ka, among others, which are all rather boring too. Despite only being sold under one brand, unlike its more direct competitors which are shared by 3 brands, the Fiat actually outsells all of them by a large margin in the segment in all of Europe.
      chan625
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't care @ the car....but that ad is a hit!
      alex-pl
      • 3 Years Ago
      For Poles that commercial is quite offensive, seeing as decision to make Panda in Italy instead of Poland was purely political. "The new Panda, made by cultured and elegant Italians, not those eastern-european savages".
      Renaurd
      • 3 Years Ago
      Toyota is going to make a car like that, but they're going to call theirs, the "Pander..er".
        torqued
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Renaurd
        Because it panders to Italians' sense of national pride? Or did I read too much into that?
          Renaurd
          • 3 Years Ago
          @torqued
          Because Toyota panders at every level, usually by taking someones else's idea, making a few changes, and then claiming it for their own.
      gtv4rudy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Every little bit of inspiration is welcoming to this noted land going through some rough times.
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