Pinin vs Merc

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ramzi
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Pinin vs Merc

Post by ramzi » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:01 am

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Re: Pinin vs Merc

Post by AZRuss124 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:16 am

Don't you just love creative advertising :roll:
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Re: Pinin vs Merc

Post by rridge » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:14 pm

Yes, that Malcolm Brinklin had quite a flare which is a useful asset when you are venting combustible gases. The real competition for a a new 1983 Spider in the U.S. market was a Mustang convertible. It was the first year of the convertible option on the Fox platform. The sticker price started at about $13,500 but with an automatic , V8, and a/c the two cars were very closely priced. The difference was that the Mustang was available from 3,000 dealers across the country. The Spider was available at a 100 IAI dealers that handled it as a second or third tier brand.
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Re: Pinin vs Merc

Post by ramzi » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:12 pm

Possibly if you consider "the market" as people who want a convertible. But the Mustang and the Pininfarina were never targeted to the same audience in any of the literature or advertising I own or have seen in 35 years. And I certainly have never met anyone who said "hmm I wish I had purchased that 1983 Mustang" ... the majority of which were powered by a V6 not a V8.

Car sales in the US had be gutted in the early 80's - Selling a 20 year old model became increasingly more difficult.... that was the real competition.
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Re: Pinin vs Merc

Post by sams » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:31 pm

What I've always liked about this advertisement is that it shows what a darn classy car the Spider was in its final iteration. For all the folks that bellyache about how the impact bumpers ruined the car, I did and still do think they look quite nice, particularly compared to what Mercedes ended up doing.

The Spider was still a sports car and could hold its own as such, but it was equally at home driving to the country club. In the hills of Berkeley I test drove a low mileage Pininfarina Spider with the automatic transmission, and it was a _nice_ car.

That said, while comparing the Pininfarina to the tank-like features of the Mercedes might be a stretch from an overall quality standpoint, marketing it as an alternative for the jet set was not far-fetched.
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Re: Pinin vs Merc

Post by vandor » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:51 am

rridge wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:14 pm
The real competition for a a new 1983 Spider in the U.S. market was a Mustang convertible.
I think it's real competition was the Alfa Spider. The Mustang would appeal more to the muscle car crowd, who'd likely never consider buying a sportscar.
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Re: Pinin vs Merc

Post by rridge » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:42 am

From the late 70’s through the early 80’s full convertibles were rare birds in the U.S. market. GM was the last of the Big-3 to end convertible production with a few Eldorado’s in 1976. MGB’s and Triumphs disappeared in 1980. So by 1981, if you wanted a more or less full open convertible and were a person of ordinary means, your choices were down to a Rabbit, an Alfa Spider or a Fiat.

By 1981 ASC an independent German owned company saw the market opening and set up an operation in Detroit to convert hardtops to convertibles for mainline producers. Despite a sticker price approaching $30,000, their first project, a Riviera convertible for Buick found some traction. In 1982 both GM and Chrysler jumped back into the convertible market selling ASC conversions on J-cars and K-cars. In 1983 Ford went full in with purpose made convertible body for the Mustang which was an immediate sale success. In 1984 the fourth gen Corvette was introduced with a full convertible available from the start. The drought of sporting convertibles in the U.S. was over and the opportunity for the Azzurra Spider was closing.
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Re: Pinin vs Merc

Post by ramzi » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:48 am

The 'abundance' of convertible like the Corvette and Riviera, were targeting a completely different demographic. The lack efficient air conditioning, the looming increase in safety and emission and the horrible distribution and support network were far more to blame to the continued slump in 124 sales.

We all know that the vehicle which actually ended Pininfarina's production of the '124 Spider' was the Cadillac Allante which itself had disappointing sales... but was successful in bringing Cadillac back into the luxury market on par w/ Mercedes and BMW.
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Re: Pinin vs Merc

Post by rridge » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:00 am

We all know that the vehicle which actually ended Pininfarina's production of the '124 Spider' was the Cadillac Allante
As Ginny Obert pointed out many years ago, the Spider and the Allante were made in different Pininfarina plants. The Spider was made along side the Alfa Spider which not only remained in production but picked up rate in 1985. The immediate cause of the Fiat Spider's end of production was the end of 131/132 production, the last RWD Fiats with which the Spider shared parts. Bertone continued to build X1/9's until the Ritmo left production in 1988.

Malcolm Bricklin was the source of the Allante story. He was trying to sell Yugo franchises at the time. It was a popular story then and we still like it.

To Csaba's point, it didn't help that Alfa introduced a stripped down of their Spider in 1985, undercutting the price of the Spider Europa by several thousand dollars. The sales success of the Graduate edition showed that the demand for small two-seater was and probably still is price sensitive, Mercedes SL's not withstanding.
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Re: Pinin vs Merc

Post by bartigue » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:26 am

I would argue the actual end of production was caused by a lack of sales and should have occured in 1982. If FIAT was selling these cars in a profitable way they would have remained in production. Also notable is that pininfarina the manufacturer wasn't the same as the company who paid them to manufacture the cars and use their logo.
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