Fiat's discount seeks parking-lot converts

Employees not driving a Fiat got bagged, badgered.

Some Fiat employees at two Italian factories got a surprise recently: Their foreign-made cars from brands such as Volkswagen and Peugeot had been wrapped up in a giant plastic bag with a message attached: "Seeing you with someone else breaks my heart. But we're still thinking of you anyway." The message was printed on top of a red heart with a crack running from top to bottom.

It was a promotional campaign created by Fiat's marketing office trying to entice employees to take advantage of a special discount on new Fiats.

As puzzled employees pulled the plastic from their cars, they were approached by members of the agency's staff who handed them brochures outlining a $1,400 spiff on top of the standard employee discount.

One employee said he wanted a little more commitment from Fiat before he committed to car payments. "I bought my Renault used," he said. "My [employment] contract at Fiat ends in a couple of months."