Tony doesn't exist, yet Fiat global brand head Olivier Francois calls Tony "the elephant in the room." And in a new commercial for the Fiat 500X, Francois takes on Tony.
Tony has exemplified the brand's quality problems in the acronym "Fix It Again, Tony."
In the commercial, a man is standing outside Tony's repair shop speaking to the Italian owner and trying to get a broken mirror on his Honda Civic fixed. Tony asks his two Italian mechanics to "fix it," pointing to the Civic's busted mirror. But instead, they begin a rant about the Civic's lack of style, leather seats and other supposed deficiencies, calling it "a caveman in a cavecar," among other insults.
"We fix," they say in broken English, sending the bewildered owner into the waiting room for an espresso. When he emerges, his blue Civic has been replaced with a new Fiat 500X subcompact crossover.
"We fixed it," the mechanics say proudly.
Fiat has repeatedly been the lowest-ranking mass-market brand on various quality surveys. But when he introduced the 500X to North America at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, Francois said it was time to retire the perception that Fiat has poor quality.
The commercial, Francois said, "features a skeleton in the closet, the elephant in the room. His name was Tony, and he had to go."