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Old 17-05-2008   #1
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Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

My colleagues in the US have been pushing 'Road & Track' Magazine to test drive my 500 in LA but after some long negotiations this is the response...

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Jim,

I had a long, interesting conversation with Engineering Editor Dennis Simanaitis at Road & Track, early this afternoon. He was very welcoming in inviting you to drop in if you will be in the area (1 hour south of Los Angeles ), but indicated several reasons why they would not be interested to run testing or an article on your new 500:



1) Foremost, there are no plans for Fiat to market the car in the USA , so an article on the Fiat 500 would not get much of an audience in the USA , which is the primary market audience of their magazine. Of course, we Fiat enthusiasts think differently, but that could be foolish thinking on our part.

2) They typically look to the future to have all their testing done on a timely basis, so that the article airs at the time the car is introduced, so any testing for this vehicle would already be done (before the introduction of the car to Europe)

3) He was confident that their European partners, had long since done their research on this car already (he mentioned Ampersand??? Have you heard of that one?)



He was very cordial, and would have talked to me for 2 hours if I had time, and was very interested from a personal basis to meet you and your car. However, he was careful to indicate that any interest would be on a personal basis, and unfortunately not from the magazine.



We discussed the challenges of bringing your car into this country, a car which was not designed to meet the safety and environmental standards for US vehicles (since it isnít intended for market in the US ). Iím sure that youíve already covered all these concerns, but he wishes to express his advice that you be sure that you are clear with all the customs and regulations that would be needed for you to be able to drive your 500 in the US.



I was hoping for a different response. But, I can see his perspective.

Alvon

Bit disappointing really....

Jim
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Old 17-05-2008   #2
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

customs and regulations
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Old 17-05-2008   #3
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

Even if it is never sold in America I am certain there is an interest in the car there.

We often get mini-tests of cars we will never see in our mags, but unfortunately Americans are very conservative and also some of the most insular people on earth.
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Old 17-05-2008   #4
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

biggest problem is the 500 does more than 20mpg so the usa won't like it. plus compared to most american cars its tiny! safe or not the yanks live by the saying bigger is better... but then again at $3.50 a gallon (£1.78) i would probably have a 5.7 hemi under the bonnet plus it's not realy "butch" enough for the american taste - or lack of
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Old 17-05-2008   #5
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
customs and regulations
Yeah, as he's the tech guy from the magazine he'd know that it's illegal to bring in a non federalized (ie, one that not passed US type approval) car. Any cars that aren't can be seized and crushed.

Thankfully that doesnt apply to tourists bringing in they're own cars... But even at that we only get 12 months before they start chasing the poor thing with the crusher!

Thou this doesnt apply to cars older than 25....

Jim
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Last edited by JimMagill; 17-05-2008 at 18:31.
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Old 17-05-2008   #6
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

from what he wrote looks like he not know about being a tourist
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Old 17-05-2008   #7
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

Very few people take their cars from Europe to the US so I'd expect he didn't know that....

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As a general rule, all motor vehicles imported into the United States that are less than 25 years old must comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS), or be brought into compliance with those standards by a Registered Importer. Vehicles temporarily imported in the following circumstances are exempt from this requirement and do not have to be modified to conform to the FMVSS. A DOT HS-7 Declaration form (available at ports of entry or at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import) must be completed for each vehicle imported.

NONRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

A vehicle registered in a country other than the United States may be imported for personal use by a non-resident of the United States for a period not to exceed one year. The vehicle cannot be sold while in the United States and must be exported within one year from the date of entry. This period cannot be extended under any circumstances. The importerís passport number and the name of the country that issued the passport must be supplied on the HS-7 Declaration form. Use Box 5 on the HS-7 Declaration form.

Like on the other hand only 30% of Americans have Passports so the rest of the world and it's inhabitants don't really seem that important to most citizens of the US.

Except the FIAT owning ones who would all love us to turn up on mass with lots of tiny little Italian cars! LOL

Jim
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Old 18-05-2008   #8
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

Whatever you do choose your shipping agent carefully and research their background. Don't choose the one we used to take our cars to usa.........he was and still is a nightmare.......3 years on.
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Old 18-05-2008   #9
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

And that one was?

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Old 18-05-2008   #10
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

Quote Quote:
We discussed the challenges of bringing your car into this country, a car which was not designed to meet the safety and environmental standards for US vehicles (since it isn’t intended for market in the US ).
LMAO!!!

Perhaps it's too safe and too environmental for the US? FFS I don't think many US pickups get more than 10mpg and would get 2* on the NCAP.
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Old 18-05-2008   #11
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

Jim, YHM re shipper

Hellcat, Regarding emissions, some parts of usa are extremely strict on emissions for example california.....
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Old 18-05-2008   #12
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

Thankfully we don't have a UK shipper as it's a charity event I was able to deal with the Atlantic Container Line directly (as they own the big rusty boats it makes things a bit simpler)

Emissions wise I imagine the 500 is a world beater thou? Mmmm?

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Old 19-05-2008   #13
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Re: Bit of Bad news from 'Road & Track' Magazine...

Ah.. Hemmings is interested now!

http://www.hemmings.com/

That, and we seem to be having a press conference in Golden Gate park with the San Francisco Chronicle too, lol!

Jim
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