The Fiat 500’s acquisition by the New York Modern Art Museum (MoMA) has earned the Fiat brand an accolade at the 2017 Corporate Art Awards. The award celebrates the status of the most popular car in the Fiat brand’s history – the icon that brought mass car ownership to Italy and has become a worldwide ambassador for the country and a major symbol of Italian creativity – as a genuine, globally important work of modern art.
Founded last year with the aim of increasing the visibility, recognition and reputation of projects which connect the world of business to the world of art, the prestigious Corporate Art Awards are organised in association with the LUISS Business School and support from the Italian Arts, Heritage and Tourism Ministry, as well as the Confidustria industrialists’ association, ABI banking association, Museimpresa museums’ association and the Foreign Ministry.
This year’s edition – which concluded yesterday in Rome with the awards ceremony in the Collegio Romano’s Sala Spadolini – repeated the international success of 2016, with the participation of 80 companies from 18 countries worldwide. A global scope that very much reflects the identity of the Fiat 500 itself: with more than 80 percent of sales made outside Italy, and the car is European best-seller in its segment, topping its category in nine European countries and in the top three in another seven.
Attending the audience with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Olivier Francois, Head of Fiat Brand and Chief Marketing Officer, FCA, declared: “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award. A tangible recognition that Fiat 500 is not just an industrial masterpiece with a 60-year history, but rather a real symbol of Italian creativity, which has won a place in the collective imagination. And its journey continues today, with ever-increasing vigour and awareness of its role as an ambassador for Italian excellence worldwide”.
The coveted 2017 Corporate Art Award is yet another prize for the splendid Fiat 500, sixty years after its birth. Its acquisition by the permanent collection of the New York Modern Art Museum provides incontrovertible proof of the car’s iconic, global status and is a genuine tribute to its unforgettable style. The charming “face” of the Fiat 500 with its chrome whiskers and round headlights is recognised around the world – and has inspired artists all over the world to evoke it in their works.
Specifically, the model purchased by the MoMA is a 500 F series, the most popular 500 ever, made from 1965 to 1972. If the 500F is added to the other versions (Sport, D, L and R) of the first generation, more than 4 million cars were produced from 1957 to 1975. A car of undisputed success, followed in 2007 by the birth of the new generation: today’s 500, just like its illustrious ancestor, immediately proved highly successful, since in just 10 years it has already acquired 2 million customers, as well as winning an impressive array of prizes, including Car of the Year and the Compasso d’oro.
Apart from its worldwide sales and numerous awards, the Fiat 500 is a symbol of Italian design and manufacturing worldwide, and fully deserves its place in the collective imagination, with importance far beyond the automotive industry itself. This status is confirmed by the impressive programme of events that the brand took part in this year to pay homage to the 60th anniversary of the Fiat 500. In addition to its entry into the MoMA and its prize at the Corporate Art Awards, the Fiat 500 was featured in “See You in the Future”, Fiat’s first short movie, starring Oscar®-winner Adrien Brody, and took part in the delightful “500 Forever Young Tour” roadshow, which saw the iconic Fiat 500 visit some of Europe’s loveliest squares. Last but not least, the Fiat icon has also featured on a stamp and a coin, everyday objects which are also collectors’ items, intended for numismatists, Fiat 500 enthusiasts and anyone wishing to have in their pocket a genuine Italian masterpiece, always up to date yet constantly true to itself.