The Failed Car Syndicate (FCS), an Australian-based organization with over 300 members worldwide, lashed out against Alfa Romeo Friday for promoting its subcompact MiTo car using Twitter and Instagram.
In an official statement, the organization’s president Holden Commodore said “We find it abhorrent that Alfa [Romeo] would resort to using hashtags to shamelessly promote its own languishing vehicle,” referring to the Italian car company’s slow-selling three-door model. “Those of us who have truly failed in the market – often through no fault of our own – refuse to acknowledge Alfa’s ‘plight’ in selling itself as a subpar product in an overcrowded segment.”
Although the MiTo is not sold in the US, domestic criticism has also been harsh. “Alfa wants to sell more cars here in the States,” claims FCS American President Pontiac Aztek. “But using social media to cater to some romantic notion of what Millenials want is just offensive. Words like ‘dynamic’ and ‘connected’ and ‘mobility’ get thrown around so much, they just lose all meaning.”
The Aztek continued by noting that “honorable” car failures should be recognized and applauded, but obnoxious self-promotion is never appropriate. Flanked by fellow US members Buick Terraza and Volkswagen Touareg, Aztek closed by saying that victims of a fickle customer base should never be ashamed, but should be lifted up as modern classics whose value will only grow over time.
In its home country of Italy, the MiTo has been generally supported by both the car community and the media. Aging Italian celebrity Fiat Punto went on record by saying that even when a car begins to fail, its spirit can live on in other ways — such as subcontracting itself to Serbian manufacturers under a pseudonym, for example.
Such tactics are common around the world, but are seen as many observers as a cry for help. Australian-American model Pontiac G8 agrees, citing its short run as proof that even a great car can fail if people see through the façade of weak branding. “It’s all politics,” the G8 said via OnStar email, “Even if your cousin is the head of a major international car organization, there’s no guarantee of tomorrow.”
The FCS’s official document of criticism was signed by over 100 members, including the Saturn Astra, Ford Falcon, Honda S2000, and Chevy Trailblazer.
The FCS has further urged both members and non-members alike to use the hashtag #CarsGoodPeopleBad to support its efforts to recognize its fallen and ailing comrades.