11 Nov 2013
‘Celebrating the Icon’: Abarth 595 ‘50th Anniversary’
Fifty years of an icon
November is the month of the Scorpion, and this year the brand is celebrating fifty years of the Abarth 595, a true icon of the brand which in the 1960s proved an immediate success thanks to its extraordinary performance, unusual for such a small car.
In order to pay it a fitting tribute, the 595 '50th Anniversary' was presented in its world début at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show. It's the fastest 595 ever, as well as the "smallest" supercar ever produced. An exclusive model, which once again demonstrates the brand's outstanding ability to look to the future without betraying its past.
When talking about his life, Carlo Abarth used to say that, "engines, cars, races, a passion for cars and a passion for speed is the disease, the beautiful disease that made us love what is always the fastest, always the pinnacle of mechanical perfection." Today these words are part of Abarth's manifesto and demonstrate that the search for 'performance' is more than a passion: it's a genuine lifestyle, or as the brand communication pay-off neatly sums up, 'Performance is a state of mind'.
This 'lifestyle' results in a business model which is unique in the international scenario, a virtuous circle in which commercial activity supports commitment to competition and racing know-how fuels the technical development of road-going models. And when we talk about commercial activity, that doesn't just mean sales of cars, but also the installation of kits, accessories, licensing, merchandising and sponsorship.
Precisely thanks to this range of interests, Abarth has sold more than 60,000 units from 2007 to date, of which almost 95% road-going cars. Special Series have also always played an important role for Abarth, with almost 3,000 units sold to date, and the tuning kits, more than 16,000. It has also entered into more than 30 partnerships for the development of merchandising and licensing activities. So it's something more than an effective business model; it's also the best confirmation of Abarth's global dimension. It is present in more than 31 countries and is followed on the Global Facebook Page by 800,000 fans . Also, with a presence on all the web's most important social channels, it reaches an average of 300,000 people daily.
Today the brand continues in its trajectory of growth above all beyond national boundaries, accounting for nearly 85% of total sales. In Europe, for example, interest in Abarth is healthy above all in countries where an "automotive culture" and passion for driving have the deepest roots, such as Italy (15%), the United Kingdom (10%) and Germany (9%). And that's not all. At the global level, more than 1 Abarth in 10 reaches Asia, principally Japan, a market which saw growth of 129% last year.
This excellent sales performance was achieved in part thanks to a distribution network that is one of a kind, an extensive presence - covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia - organised on three levels: the dealers, who carry out all the sales and service activity for the brand; the specialised tuners, the only people - together with the dealers - authorised to install the kits; and the authorised service workshops.
A network that is constantly growing, thanks to the opening of new markets and modern, cutting-edge dealerships. One symbol of this trend is the largest Abarth showroom that recently opened in Yokohama, Japan with 500 square metres of sheer 'Abarth Experience'. True centres of tuning excellence, where enthusiasts can find products characterised by high aesthetic refinement, the possibility of customisation and above all the capacity for endless enhancement and improvement. In fact, nearly a third of Abarth customers choose to purchase a kit for their car as well: more than 16,000 kit sold from 2007 to date.
Numbers that can only confirm the unique character of the Abarth brand, which is autonomous and has its own 'home', the Officine Abarth in Turin, a global presence, a solid tradition and a development strategy for the construction of its future, a strategy which, like a high-power engine, always runs at full power.
Racing, Road-going cars, Aftermarket - with kits, accessories and merchandising - and limited edition Special Series, the utmost degree of customisation, resulting in a car which is practically "handmade" by Officine Abarth specialist technicians: these are Abarth's engines today. And one of these is the iconic brand-new Abarth 595 50th Anniversary, destined to become a genuine collectors' item.