Tag Archives: Fiat

A female friendly dealership day out in Croydon

I always say I can sense a female friendly dealership the moment I walk in. Yes of course they all should be, but believe me, a lot aren’t. By female friendly I mean a business that’s evidently well organised and clean with staff who’re genuinely interested in me and where there’s something on offer with women in mind.

One such dealership is Motor Village, a Fiat owned dealership in Croydon that also sells Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Chrysler models.

I called in there recently during a Family Day called ‘Safe and Secure’ and met their friendly reception, sales and service staff.

Female friendly dealership staff

Miriam_fiatStaff don’t need to be female to be female friendly of course but finding women on the car sales floor is a particular bonus for me.

One such lady is Miriam Spalla who perfectly represents the Italian brand in my mind when it comes to style and flair.

Not only is she evidently Italian but she also lives and breathes engines as a result of her father’s passion for cars. She explained to me that she has a very brief window opportunity to impress male car buyers with her technical knowledge; before meeting Miriam, many think a man is more likely to know the performance facts they are interested in.

She will do well.

img_0006During the course of the day The AA put on car maintenance displays, there was plenty on offer to entertain the children, the coffee was particularly good and for those of us with a love for older cars, there were some fabulous and highly stylish Fiat classics on show.

There were holiday-like candyfloss and popcorn stalls and the business was clearly doing well in terms of car servicing bookings on the day as well as more than just a passing interest in new car models on the showroom floor.

All in all, this was called a ‘family day’ but I have no doubt that the actual target audience was really women.

img_0003Motor Village is a FOXY Lady Approved garage and their female customers are entitled to claim a gift membership of FOXY Lady Drivers Club via their reception team.

Do call in and collect yours – you’ll be made to feel as welcome as I was I’m sure.


Joan’s foxy Fiat is a friends’ favourite

We started by asking Joan to introduce herself and her car…

“My name is Joan and I drive a Fiat Panda 1.1 Active Eco, which I have owned for two years now. These days all my driving is for pleasure and social reasons.

My hubby and I are retired and when we were both working we loved a bigger car; in fact our last car was a Mercedes C class.”

What features were you looking for in your new car?

“Our mileage is now a fraction of what it used to be and with a fixed income (and the uncertain state of the economy) we wanted something more economical to run. The Fiat road tax is just £30 per year which I particularly like (as opposed to around £250 for the Mercedes) and we are getting much better fuel economy too which is a big consideration in our choice of car.”

What made you choose a Fiat?

“We looked seriously at other makes but in the end it came down to a Kia (we liked the extended warranty) or this little Fiat. We took the car for a short drive and I was really happy with it.”

“Previously a neighbour of ours had bought one who then told a friend of ours who then bought one who then told us how good it was and then we bought one! It’s good to have that sort of recommendation…

The car is nippy, easy to park and easy on the wallet. It has four doors and a reasonable space for shopping or luggage in the rear.

The only thing I don’t like is that you cannot see the front of the car when driving it, but you do get used to that. Also, although the back seat folds down it does not lie flat.”

How did you get on when you bought it?

“We went to a local car dealership that sells several different car makes at different locations and saw this car. It was already registered and had been reserved for a lady who then changed her mind. We got a good deal and I imagine the dealer was keen to move it on. I thought they offered us a good price on the Mercedes, even though it needed new tyres and would soon need taxing.

I was going to take it back to the dealer for servicing but then heard (via our friends’ grapevine again…) that I could get it serviced at another local independent garage that has been approved by Fiat. They charged a lot less money so that’s where I go now. However, I should point out that you need to check that your warranty will not be affected if you take this option.”

FOXY Footnote

Good point Joan and we can confirm that your warranty is safe providing your repairs are carried out by a good independent garage, especially one that Fiat know and approve. We like this car too and are impressed by Fiat’s efforts to improve our driving to ultimately save us money and reduce our carbon emissions. They are offering an Eco-Drive service and their video explains how this works. It’s not for everyone of course, especially if you aren’t technically minded, and although they say the data collected is anonymous, their system does enable others to know where you are and when, as well as the roads you drive and the speed you take them at.

All in a good cause of course and FOXY is looking at the many ways black box/telematic technology is being used at present before reporting back to members.


Foxy Fiat is ideal design icon for women in Wales

Wales’ women’s economic development agency, Chwarae Teg, has teamed-up with Cardiff-based Wessex Garages to inspire Wales’ next generation of designers and celebrate the charity’s 20th anniversary.

This cooperation is marked by Wessex Garages’ donation of an iconic Fiat 500 to encourage competition entries from female students in Wales to create an inspirational design based on their interpretation of the Chwarae Teg ‘ribbons’ logo.

Wessex Garages is a privately-owned company with locations in Cardiff*, Newport, Bristol and Gloucester, and is known for supporting female employees in their careers as well as creating female friendly dealership environments for their women customers.

The competition will encourage and build female design talent that contributes to the economy and Wales’ perceived intellectual property rankings.

Richard Craythorne (in the photo) is the Fiat brand manager at Wessex Garages and explains:

“We are extremely proud to be associated with the Chwarae Teg Design Contest and the Fiat 500 is an ideal ‘mascot’ to promote the unity between the businesses. The car’s original design in the 1950s was ingenious and promised an exciting new life to those who never had their own transportation before. This promise of a new future (in 2011) has a great synergy with the opportunities Chwarae Teg makes available through its projects, schemes and training courses and I wish all the design competition applicants every success with their entries.”

Katy Chamberlain (in the photo) is the chief executive of Chwarae Teg and she reinforced the synergy between her aims for the competition and the Fiat 500.

“Through the competition we are aiming to inspire students to use their design flair and ambition to help nurture a new generation of world-class female talent in Wales.”

Chwarae Teg’s 20th anniversary celebrations will end with a special three month exhibition at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea coinciding with International Women’s Day on March 8th 2012. The finalists in the design contest will have their work displayed as part of this exhibition and to celebrate the wealth created by women in Wales.

For more information…

The Chwarae Teg Design Contest is open to female students based in Wales who are studying creative disciplines from A-level or equivalent and upwards. Such disciplines could include art, photography, graphic design, fashion and sculpting at school, university or college. The closing date for submissions is Sunday 18th December 2011 and details of how to enter can be found at http://www.chwaraeteg.com/design-contest/


A female friendly dealership welcome in Wales

The Ladies evening at Wessex Garages Penarth Road dealership in Cardiff

Wessex Garages in Cardiff organised a very successful evening event for their female customers last month at their Penarth Road showroom.

The event attracted an impressive 60 women on a dark and dreary October evening who were entertained whilst a dedicated team of hard working valeters treated their cars to a special Primp & Polish makeover.

Wessex’s Penarth Road showroom represents the Kia, Hyundai, FIAT and Abarth franchises in Cardiff so this was a great opportunity for everyone to give the latest models the once over.

And in case the Abarth brand isn’t as well known as the others, members of the all female audience were treated to a ‘Top Gear’ like review from a panel of  motorists who had just test driven the Abarth. Their feedback was fun and favourable which is what you should expect about such a smart and zippy car with female appeal.

Next on the agenda was an excellent presentation from Conflict Solutions covering road safety issues and survival tactics in the event of the dreaded vehicle breakdown when you are on your own. Undoubtedly the highlight of this talk was the clever self-defence moves that were demonstrated, just in case this know how ever might come in handy!

At this point in the proceedings Wessex Garages female technician, Natasha, joined the party and led a number of fun challenges (for the mechanically less experienced…) including changing wheels, checking tyres and topping up oil levels. It’s always good to have a go for ourselves, even though we know that the professionals are likely to be there to do it for us on request…

During the evening there had been a few exciting prize draws but the ultimate one that most time-strapped motoring maidens would surely covet most was a professional car valet service for a whole 12 months! Just imagine that…

To demonstrate their female friendly credentials to more women drivers, Wessex Garages Penarth Road has recently joined the new FOXY Choice approved FEMALE FRIENDLY garage network and are the first dealership listed in Cardiff.

To tie in with this initiative, all attendees were offered gift memberships of FOXY Lady Drivers Club with Wessex Garages’ compliments.

As one guest said in her feedback after the event ‘It was a cold and wet October evening and I was tempted to go home after work …but I was really glad I forced myself to go!’

Well done Wessex Garages. This was a big event that was professionally managed and organised for the benefit of the lucky ladies who attended. From FOXY Choice’s point of view we have just awarded you a generous handful of female friendly brownie points as part of our garage monitoring processes!


A female friendly lifestyle choice in Leicester

Female friendly Sturgess Motor GroupNo matter your lifestyle, there’s a genuinely female friendly garage choice for women drivers in Leicester.

We first met Sturgess Motor Group when they organised a Women in the Driving Seat evening event for local female motorists. It was a popular feature in their calendar and their Marketing Manager, Nichola Moore, saw this as a way to show women drivers how much the Group cares about their motoring welfare not just the value of their business.

It was only a matter of time before this Motor Group would subscribe to FOXY Choice’s female friendly approved UK garage network as further evidence that they really do care for their female customers long after the car has been sold.

Sturgess operates seven franchised car dealership operations in Leicester covering Toyota, Nissan, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover brands. The dealership name and logo will be familiar in the city with branches in Narborough Road, Aylestone Road, Almond Road and Walnut Street.

All locations are ATA employers (Automotive Technician Accredited) which means their staff are accredited to repair all makes of cars not just their franchised brands. They also subscribe to the Motor Codes Service and Repair code which is working its way towards full OFT Code of Practice approval. These are both signs of superior standards in an industry with too many garage/dealership complaints and where women often feel ill at ease and on their guard.

This female unease is precisely why Sturgess have signed up to the FOXY Promise to ‘never overcharge, patronise or sell women services they don’t need or want’ AND have appoined Debbie McIntyre, Gill Clifford, Trish Blaber, Sheena Tegg, Rebecca Hill and Jessica Watts to be Female Business Ambassadors as part of the FOXY Choice female friendly approved garage network.

Sturgess of Leicester is one of the UK’s oldest family operated motor dealers and was founded in 1897. Women shopping for a new or nearly new car to suit their lifestyle and budget will find they have a genuinely female friendly choice here, whether it’s a 4×4, a prestigious executive car, a sporty convertible, something for the family or a stylish and environmentally friendly supermini.

We look forward to working with Sturgess in future.