Fiat sales in America are floundering - reaching so far only around one-third of the hoped for total for the year - and controversial promotions by Jennifer Lopez for the 500 coupé haven't helped.
The latest this week, a performance at the American Music Awards seen here, drew this tweet from singer John Legend, reports AdAge: "That has to be the most shameless thing I've ever seen in a performance. I was genuinely shocked." The Fiat appears after just over a minute and vanishes after three minutes of the six-minute video.
An earlier ad by Lopez was described by some critics as"the worst car spot for years." That video has now been removed from YouTube.
Meanwhile the American Chrysler Group has replaced Fiat North America head Laura Soave - not thought to be involved in the JLo campaign. Soave has left the company to "pursue other interests," according to a press release. In her place. Timothy Kuniskis has been appointed head of Fiat brand sales and marketing in the US.
The company target for the 500 coupe was set at 50,000 units annually in the US . At the end of October , the car had reached sales of just 15,826, according to Automotive News.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters in Ohio last week that distribution was at the root of Fiat's problem."The distribution network is probably half a year late."
But others question if Lopez is the right image . Currently, Doner is handling the brand, replacing Impatto, a Michigan agency.
Chrysler said it would have 130 Fiat stores in place in America this year, but many of them reported no Fiat sales in October, Automotive News said.
Mr. Kuniskis joined Chrysler in 1992. He was head of Chrysler brand-product marketing and joined the Fiat brand this summer