International Fiat Brand Manager, Luca De Meo, “symbolically” handed over the 3,000 Fiat Auto cars that will be used by the organising committee of the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games to Evelina Christillin, Deputy Chairman of TOROC. The event was also attended by champion skier Alberto Tomba, and by numerous journalists, local authorities and athletes.
The absolute star of the ceremony was the brand new Fiat Sedici, the original 4×4 off-road vehicle, which combines the enjoyable driving and handling of a compact Fiat with the off-road performance of a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). This means that it is both perfect in town traffic, and the ideal answer for unconventional terrain and trips into the mountains. This is why the Fiat Sedici is the “official” car of the XX Winter Olympics in Turin, the event that will also mark its market launch in Italy.
The Olympic fleet will be made up of 200 Fiat Sedicis and other Group cars that meet the various operating requirements: from the Grande Punto to the Croma, Panda 4×4, Fiat Idea, Alfa 159, Alfa Crosswagon, Lancia Musa as well as the Lancia Phedra and Thesis flagships.
Some of these cars will be assigned to the delegations and television operators from all parts of the world, while hundreds of other cars will be used by the “spinal cord” of the Games: the 3,000 Torino 2006 volunteers.
Safe Driving courses have been organised for the volunteers, and Fiat Auto has participated by supplying Fiat Idea, Lancia Musa and Alfa 147 cars. What is more, thanks to Magneti Marelli, all the Fiat Cromas and Alfa 159s in the Olympic fleet, have been equipped with the latest generation infotelematic and satellite navigation systems that will enable them to reach the Olympic sites and areas of interest by following the directions given vocally or on the colour screen.
Initiatives put in place by Fiat Auto, as an Official Sponsor of the Torino 2006 XX Olympic Winter Games, include the teams created for the Olympics: the Fiat Freestyle Team which draws together the strongest Italian snowboarders and freestyle skiers, and the Alfa Romeo Ski Racing Team in particular, made up of the leading members of the Italian Alpine Skiing team; sponsorship of the Jamaican Bob Federation; the bond between Lancia and the world of figure skating through the “Lancia Ice” team; and finally, sponsorship of the Italian men’s and women’s Ice Hockey teams by Fiat Light Commercial Vehicles.
The cars will be personalised with the logos of the various sponsorship programmes: for example a Panda 4×4 “Jamaica”, a Grande Punto “Fiat Freestyle Team”, an Alfa Crosswagon “Ski Racing Team” and a Lancia Ypsilon “Ice”.
Last but not least, Fiat is an Institutional Sponsor of the “Olympic Flame Relay”, which started in Rome on December 8, 2005 and will reach Turin on the day of the inauguration of the XX Olympic Winter Games, having covered over 11,300 kilometres in little more than two months, passing through a large number of Italian towns.