Fiat CEO apologizes for slur made during Detroit Auto Show

Article by Anita Panait, on May 29, 2013

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Italian carmaker Fiat and its American unit Chrysler Group, has finally apologized over a comment made during the Detroit Auto Show in January 2013. During a roundtable with reporters at the event, Marchionne was discussing about new Alfa Romeo sedan to be sold in the United States when he said, “with all due respect to my American friends, it needs to be a wop engine.”

Although Marchionne's use of the “wop” term was intended say that an Italian engine would be better than an American one for the model, it was offensive particularly to Italian Americans. “Wop” is a pejorative term used primarily to refer to people from Italy.

One of those offended by Marchionne’s use of the term was the Italian-American ONE VOICE coalition of New Jersey, which then launched a campaign against the remark and called for an apology from Fiat-Chrysler’s top honcho. Months later, they got it.

In a letter dated May 15, 2013, Fiat’s CEO asked for an apology. Marchionne said he, as an Italian, had used the pejorative term "in jest." Marchionne acknowledged that his remark was unacceptable, saying that he was aware of the negative implications of stereotyping “and the significant efforts required to undo its effects.” He then offered apologies to “anyone who may have been offended.” [source: automotive news - sub.required]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Login or Create new account to add a comment!

Recommended

Nikola Motor’s hydrogen-powered semi-trailer truck is highly appealing with its many advancements but don’t expect it to arrive in the near future. In November 2016, Toyota announced the possibility of...
by - December 5, 2016
Usually, it is up to resourceful spy photographers to take clear pictures of vehicle prototypes, especially those that have aroused a lot of interest. The same is true for Project...
by - December 5, 2016
The much-anticipated debut of the new Wrangler will surely happen. As it approaches, we’ve gathered all the latest information released so far. Of course, most are expecting that the next...
by - December 5, 2016
Nissan has announced the pricing for its new commercial pickup line. So for those who have been waiting for Nissan’s official price list (plus a little more info), read on… ...
by - December 5, 2016
Sorry folks, the AMG-fied Mercedes-Benz X-Class will remain in the fantasy world. According to some news, the AMG big boss has finally spoken up about why an AMG X-Class is...
by - December 5, 2016
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries