Fiat Mio is a Sao Paulo project that was started by Peter Fassbender in 2006 with the aim of embracing crowd sourcing, open innovation and creativity of the public in the automotive industry. The manufacture of innovative cars from the idea of crowd sourcing and open innovation was unheard in the previous years but was made a reality when Fiat automobile company produced the cars. Through a collaborative website that was established by the Fiat automobile company, the management managed to collect numerous ideas from the public in regard to how they would manufacturer new models of vehicles which were in line with the customers demand and environment related needs (Fabio, 2015). The success of the Fiat Mio prototype was a clear indication that it was possible to manage designs in the automotive industry through collaborative website platforms with the assistance of thousands of internet users. The role of this work is to illustrate gains by both the participants and the Fiat Company from the open innovation experience and the real innovation associated with the concept idea.
The benefits attained by Both Fiat Company and the participant from open innovation experience
The Fiat Mio crowd sourcing open innovation and collaborative idea in the manufacture of automobile was a great achievement for the Fiat manufacturers because they managed to manufacture automobiles which were in accordance to the customers’ demand. Through the assistance of the public creativity, innovation and collaborative ideas the company managed to come up with various designs of automobiles which would not be possible was it not for the help of the public.
Since Sao Paulo is among the largest city in South America and with a high financial strength, the city has a potential to handle more than 700 new cars every day. The Fiat Mio concept of automobile manufacture, Fiat Industry shall be in a better position of serving the large domestic market with the best and the modern designed vehicles from collaborative, open and creative innovation from the public (Fabio, 2015). The Fiat Mio concepts of generating innovative ideas from the general public is a great achievement for the Fiat company because it would be one way of marketing its products and services it offers in the automotive industry.
Sourcing of manufacturing ideas from the internet users would be one way of advertising and promoting the products to be manufactured even before they are released in the market (Fabio, 2015). Despite great competitors from the developed countries from America and Great Britain, Fiat Company believes that with the new ideas from the collaborative internet users it would have a comparative and competitive advantage over its competitors because it would manage to produce differentiate automotive products different from those of the competitors. The company would be in position to close the demand of both the automotives and automobile spare parts which is ever growing in Brazil and the world.
By Fiat Automotive Company embracing the collaborative, innovative and creative automotive concept from thousands of internet users, it became part of the world automotive production chain. The manufacturer has managed to shift from position 10th to 5th in the automotive manufacturer and marketer in the world after United States, China, Japan, and Germany (Fabio, 2015). Nevertheless, despite the world economic crisis experience in 2008 and 2009, Fiat Automotive Company continued to invest in emerging countries which had a potential of expanding in the automobiles market.
Given the Brazilian passion for cars, the Fiat company benefited a lot through the open innovation, collaborative idea generation and creativity of the various people from the world and more so the locals. The company’s advertisement and promotional costs were drastically reduced as many people across the country and the world knew the models and designs they expected would be found in Fiat Company. The availability of a variety of models and designs in Sao Paulo Auto Show that is held every year attracted thousands of viewers and customers who turned out for the even to come and witness how their idea was successful in the automotive industry (Fabio, 2015). In addition, the success of the Fiat Mio Ideology attracted many tourist from different cities, countries and states who brought with them foreign currency which was used to expand the economy. Given the importance of this event, the Fiat Company continues to enjoy a large market share of the Brazil automotives. Therefore, the companies continue to make the highest profit and revenue in comparison with other companies in the market such as General Motors, Ford, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi.
Unlike other automotive companies, Fiat Company was extra ordinary in the way it responded to the real consumer need. After the company had gathered the ideas from diverse consumers it responded to their demand in its development processes by manufacturing of the prototype cars which were presented in the show annually (Fabio, 2015). The Fiat Company managed to reduce the time lag between the periods in which the market survey was conducted until the product is launched in the market. The tendency was a great achievement for the Fiat Company because it managed to built customers confidence in implementation of the suggested ideas.
Collaborative, open innovation and creative ideology from internet users by Fiat Company opened another opportunity for the company in terms of communication. At initial stage, the management of Fiat automotive Company wanted to generate ideas from different internet users on how the company could improve the automobile models and designs in order to fit the customers demand and the environment requirements (Fabio, 2015). Later, the company discovered a new communication channel with the clients. Given the impact of the social media the company opened a platform in which the customers would present their complaints and suggestion on how to improve the products and services for the company.
The Fiat Mio ideology of collaborative and innovative ideology on the manufacture of the automotives was a great achievement for the Brazilian people and culture. The Brazilian have a culture of using care to like them between the economic and social development. The manufacture of various automotives has enabled the locals to capture the new opportunities in the market as the automobiles have become accessible and affordable (Fabio, 2015). Despite the fact that the internet users were the main contributors of the various designs and models to be manufactured automobiles they later provided the ready market for the suggested and proposed vehicles.
Moreover, the opened innovative ideology between the internet users and the Fiat Company was a good platform over which the consumers would contribute their ideas, complaints and suggestion on the products they would expects in the future (Fabio, 2015). The communication channel enabled the customers to propose for affordable, efficient and effective cars which would be economical for them and improve their standard of living in the future.
Unlike in the past where companies would generate the ideas on how to manufacture their own cars, the Fiat Company was an extra-ordinary in its dealing because it offered an opportunity for the customers to determine the car of their future and the future of their cars. They internet users had the power to determine the future market trend of the Fiat Automotive Company (Fabio, 2015). The internet users benefited from the collaborative generation of ideas which were a great success for the Fiat Company in the Brazil and the international market. The success of the Fiat Company in the manufacture of the different prototypes and different models of automotives was a great motivation of the consumers as they came to realize that they also have the power to determine what to purchase from the market and what to pay for the products in the market.
Since Fiat Mio was just a mere prototype that would never be marketed and produced, the real innovation was the way it changed the culture of the organization in terms of work involvement. In the beginning, the Fiat Mio strategy was intended to be an in-house collaborative strategy that would only be felt across only a few departments (Fabio, 2015). Nevertheless, the strategy emerged as a huge transformation to the research and development department, engineering, design, human resources, communication and market. The Fiat Company management came to understand that the external open innovation process might not function effectively without an organizational culture that is similar. In addition, the real innovation is that the management of Fiat Company came to discover that it is not compulsory for the innovative ideas to be generated within the company in order for them to be successful in the market but even general public innovations and ideas might be successful and worthy to consider if the company is to remain competitive in the market.
The collaborative, open innovation, crowd sourcing and creativity was only meant to serve the Fiat Company but it later took a new direction and shape spreading within the entire department of the company as well as across other companies across the borders. Later, given the success of the Fiat Mio strategy, the entire departments within Fiat Company were necessitated to transform in order to be in line with the strategy (Fabio, 2015). The management of the Fiat Company came to learn how to deal with frustration especially while dealing with different groups of people and ideas. Fiat Mio strategy was an all inclusive strategy that necessitated the listening of all the ideas generated by the company and selecting the most worth ideas for the company.
The automotive companies believed that the Fiat prototype was not by itself relevant as a tangible product but the relationship that was established between the Fiat Company and the consumers was the most grateful achievement of the modern times. The strategy taught the company management and the workers on how to communicate with it customers and how to assemble knowledge during the discussion (Fabio, 2015). The establishment of a communication platform between the company and its customers was the most meaningful legacy for the Fiat Mio policy. As a matter of fact, the prototype car that was manufactured from the Fiat Mio strategy was the Brazilian Dream car rather than a car that could be build immediately. The communication established with the public would benefit the Fiat Company immediately and in the future when it shall be manufacturing the actual Fiat Mio car. Conclusion
The Fiat Mio strategy was actually a milestone for the automobile industry in Brazil and across the borders. For the Fiat Company, it managed to reinforce its previous connections with its customers by learning more about their habits, dreams and wishes. The company had an opportunity to cope up with the crowd and its ideas and manufacturing a product that the customers would feel attached onto it. In once accord, the Fiat Company management agreed that it will not present another prototype based on Fiat Mio Platform until it had changed all its process, experience and adopted the new challenges associated with automotive manufacture and customer communication.
Fabio, P. (2015). Fiat Mio: The project that embraced open innovation, crowd sourcing and creative commons in the automotive industry. International Journal of case studies in management. Vol. 13(1), 1-19