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Fiat 500 drops in on US surfers

A trio of Fiat 500-inspired ‘personal watercrafts’ has been unveiled at the US Open of Surfing in California, as a part of the carmaker's efforts to increase its exposure in the US.

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Despite being Europe’s fourth largest car manufacturer, and owning a majority-share in Chrysler, Fiat is yet to successfully crack the US market.

Apparently, it decided the best way to go about increasing brand awareness was to bypass traditional, land based avenues and take its cars to the water.

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With each of the three custom-made boats – based on the Fiat 500, 500 Cabrio and 500 Abarth – described as “high powered”, Fiat says they entertained “thousands of surf fans during the competitions opening day”.

The Italian brand also confirmed the existence of a 500L-inspired boat, yet to be revealed.

The move differs from Fiat Australia’s plan to boost sales: in June it took the more conventional route of slashing the 500’s entry-price to $14,000 driveaway, making it one of the cheapest new cars on the market.

Earlier this month Fiat North America constructed a 500 Abarth Cabrio out of body-painted women to draw the eye of ESPN The Magazine readers.