Fiat Mio: The Project That Embraced Open Innovation, Crowdsourcing and Creative Commons in the Automotive Industry” Essay Example
FIAT MIO CASE STUDY
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FIAT MIO CASE STUDY
Fiat is the leading automotive manufacturer in Italy and also has its offices and factories in Brazil where they have been leading in the market for many years. The whole idea of the Fiat Mio concept car was born in 2006 when the company was celebrating their thirty year anniversary of doing business in Brazil. A website was created where people could post their expectations of the next thirty years and the site gained popularity and quickly transformed into a sort of marketing campaign. This paper discusses the gains arrived at by the Fiat company and also the participants due to the open innovation and also the real innovation that was made other than the Fiat Mio prototype.
Creation of the website was what sparked the idea of the open innovation after people posted very creative ideas of what they would have preferred to have in their automobiles. It was named the Fiat Mio platform which means my Fiat. This was after Peter Fassbender read an article in a leading German magazine about how automobile manufacturers never responded to their clients need because their demands were lost in the development process of the vehicles and market surveys were never used. It is where he got the idea to use the website platform for people to generate ideas on how they thought the prototype should be made. The website was deemed as a sort of a market survey and the benefits of the open innovation were that the company would be able to 1understand the preferences of their clients which included the size of the car where they wanted, something that did not take up too much space in the city. One that was affordable and also cheap to fuel while also affording them the luxury of a good car (Fricker 2002, 347). The ideas generated also 2allowed the team creating the car to be able to think more critically and come up with a model that was reasonable and one which they would be able to make. This was arrived at by classifying the data into different categories and putting together ideas that were reasonable. 3The Company was also in a better position to understand the market in which they sell these cars. They would be able to know what people would buy and what they were not putting into consideration the ideas the people had posted on the website. 4They would be able to make modifications of their products by use of the platform to better suit their clients. 5It was an inexpensive way for the company to do a market survey since many people have access to the internet and all they needed to do was register on the database to provide their ideas. 6Open innovation served as a way for the company to market the product and incase they decided to manufacture and sell the car they would already have clients ready to buy a car that they participated in innovating. 7The ideas could be implemented in the future while manufacturing new models of vehicles. 8There was generation of more interest in the Fiat brand due to the open invitation of ideas from the company. 9Because the open innovation allowed for the manufacturers to get different visions of what they were used to seeing it paved the way for better decision making when it came to their products (Fricker 2002, 347).
For the participants they were 10able to voice their ideas and what they wished to see being introduced in the market. 11It was easy for them to participate since it was an open platform and not restricted to a certain group of people. They were able to supply their opinions on what the company was offering, what they liked and disliked. 12Their ideas sparked the critical thinking of the car manufacturers to come up with something that considers the client while also being reasonable at the same time. The Fiat Mio platform would give them the chance to continue giving ideas that could be used at a later date in the manufacturing of new cars.
If it meant that the prototype could never be manufactured or sold then the real innovation was the Fiat Mio platform where car lovers could voice their opinions. The people closely involved agree that the platform could be made better by a number of ways which include assigning a full time writer to become sort of spokesman who would greatly interact with the people on a real time basis. He would respond to the queries and the comments of the participants while also collecting and giving them feedback. Leonardo added that he would try to systemize the data in a better manner to make the discussions more intense.
The platform allowed for the company to understand their client’s dreams and habits and what they would like to see in the future in terms of cars. It would allow them to find out what strategies they needed to modify to improve the platform and also the Fiat Mio project. The overseas business development director was of the opinion that, the entire company should have been involved since it would have given them a better idea of what the client wants from the manufacturer. It would have been good for them in terms of decision making to allow for better decisions and more innovative creations. These would be good for the company since it would spur the business forward and at the same time sell satisfactory products to their clients to keep them coming back for more. The different concepts and ideas would also allow for diversity in the cars created making them different from one another and having them suit the different kinds of clients, the one with family looking for something to accommodate everyone while also being pocket friendly, the young men who like fast cars, the young lady starting out in life and want something girlie and many more. In turn they would have happy customers while also making good sales numbers.
The creative innovations would also give the company a better footing in the industry against their competitors after using the creative commons movement and having the innovations and information registered under their name. They registered the website under the Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike meaning that anyone could remix or share their work but without using it for commercial activities. The prototype was registered under the Attribution No Derivatives license meaning the work is available for copying and distribution for commercial purposes but cannot be modified. If any other manufacturer wanted to make the prototype and sell it they would be able to do so but all the credits would go to Fiat. The registration has helped the company protect their works while also opening up new channels of innovation with the use of these ideas generated from the public. The online discussion is seen to belong to anyone who participated and that is why they chose creative commons to help them set up the platform which provided ideas for the creation of the prototype. It represents the dreams of the Brazilians and maybe sometime in the future the company would consider manufacturing and selling this type of car much to the delight of all those who participated in the open innovation of the prototype and giving all those ideas. Even though all the ideas cannot be incorporated into one model they can be adopted while making other models which would be a plus for the customer purchasing the vehicles. The ideas would also represent the changing trend in the innovation of cars in line with other technologies that are also coming up in the digital age.
The wide range of ideas also puts into consideration a number of issues in the present days which involve the environment and this was evident from the tips about eco friendly cars. Availability of space since more and more space is being consumed in the cities in terms of parking and the sizes of vehicles. Availability of fuel, sometime in the future petrol might not be available and we would have to think of other ways of fueling automobiles. They also bring about new concepts on the shapes of vehicles, showing something different from what we are accustomed to driving. Some include modifications on the interior making the car more electronic than manual with the proposed use of touch screens instead of buttons and also changing the angle of the seats to create more comfort for the driver as well as the passenger.
The Open innovation has proven to be very useful to Fiat and with that they decided to keep the platform up and running while finding ways to modify it to make it a better site for interaction with customers. It has also served to bring the customer and the manufacturer closer by giving them a connection that is through the use of the Fiat Mio platform.
Fricker, R.D. and Schonlau, M., 2002. Advantages and disadvantages of Internet research surveys: Evidence from the literature. Field methods, 14(4), pp.347-367.
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