As indicated in the Group’s Data Privacy Guidelines which are available on the Group's corporate website, as well as in the legislation of the countries where the company operates, maximum attention is given to processing and protecting the personal data of customers and others who contact the company.
The process for managing communication with customers is committed to respect their right to privacy.
Responsible selling practices
The Group, through FGA Capital (FGAC), a joint venture(1) between Fiat Group Automobiles and Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance, facilitates purchasing a vehicle. FGAC offers its various customer segments, private or corporate, financial services for the purchase and lease of new and used vehicles, as well as dealers with tailored products.
FGAC is committed to providing customers access to credit founded on principles of fairness, responsibility and diligence at acceptable conditions, through transparent relationships and in full compliance with applicable regulations. In 2013, FGAC signed over 430,000 financing contracts.
Across the 14 European countries where FGAC operates, customers can rely on a full range of financial products and insurance services (e.g., Credit Protection Insurance, Car Insurance, Extended Warranties, etc.). The products and services offered are supported by the principles that underscore the importance of using clear and accessible language.
In order to allow everyone access to responsible credit, FGAC incorporated two specific financial tools into its websites in 2012. These tools allow customers to work out the financial plans that most suit their needs and budget.
- The first tool is a financial calculator: depending on the brand and car models selected, customers are free to choose from several different funding options (e.g., financing, leasing, etc.). The same tool, embedded into the car configurator of each brand, allows the option value to be included. In 2013, the number of quotations formulated totaled more than 180,000(2), about 70% more than in 2012.
- The other tool, "Find Your Car", is a simple emulator that helps customers determine the most suitable monthly payment and car model simply by entering their monthly income and expenses. In 2013, the number of simulations more than quadrupled compared to the previous year, reaching about 26,000(3).
In 2013, FGAC also launched a loyalty program, aimed at strengthening the relationship with customers and improving their overall satisfaction. The program offers renewal and vehicle replacement opportunities through increasingly customized financial products that help reduce car maintenance costs and gain easier access to innovative and more environment-friendly vehicles.
In 2013, FGA Capital continued its training program launched in 2012 to promote sustainability and responsible credit. Training is delivered to both internal staff and to dealership salespeople.
The training module, based on the principles of the European Coalition for Responsible Credit (ECRC), was aligned with local regulations and translated into the languages of those countries where FGAC operates.
In the 2012-2013 period, the course, delivered through e-learning or in the classroom depending on local market needs, was completed by all FGAC employees, about 1,900 people and approximately 9,000 salespeople in those EMEA countries where FGAC operates. In 2014, FGAC plans to enhance the monitoring of its sales network, analyzing the conduct and performance of salespeople to achieve key goals, including:
- increase the ability of salespeople to communicate in a clear and transparent way
- increase the ability of salespeople to explain financial products in an increasingly detailed, tailored and easy to understand way
- collect information on customer expectations and needs to improve customer-dealer relations.
Twice a year, FGAC conducts a comprehensive Customer Satisfaction Survey to monitor customers' level of satisfaction with financial products, salesperson behavior, and clarity and completeness of the information provided by salespeople. In 2013, about 14,000 customers were surveyed by phone. In January 2014, the report on the Customer Satisfaction Survey will be expanded with a section dedicated to monitoring processes and sales behavior of salespeople with specific regard to the level of transparency and correctness perceived by customers.
(1) A 50/50 joint venture between Fiat Group Automobiles and Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance, which operates in 14 European markets and manages 3 lines of business dedicated to dealers, private customers and commercial customers respectively. For more information, visit www.fgacapital.com
(2) Source: Google Analytics (GA), a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the number of hits on a website. Scope of Financial Calculator statistics: Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Spain, and Portugal.
(3) Source: Google Analytics (GA), a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the number of hits on a website. Scope of Find Your Car statistics: Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, and Switzerland.
Ethics in communication
Fiat Group adopts and fosters positive values and responsible practices in all types of communication, and knows that communication through advertising has a voice in society. In 2011, Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) published its guide to ethics in communication to promote a policy of responsible marketing and advertising in every market where it is present. Based on applicable laws and advertising standards in individual countries, the guide sets out the fundamental principles that are to be applied in communication activities by all those who work in or with FGA, such as advertising agencies. The core values underlying the guide reflect FGA’s principles of respect, honesty and responsibility. The guide was drafted in clear, straightforward language to ensure that it could be readily understood and applied by everyone. The Group is also an active member of the Utenti Pubblicità Associati - UPA (the advertisers’ association of Italy), which supports the Istituto di Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria (Italian institute for advertising standards), and is also a member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance.
Product and service information
Numerous national and international laws and regulations governing product information apply to Fiat Group business dealings, due to their very nature. In Europe, the Group provides consumers specific information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Information is provided through various channels such as posters, advertisements, websites, etc., in accordance with the provisions of Directive 1999/94/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 13 December 1999, relating to the availability of consumer information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions with respect to the marketing of new passenger cars. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ensures compliance with fuel economy labeling requirements on new vehicles. The EPA, together with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rolled out an entirely new design for labels, appearing on vehicles starting with the 2013 model year. In addition to information about a vehicle’s fuel economy, the new labels inform consumers about energy use, fuel costs and environmental impact, including smog and greenhouse gas ratings. Customers with smartphones can scan the QR Code on the label to access additional online vehicle information.
The Group expressly communicates other information including caution and warning messages, whether required or added as an option, through manuals (e.g., owner’s manual and maintenance guide), labels, advertising, the dealer and service network, Customer Contact Centers, and other channels. Users are informed about topics such as the proper use of active/passive safety features (e.g., seat belts, airbags, child seats), the vehicle’s environmental impact, correct driving habits that may affect fuel economy and emissions and responsible disposal of maintenance materials (e.g., fluids or filters). The Group also encourages the use of low environmental impact technology and fosters safe and environmentally friendly driving through driving courses, awareness campaigns and computer-based tools like eco:Drive, which debuted its “LIVE” version on the Fiat 500L. The system provides suggestions on how to be more environmentally friendly at the wheel in real-time.
Fiat Group is a global automaker that sells its products or services to customers in more than 150 countries. We do not sell our products in markets where there are restrictions banning their sale. We regularly engage in dialogue with our many stakeholders in order to better understand their expectations, needs and concerns. At the same time, no incidents of material non-compliance were identified in products, service information or labeling.