Author Topic: My Meeting With Abarth UK...  (Read 5246 times)

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Offline Bertie

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My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« on: March 16, 2015, 03:24:28 PM »
Hi All,

On Friday, I had a very lengthy meeting with Gerry Southerington, who heads up Abarth UK!

Luckily for me I live about 20 minutes away from their Head Offices, which are really quite nice!

I went there to discuss Abarth UK and Abarth Owners Club working together, and Abarth recognising us as a legitimate owners club.

We also discussed partnering up for meets and events, as well as new cars, specs and touched on pricing - all of which was confidential between Gerry and myself, so dont ask!

Himself and the team for Abarth absolutely love the website and forum, and think its a really great community we have going here. We discussed in great depth being the official club, and both agreed that right now this wouldnt be beneficial to us.

In a nut shell, there are a huge amount of legalities involved, which would negatively impact the club. We would have to have rules for the forum, meets would suddenly become more difficult to organise and we would also have to become much more heavy handed in our moderation of the forum - as Abarth cant be seen to be allowing any, shall we say not quite politically correct discussions on here, or talks of speeding etc etc.

And I think we will all agree no one wants heavy handed moderation, as this is a place for enthusiasts to come together and enjoy their passion for Abarth. However, Abarth are very aware of us, love that we have so many meets planned and we will perhaps collaborate together - although this is all I a saying for now. Please do not come asking when where and what will be happening!

We also discussed the topic of merchandise. He was kindly passed it over to the legal department who are going to try and work something out for us, as they like us promoting the brand but of course I have to respect their copy rights and trade marks. As soon as I know more about it, I will let everyone know.

I will also be getting more Abarth dealers involved in the forum, and try to arrange meets organised by ourselves as well as the dealers. I also aim to have some group benefits for us from dealers, such as discounted merchandise and perhaps reduced servicing fees, but again this is something I have to work out between myself and the dealers, I will let you know how it goes.

Finally, Abarth will be at Brooklands in May, and AOC will be involved with their stand and car display. It will also be a good time for us to really show off the club and entice more members to join us. We should have some Abarth Owners Club sail flags to display , and fingers crossed merchandise will be sorted by then, but I cant promise this!

Id also like to thank Will & Colin for their continued support to the club, and effort into organising events and meets. And a big thank you to all the members involved on here, as none of it would be possible without you!

I hope you continue to use the forum and find it useful, helpful and entertaining!

Bertie




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Offline Brian1612

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2015, 03:38:43 PM »
Wow, the forums are really starting to come along nicely! My GF did comment on how nice the cover page is with the dash of the Abarth coming up, she studies graphic design and was very impressed with it  8)

Lets continue to all stay active and keep this forum buzzing!
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Offline JackH1990

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 03:45:46 PM »
Well done Bertie!  :D
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Offline will-w

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 03:49:37 PM »
This year is going to be an exciting one for sure ;)
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Offline Salvos_white_abarth

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 08:12:58 PM »
That sounds great bert.Keep up the good work.Top forum!

Offline Graeme838

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 08:57:25 PM »
So there a decision to be made as to whether to be the real 'official' club with rules and stuff, or to be unofficial and maybe not get so much support from Abarth?

There was always likely to be a conflict between Abarth and unofficial stuff, but I suspect while the comments on this site are generally favourable to Abarth then there isn't likely to be a problem, but if criticism starts to to appear, especially about dealers, then Abarth are likely to take a dim view

It sounds like we need a vote to judge the various views?

Graeme
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Offline Bertie

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 09:01:14 PM »
No there is no decision to be made, we are for now and at least for another year staying as an unofficial club. They also dont want to be seen endorsing only one club (even though theres really only us now!) without going into lots of detail and getting legal matters involved.

As I said, they love the website and forum and think its great what we are doing, so I have no concerns for them turning against us. And if there if criticism within feedback from dealers, thats a problem for the dealer, not Abarth UK.

Bertie
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Offline RC

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2015, 09:09:34 PM »
Sounds like an interesting chat.

Daft as it seems I think any members' club is better off flying under the radar to a certain degree. There's no malign influence from the manufacturer (ultimately there would be, however well-intentioned) and of course you maintain impartiality on the forums and can have a more laid-back forum.

Not to mention the merch - fonts and logos etc.

I imagine it's good for Abarth UK to know we're around - that we love the brand and there's no particular issues. We'll spread the word and be good free marketing for them - without any particular hassle for them or a need to check up on what's being said all the time, ins for meets etc.

Better off mutually apart and on good terms than together and getting all legal.  :)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 09:39:40 PM by RC »

Offline will-w

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 09:21:30 PM »
As above really, we're definitely better off keeping separate for the moment as it keeps things simple.

Back in the early days another forum, mentioning no names, had a close relationship with Abarth UK.  Things were discussed and agreed by the then owner and Abarth, and this set the tone for the rest of it's life.

We don't want that kind of overhead here as I'm sure you'll all agree that it is a lot nicer being able to be more relaxed.  We can still work closely with Abarth UK for events and other interesting things, but for now it's easier and more beneficial being unofficial :)
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Offline Graeme838

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2015, 11:36:40 PM »
No there is no decision to be made, we are for now and at least for another year staying as an unofficial club. They also dont want to be seen endorsing only one club (even though theres really only us now!) without going into lots of detail and getting legal matters involved.

As I said, they love the website and forum and think its great what we are doing, so I have no concerns for them turning against us. And if there if criticism within feedback from dealers, thats a problem for the dealer, not Abarth UK.

Bertie

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Offline Taz

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 07:33:29 AM »
I'm really glad as to the direction both the club and Abarth UK want to take. It really fits in with my comments on the magazine post.
Well done Bertie, and thanks for all that you and the rest of the team have done and are doing.  ;D
Nigel 

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Offline jay_tee

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2015, 09:01:10 PM »
Really looking forward to getting properly involved with the club this year. Being independent gives us plenty of potential but the partnership with Abarth Uk is just the beginning! I can already see our club being bigger than any other before, I'm keen to organise an annual central London event and loads of club discounts for parts, styling and servicing.
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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2015, 01:13:55 PM »
Really looking forward to getting properly involved with the club this year. Being independent gives us plenty of potential but the partnership with Abarth Uk is just the beginning! I can already see our club being bigger than any other before, I'm keen to organise an annual central London event and loads of club discounts for parts, styling and servicing.

Any update?

Offline Rondon73

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Re: My Meeting With Abarth UK...
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2016, 09:57:31 PM »
Hi Bernie,

Had a few conversations with Gerry, I thought he was brand new,stand up guy and went out his way to help me out.

Cheers

R