View Full Version : Let's hope Chrysler is bought by Fiat

04-16-2009, 12:37 PM
and starts making good cars like Fiat.

Fiat Outsells The Competition In March
By Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer
Manufacturing.Net - April 16, 2009

MILAN (AP) -- The Italian automaker Fiat, which is seeking an alliance with troubled U.S. Chrysler LLC, outpaced the competition last month in a contracting European market, on Thursday reporting a 14.7 percent increase in March sales amid an overall drop in European car sales of 9 percent.

Fiat was the only European automaker to see sales grow, to 131,315 vehicles last month, increasing its market share to 9.2 percent from 7.4 percent in March 2008.

The Italian automaker is in talks to take a minority share of Chrysler in a deal aimed at saving the U.S. automaker from insolvency. But Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne has said the deal, which must be reached by April 30, could fail if U.S. and Canadian unions aren't willing to make concessions that would cut costs. Talks between the Canadian Auto Workers and Chrysler are set to resume on Monday after a two-week hiatus.

Fiat said its sales more grew more than 200 percent in Germany, where the market was up 40 percent thanks to a government incentive program giving car owners $2,500 to trade in older cars for new models. The program is believed to especially benefit makers of small cars like Fiat as consumers turn to models that are less expensive to buy and operate.

Fiat grew three times the market rate in France for a 25 percent increase in volumes. Italian car sales were flat, despite a government incentive program.

"The trend on the rise for all brands," Fiat said in a statement. Fiat produces cars under the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands.

Marchionne has driven a turnaround at the once-failing Italian automaker, shedding noncore businesses, trimming management, signing more than 30 strategic industrial alliances to share costs and enter new markets, and launching a series of successful new models, including the hot-selling update of the iconic 500, or Cinquecento in Italian. He would like to launch that car in the United States under the Fiat brand, along with reintroducing Alfa Romeo.

Marchionne said in an interview published this week that he was willing to do whatever it takes to revive Chrysler, including taking the job of CEO.

"Fundamentally, that's possible, but the title isn't important," Marchionne said in an interview published Wednesday in the Toronto Globe and Mail. "What's important is that they hear me. It's possible that I will have to divide my time between running Fiat and running Chrysler."

Marchionne said some of Chrysler's 30 plants would be closed, but would not say which ones would be targeted. Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., would be thinned out.

"Fiat has an incredibly flat management structure," Marchionne said. "Chrysler needs a flat management structure."

Fiat's market success also has been coupled with efforts to improve the automaker's image and reliability.

New statistics out Thursday from the German automobile club and lobby ADAC gave high reliability marks to the Fiat Panda, which last year registered just 1.5 breakdowns -- including anything from an electrical system problem to a flat tire -- per 1,000 registered 2008 models. That was equal to the Toyota Aygo, and made the Panda the third-most reliable small car on German roads, taking into account breakdown stats for the last six model years.

The Fiat Punto placed in the middle of 32 small cars ranked by the ADAC, when the last six model years were averaged in. The Fiat 500 was not ranked, since it has not been sold in Germany long enough.

J.D. Power's latest customer satisfaction studies in Germany, France and Britain rank both the Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands below the industry average, but Brian Walters, a J.D. Power vice president based in London, said they don't take into account Fiat's latest models.

"The early read is the performance of those vehicles is much improved," Walters said. "The styling of the new Fiat and Alfa vehicles have won a lot of accolades and consumers appear to be very attracted to the new design."

He also noted Fiat's fuel-efficient small models could appeal to Americans right now.

"If you connect the dots, it suggests it might be a good time for Fiat to enter the market, and

Rev. Grouse
04-16-2009, 12:47 PM
It would be a godsend but the unions are so damn dumb that they would rather lose their jobs than make it work.

Wonder what will happen to the warranty on my new jeep?

04-16-2009, 12:56 PM
One thing that irks me is that Italy feels that Fiat should be able to buy Chrysler but refused to allow ATT to buy Telecom Italia.

04-16-2009, 01:13 PM
We have Open trade but "they" don't.
We sell off companies to dem feerners . But can't buy in country.

04-16-2009, 01:19 PM
They try to give Mercedes a bad name and now Fiat.

When will it stop?


04-16-2009, 02:06 PM
Didn't Obama say it was backed by the full faith of the government? Rahm Emanuel will be your new service advisor. They tried to get JW, but he told them he was out of the country. ;)

04-16-2009, 03:16 PM
Did you see Chrysler's newest model rolled out at the New York Auto Show? Not the Fiat 500 the CEO drove up in, but the Chrysler product. Guess what it was? Need more time? A big ass SUV. Yeah, they really got their act together.