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Chrysler Allies With Fiat

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,235
    Hasn't Chrysler been here before? I recall somewhere around the 60's Chrysler affiliated with companies like Simca and Mitsubishi in order to get small cars to combat VW and growing Datsun and Toyota. Remeber the Plymouth Cricket and Dodge Colt? Heck, GM couldn't pull it off with its own overseas subsidiaries. Opel was marginal at best for Buick and Pontiac dealers probably lost money on Vauxhall. I guess Mitsu did give Chrysler those blue smoke engines on some cars like early minivans. Ironically, I think VW was involved in the early Omni Horizon twins including providing some of the engines.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    "I think VW was involved in the early Omni Horizon twins including providing some of the engines."

    Yeah, the original Omni/Horizon 1.7 engine came from VW. Chrysler even sourced a 1.6 from Peugeot (around 1980) for a brief period before equipping these cars with a carburated version of the Chrysler 2.2.
  • gogogodzillagogogodzilla MarylandPosts: 701
    Fiat has stated that when it does bring the 500 over to the states, it'll be the 100 hp version.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,058
    Well good luck to Fiat. I would not touch another gas guzzler. Been there and done that. Sad they could come to the market top of the heap for mileage. Instead they will opt for mediocrity. Why am I surprised?
  • gogogodzillagogogodzilla MarylandPosts: 701
    Huh?

    A 100 hp Fiat 500 is a gas guzzler?

    :confuse:

    (Maybe in comparison to a hybrid or diesel, but in comparison to most US economy cars?)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,058
    If I was to crawl into something like that 500, I want it to get better than 37 MPG combined. The diesel version that is the same exact price in the UK gets 56.5 MPG. That is a hefty improvement. Not to mention they both have the same EU5 emissions rating and the diesel puts out a lot less GHG. It is the same old fight with CARB over diesel. I think my son in law does that well with his little Yaris. For me it is principle. I refuse to allow the schmucks in Sacramento bully me. I don't care how big Ahnold is.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Just so you know, in 2014 (or is it 2012?) the cars of the EU, diesels included, will have to meet all the same emissions regs as the cars in California. CARB has set a sensible standard - all cars should have to meet the same rules - and the Europeans agree. Which is good news for you gagrice, because in a couple of years all the European diesel models you like so much will be importable here without any extra emissions work. Including the 500 diesel, but don't hold your breath waiting for that one to arrive.

    The reason that most of the really frugal European diesels (especially the small cars) never come here is not the emissions standards, it is that that they are DIRT SLOW by U.S. standards, and the automakers are afraid no-one will buy them. And that remark includes the 500 diesel, I'm sure. More's the pity.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,058
    I am not so concerned about the Fiat 500. Though it may be a shot in the arm for Chrysler. I don't like the fact that the consumer is caught in the web created by clashing forces in the CA government. You have the more gas tax needed bunch. The use less fossil fuel people. The less GHG bunch and the zero emissions wackos. Not possible to please all with regulations. So I will continue to put out more GHG, use more fuel, pollute more and make the road tax people happy. No vehicle can please all the factions.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    No vehicle can please all the factions.

    You looking to displease as many factions as possible there, garice?! ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,058
    They want to play tough with their ignorant rules. I will work with in the rules and blow the nasty exhaust in their faces. I would have been happy 11 years ago with a 45 MPG vehicle. The anti-diesel faction was against it. I believe it was a couple joined forces on that one. The emissions and road tax agencies.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    The reason that most of the really frugal European diesels (especially the small cars) never come here is not the emissions standards, it is that that they are DIRT SLOW by U.S. standards,

    Maybe partially true, and partially true that the safety standards are not exactly alike. One of the best things international organizations could do for the world is to have 1 set of standards, rather than having products redesigned for each market's environmental and safety specifications.

    Oh, Audi seems to have a fairly fast diesel. :P
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Oh, Audi seems to have a fairly fast diesel

    Not in the $15-25K small car segment. ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Is VW linked to Audi anymore? Because the Jetta TDI would fit the bill. I've heard some commercials lately that you get a $1,300 tax credit, and VW is offering 3 yr. free maintenance.

    Anyway back to Chryslers and Fiats. Despite the rhetoric coming from Chrysler, and depending on their definition of viable, I don't see Chrysler making any money in this economy. And Fiat like every other manufacturer is going to have a tough time surviving, so I really don't see who's going to have any money. I wouldn't be surprised that at the end of 2009 that 25% of the auto brands of the world were gone.

    What I see are a lot of desperate companies trying to put a smile on and tell a good yarn to either get someone to invest in them, or con some more government money to live a few more months.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    It may be more fair to say that VW and Audi are both owned by Porsche these days. Although I'm not sure if Porsche finally has control of VW, it sounds like they got over 50% control just a couple of weeks ago. Audi is a subsidiary of the VW Group.

    I dunno about demise of that many brands. A few economists are starting to hint around that the economy may be bottomed in some sectors and existing home sales spiked because of the bargains out there. And money supply increased a small amount, so maybe credit will ease.

    Fiat isn't the only one still on the table apparently:

    "Press said Chrysler is in talks with other possible partners in case the U.S. Treasury Department rejects its proposed alliance with Italy's Fiat, the Detroit News reported. Indeed, there has been some debate about whether U.S. taxpayers should fund a U.S. company that is giving a 35 percent equity stake to a foreign automaker -- a stake that may well go higher -- with no cash changing hands.

    "If it doesn't work out with Fiat, we still have had other conversations with other potential partners and alliances and those obviously can continue, so we have other alternatives," Press said, according to the paper. "It's a little bit like dating: nobody knows who we're dating. We don't need the paparazzi to follow us around and put pressure on the dates"

    Chrysler's Press: On Sales, Incentives, Cash and Alliances

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    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I read an article the other week on CBS Marketwatch, that said to be wary of optimists from Wall Street. Why? Because Wall Street loves to create "bubbles", and there will always be a few saying "the bottom is near, now's the time to buy". Read the following - it's pretty sobering. You are also aware the Obama administration is looking at adding hundreds of billions to the TARP funds, as the first $350B has been lost - the bank's assets decrease in value, have wiped that from their books.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/world/2009-01-28-imf-global-economy_N.htm

    Add to this that people like Greenspan, and any group of economists is in uncharted waters, and you'll get the picture that these guys are like the passenger who has to take the controls of the plane, because the pilot collapsed. They know they need to do something and that some combination of actions will work, but which, how much and when. Oh, it may be a little harder, because the crisis is global, there are actually a bunch of passengers working the controls. ;)
  • berriberri Posts: 4,235
    Right on the money Kernick. They are trying to do it again with oil right now.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    I lost the pdf link I read, but it was similar to this Bloomberg story.

    Here's a rundown of possible models Fiat could bring to the US:

    Raiding the Fiat Cupboard (Edmunds Daily)

    image

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    From today's Detroit Free Press...

    "Fuel-efficient minicars, subcompact and compact cars could begin rolling out of Chrysler plants by mid-2011 if the company's alliance with Fiat goes through, the Italian automaker's chief executive officer said Monday..."

    The question that's often raised these days is, how will Chrysler survive for the next 30 months? My solution would be to give Chrysler and the rest of the industry a temporary waiver on safety and emissions, so that vehicles that meet the European Union standards could be sold here. The justification would be that, (1) this is a highly unusual period for the economy and the auto industry; (2) we're not talking third world standards here, but those of a highly developed region of the world; and (3) the wiaver would be temporary.

    A valid counter argument is that we have productive overcapacity in the U.S. auto industry, and that we don't need Chrysler and Fiat in our market. The fact that Chrysler was recently bailed out with a government loan suggests that there's a sizeable constituency that would like Chrysler to survive in some form, if it can be viable. Most people are of the opinion that Chrysler's only hope for survival is to partner with another company. The counter arguments to this partnership have been well articulated in this discussion.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    My solution would be to give Chrysler and the rest of the industry a temporary waiver on safety and emissions, so that vehicles that meet the European Union standards could be sold here.

    Wouldn't the introduction of many models from Europe mean that the "market/pie would be divided up into more pieces". So every model that is currently being made and sold here, would then decrease, as these cars from Europe would steal their sales? So if Chrysler's plants are already slow, then the introduction of European cars decreases the sales of the existing brands. This then makes the financials of Chrysler worse, as their factories are producing less. Or Chrysler has to drop models, close factories and get rid of more U.S. workers then before the Fiats are sold.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    It's possible, I suppose, that the "pie" could expand, as most of the cars Fiat is proposing to sell out of Chrysler dealerships are in market segments that are very poorly represented here currently.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    " Or Chrysler has to drop models, close factories and get rid of more U.S. workers then before the Fiats are sold."

    I'm virtually certain this would happen. Chrysler would drop its intermediates (Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring), which have never sold well. Also, it's already been announced that '09 is the last model year for the PT Cruiser and, at a minimum, the Compass will be dropped from the Jeep lineup. The Caliber is iffy, in my estimation. The Chrysler Corp. models that would probably survive have no Fiat equivalents, and include the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep SUVS, the Dodge and/or Chrysler minivans, the Dodge Charger and/or Chrysler 300 rear-wheel-drive cars, and the Dodge Challenger.

    The government loans may give GM and Chrysler an opportunity to weather this storm, but will by no means guarantee their long-term survival. If there are too many models sold in the U.S., and I agree with you that there are, the marketplace will ultimately weed out the least competitive ones.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,058
    give Chrysler and the rest of the industry a temporary waiver on safety and emissions

    That is a great idea. Let all the auto makers offer the small trucks and cars that are high mileage into the country for 5 years. As long as the meet the current Euro4 emissions standards. It would give GM and Ford a chance to compete against the Asian imports in the smaller car segments. Face it the Big 3 has never done a good job building small cars in the USA.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    "In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne said that Chrysler must meet the terms of federal loans and, "stand up on its own two legs."

    "If it doesn't, we won't play," Marchionne added."

    Fiat Boss: Chrysler "needs to stand up on its own two legs"

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    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,391
    I dunno. That doesn't sound good to me. Essentially sounds like Fiat is saying that if we fix it up enough they'll do us a favor and take it off our hands.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,058
    Didn't Fiat cost GM about $4B in a deal gone sour?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    "Didn't Fiat cost GM about $4B in a deal gone sour?"

    That's correct, but this historical fact doesn't serve as an analogy for Chrysler's partnership with Fiat, if that's what you're implying. The situations between the Chrysler-fiat deal and the earlier GM-Fiat one are very different, and shouldn't be compared.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    "The deal for Italian automaker Fiat SpA to take a 35 percent stake in Chrysler LLC will not be finished until after Chrysler submits a restructuring plan to the federal government, a Chrysler official said Friday."

    Chrysler official: No Fiat deal closing by Tuesday (AP)

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  • Yes it would be nice,I think no matter what you get ahold of now days seems like they all have similar problems,I still can't get my factory alarm off,I to have read alot of bad reviews,no wonder there there sales are down,what really irrates me the most is you get out here on the street and you see one right after the other Town & Country and you just start cussing all of them and makes you that much more madder.I agree it will sell to congress.I know one thing I will never own another Chrysler again.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    From Today's Detroit Free Press...

    BY MARK PHELAN • FREE PRESS AUTO CRITIC • March 4, 2009

    "GENEVA — On the eve of Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne’s meeting with the presidential automotive task force to discuss his company’s proposed alliance with Chrysler, the Italian automaker unveiled a new engine technology it says can reduce fuel consumption as much as 25%.

    The system is expected to be available to all Fiat’s current and future partners, including Chrysler, Fiat powertrain chief Alfredo Altavilla said at Geneva's annual auto show.

    The first engine using the system goes on sale in the Alfa Romeo MiTo sporty compact in Europe later this year. The MiTo is among the cars Fiat’s Alfa Romeo brand hopes to sell in the Untied States if its alliance with Chrysler comes to pass.

    Called Multiair, the system uses electronic controls and hydraulics to vary an engine’s valve timing over a wider range than the mechanical systems automakers use today. Many automakers have turned to variable valve timing to improve fuel economy and boost performance in recent years.

    Development of Multiair began with Fiat’s Ferrari Formula 1 racing team.

    The system will initially be fitted to Fiat’s family of 1.0-liter to 1.4-liter four-cylinder engines. It will also be used on an upcoming line of 900cc two-cylinder engines the automaker has developed for use in small cars. Fiat will eventually use it on all its automotive engines.

    Multiair reduces an engine’s fuel consumption 10%, but its high power output will allow automakers to replace big engines with smaller ones, leading to the potential 25% decreased in overall fuel consumption, Altavilla said. It also reduces exhaust emissions by 40% to 60% he said.

    Fiat has proposed taking a 35% stake in Chrysler in exchange for providing the struggling automaker with a variety of vehicle platforms and engine and transmission technologies to produce the small, fuel-efficient vehicles Chrysler needs.

    If the alliance goes through, Chrysler would build vehicles, engines and transmissions based on Fiat technology, in addition to assembling Fiat and Alfa Romeo models at some of its North American assembly plants. Fiat could eventually raise its stake in Chrysler to a controlling 55%.

    Multiair can be used on both gasoline and diesel engines. Fiat thinks it will allow diesels to meet strict 2014 European emissions limits without the costly exhaust treatment systems other automakers have said they will use."

    Is this a ruse by Fiat to get the Chrysler deal done, or is this new technology for real?
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