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Chrysler Allies With Fiat

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  • showrooms by taking on Chrysler. To highlight their own cars for sale. But isn't that kind of like trying to sneak in coolers of pop in to a movie theater? I mean, isn't the weight of Chrysler's inability to produce something that people actually want to buy going to sink the both of them, now making up a new world order automotive Company?

    I guess Fiat was thinking that answering no to that question is the right answer. But is that their final ansaa? :blush:

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    ... going to sink the both of them ...

    Yes it is most probable that both would sink, since Chrysler is losing and will lose billions per year. But that is only if Fiat were to start paying those losses. As the head of Fiat has been quoted several times - they haven't put any $ into Chrysler, and don't intend to. The U.S. taxpayer will either have to continue to pay the bills and hope Fiat is susccessful, or when Chrysler goes thru the $ they were given, let Chrysler go Ch7.

    I think the Fiat - U.S. government deal is this: Fiat will take over the planning and management of Chrysler, and provide smaller vehicles to be rebadged as Chryslers (this is what Fiat gives); in return the U.S. government picks up the bills to keep Chrysler workers, plants, and suppliers active, appeasing the UAW, and Fiat gets in return a network of U.S. dealers for its cars which it doesn't have. That's what I think the truth is to this arrangement.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    When do we see the first Fiatslers at U.S. dealers?

    All I see on the TV ads is 0% 72-month financing on Ram 1500s. Nothing interesting there, certainly nothing to spark optimism for Chrysler's future.

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

  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    2011, I'd guess. I think that's the date they used when announcing that the PT Cruiser would be sticking around for a while.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    2010 will be a long year for Chrysler and it's dealerships.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228
    Last chance to get a deal on that PT Cruiser.
  • According to Fiat sources, Chrysler may use its new partner’s MultiAir fuel-saving technology in some gasoline engines. Fiat considers its variable valve timing system a breakthrough since it reportedly increases horsepower and torque while reducing fuel-consumption and CO2.

    The MultiAir technology basically controls air and combustion in engines cylinder by cylinder, without using the conventional throttle system. The MultiAir system first made its debut in the new Alfa Romeo MiTo hatchback in 3 different output levels including a 105-hp, 135-hp and 170-hp.

    Insiders say that Fiat’s MultiAir technology could be applied to the 2.0L and 2.4L 4-cylinder engines that are produced by Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) by 2011. The engine will be used in the Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Compass and the Patriot.

    The Pentastar V6 engine family could also get the technology in the second half of 2012. It will be fitted with the 3.6L V6 and will debut in the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    - By: Stephen Calogera

    Source: AutoWeek
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    The engine will be used in the Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Compass and the Patriot.

    Besides the Patriot, that group of vehicles is worthless. Very few people are buying them today. Getting a few mpg more is not going to make anyone run out and buy these over competitor's vehicles, all which will be improved themselves!

    Chrysler is a corpse with nothing more than the U.S. government keeping the life-support pushing blood around.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I agree with your assessment of those vehicles, but why exclude the Patriot?

    The bigger picture is this--can Chry-at (or is it Fiatsler) replace them with something that is even marginally competitive before the money runs out?
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I agree with your assessment of those vehicles, but why exclude the Patriot?

    Well the Patriot has some off-road capability, as a real Jeep should, and which the Caliber and Compass don't have. Combine this with it's relatively low price and it being an excellent mpg Jeep (still has a positive brand image), and you have a decent vehicle. People who buy Jeeps usually don't care if they have cheap plastics and ill-fitting body panels anyway. Rivets showing is fine. ;)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger to get a new lease on life

    With Fiat-based replacements still at least two years away, the Chrysler Group has delayed plans to kill its slow-selling Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger, sources say.

    The two sedans were all but left for dead by previous owner Cerberus Capital Management. Now insiders say Chrysler intends to freshen the cars and keep them on the market until late 2012.

    .....The Sebring, which was introduced in 2006, and the Avenger, which arrived in 2007, have failed to take off in the market.

    Through August, Sebring and Avenger sales totaled 40,452--compared with 238,612 for the Toyota Camry, the mid-sized segment leader.

    Cerberus had planned to replace them with all-new models. But a team formed in early 2008 to evaluate the mid-sized segment was disbanded after a year.

    CEO Sergio Marchionne has acknowledged that Chrysler's product cupboard was essentially bare when Fiat S.p.A. management took control June 10 after Chrysler left U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

    "We were surprised by how little had been done in the past 24 months," Marchionne said at the Frankfurt auto show. "It will be a slow progress in the beginning."

    According to a company document, Chrysler also plans a midcycle face-lift for the Chrysler Town & Country minivan at the end of 2010 and a new interior for the Dodge Journey crossover a year later.

    The Detroit Free Press reported last week that Marchionne wants to face-lift several other models by mid-2011. Those include the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan and Caliber small car, the Jeep Compass and Patriot crossovers and the Chrysler PT Cruiser.

    John Wolkonwicz, an analyst for IHS Global Insight, says Chrysler badly needs fresh product to generate cash flow.

    Global Insight's forecasts don't call for Fiat-based products to arrive in the Chrysler lineup until 2012 or 2013.


    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20090928/CARNEWS/909289996

    All I can say is, that's going to have to be one hell of a "freshening". What crap. And this confirms that it will be several years before Fiat products are being sold at Chrysler dealers. How on earth they will survive that long is very much in question, IMO.

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Chrysler, which will renew the 300 and continue to sell it, will also sell the 500:

    Chrysler brand will handle Fiat 500 in U.S.

    The Chrysler brand will handle U.S. distribution of the Fiat 500 minicar, said Peter Fong, Chrysler brand CEO and head of sales for all Chrysler Group brands.

    Fong said the 500 most likely will have a dedicated corner in Chrysler-brand showrooms. The limited volume planned for the 500 prevents creation of a dedicated retail network.


    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20090928/CARNEWS/909289995

    So the 300 will be the largest car they sell, and the 500 will be the smallest. How delightfully illogical. :-P

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

  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Now that Chrysler is bankrupt and owned mostly by the U.S. taxpayer, I'd guess financial information on Chrysler is public knowledge? Or is it already incorporated into Fiat's books, so that the U.S. taxpayer would not see the losses directly?

    Now that C4C is over, does anyone hear info. on how much $ Chrysler is losing each day or month? How much $ from the bailouts is left? I'm sure there must be some disgruntled people at Chrysler leaking out info. like this?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,385
    "We were surprised by how little had been done in the past 24 months," Marchionne said at the Frankfurt auto show.

    Boy, that sounds familiar. Much like the "We had no idea" from Cerberus.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Well the difference between Cerberus saying "We had no idea" and Marchionne saying that is Cerberus should have done some serious digging before investing billions of $'s! Comparatively Marchionne has nothing to lose. Fiat put $0 into the purchase, and said it won't put $ into Chrysler to keep it alive (inferring the U.S. government better keep its wallet open if needed).

    So if the government wants to come to me and ask me if I want a corporation for free to see if I can turn it around, I'd probably say "YES", whether I even knew what the corporation did. If I didn't like the corporation and it's products turned-out to have no chance, I walk away from it, whenever.

    Maybe Marchionne and Fiat would be slightly embarassed, but the dumping of Chrysler by the more renowned Daimler, didn't hurt the prestige and competence of the Daimler group.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    corporate buyouts/takeovers occur, I think usually the buyer expects to "milk the cow" for the first few months, investing little, cutting costs. But in the case of Chrysler, each successive buyer has discovered that the "cow" is already dead. So no milk will be forthcoming. :-|

    Slapping a new face on the Avenger and Sebring certainly isn't going to produce any new sales.

    Neither is a unibody, JGC-based 2011 Durango.

    Marchionne shouldn't have been surprised - this company has been on the edge of total collapse for years.

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

  • gogogodzillagogogodzilla MarylandPosts: 701
    Looks like FIAT is setting the stage to kill off Chrysler and Dodge...

    1. They are spinning off the only (vaguely) profitable portions from Chrysler/Dodge - ie: their trucks.

    2. Starting to sell the FIAT 500 in the Chrysler/Dodge dealerships as a FIAT.

    The next step will be to starve Chrysler/Dodge of product, which shouldn't be hard, as all they really have is cr@p in the first place.

    Which will then lead the dealerships to switch over to FIAT/Alfa Romeo products. After all, they will have gotten accustomed to selling FIATs with the 500. Same with the dealer mechanics.

    As for the factories, that looks to be FIAT's way of cheaply moving their production out of high-cost Europe and into a lower-cost America... all on the Fed's dime.

    Which is a pretty slick deal for FIAT.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    Buying a company and then selling off the parts is SOP.

    I don't think I'd dump the Jeeps if I were Fiat.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    "Chrysler Group LLC is losing two more high-level executives after a board meeting last week conducted by 20-percent owner and managing partner Fiat S.p.A. The company is casting the moves as part of its ongoing efforts to reorganize Chrysler management in an orientation more focused on the company's individual Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands.

    In a statement, Chrysler also said it is reorganizing the Dodge brand, creating separate groups for Dodge cars and trucks."

    Two More Chrysler Big Shots Out in Fiat-Led Management, Brand Reorg (AutoObserver)

    "It will now consist of the Dodge Ram truck brand and the Dodge car brand each with its own CEO. Well known designer Ralph Gilles takes over as the head of the Dodge car brand while Chrysler marketing executive Fred Diaz Jr. will head up the Dodge truck brand. The former head of Dodge Mike Accavitti resigned."

    Chrysler Announces New Ram Brand (Straightline)

    The AP says:

    "Separating Dodge into trucks and cars will make it easier to sell the Ram brand, said Aaron Bragman, auto industry analyst for the consulting firm IHS Global Insight. The Ram and Jeep brands are the only parts of Chrysler that currently have value, he said.

    "It's a better way for them to eventually divest the brand," he said. "If they need to liquidate, it will be easier to do, but that doesn't instill confidence in many people."

    Ranieri, however, said splitting the brands follows Fiat's successful management structure in which Marchionne separated Fiat commercial vehicles from passenger cars." link

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  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    I hoped things might work differently. But I'm beginning to believe that there's not enough to save. It sounds as though Fiat is coming to the same conclusion.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,234
    I dunno, I understand that Fiat may want to separate Dodge from Chrysler and turn the latter into a luxury competitor, but I think Chrysler's upscale image was ruined years ago. It will be hard just to compete with Lincoln which doesn't seem to be a luxury car any more either. As for RAM trucks, not sure it will make much difference because they are way behind Ford and Chevy in popularity.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Years ago - the 50's - 80's the luxury car market here in the U.S. was almost exclusively Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler (to some extent). Sure there were some foreign nameplates that sold a few.

    But the world today has many more foreign competiiors. I think you are presuming that Chrysler "Needs" to exist, and that there is some great market out there to go after. With Chrysler not offering any greater luxury than Hyundai or VW at better prices - I ask - why do we need Chrysler; or why does Fiat want Chrysler to compete in such a crowded market segment?

    Chrysler had better offer a) better products b) higher quality c) more value - content vs. price, d) get significantly better mpg or performance
    or e) be drop-dead gorgeous.

    All I see is a broke company with below-average product in a crowded marketplace. No one would buy Chrysler, and Fiat only accepted it because it was FREE, and the U.S. government wanted to keep it running for a while longer - a welfare case.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228
    It's difficult to dispute what you say regarding Chrysler. Sergio Marchione has done great things for Fiat and it's associated brands. Without him I doubt whether Fiat would have made it. However, Fiat itself isn't out of the woods yet, so it'll be very interesting to see whether he can do what seems almost impossible today, which is to keep Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and now Ram trucks going.

    If you're inclined to root for the underdog, Marchione is your man,
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    Too much product overlap I suppose, but I think Ghosn would have been a better fit to run Chrysler.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228
    Whoops, Sergio's last name is spelled with a double "n."
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I see most car companies posted equal or better sales in Oct. than in Oct. '08; except for Chrysler which was still down 30%.

    The U.S. taxpayer is certainly going to take a bath keeping Chrysler around until Fiat gets a chance to sell enough cars, to stop the bleeding.

    This is really going to be ugly. :(
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    Sales were down 42 percent in September following the end of Cash for Clunkers.

    So they are making monthly improvements. ;)

    The chart doesn't look very good.

    image

    Full story at (AutoObserver).

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    In 2012-2013, the Dodge car brand plans:

    • A new vehicle for North America in the C segment, which encompasses cars such as the Ford Focus. The car would be based on a Fiat platform.

    • A hatchback smaller than the C vehicle, imported from a Fiat factory.

    • A new sedan on a Fiat platform to replace the Avenger sedan.

    ....The Dodge brand will pursue a new lifestyle mission, de-emphasizing its traditional pitch to performance-minded males.


    This while the Viper takes a break for the 2011 model year. Meanwhile, is there a small European diesel on the horizon?...

    But the Chrysler Group's larger challenge in the coming years is to meet the federal fuel economy standard of 35.5 mpg for the 2016 model year. That's where Fiat engines and powertrains come in.

    Chrysler will use a Fiat diesel engine along with a 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder. The inline-four will appear first in the U.S. version of the Fiat 500 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

    Chrysler will align its engineering organization to Fiat Group, making the most of common platforms, systems and components between the two companies, said Scott Kunselman, senior vice president of Chrysler Group engineering.

    Shared platforms

    By 2014, Chrysler will share three platforms with Fiat, increasing Chrysler's average models per platform from about two in 2010 to three in 2014. During that period, average volume per platform will increase to 305,000 units from 125,000. In the process, four platforms will be consolidated, Kunselman said.


    http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091104/ANA02/911049973/1250- &AssignSessionID=273363776571698

    Meanwhile, on the powertrain front...

    In 2010, Chrysler's legacy engines--those in the stable before Fiat took control--will account for 84 percent of Chrysler's engine mix. By 2014, the legacy engines will be down to 12 percent.

    In 2014, Fiat-derived engines will account for 42 percent of Chrysler's mix. The Pentastar V6, developed before Fiat came on the scene, will account for 38 percent.

    .....Chrysler also said Wednesday that it will add Fiat-designed dual-clutch transmissions in its North American products.

    The company also will launch its new Pentastar V6 engine on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee in the second quarter next year, said Paolo Ferrero, Chrysler's powertrain chief.

    The Pentastar will replace all Chrysler's V6 engines, from 2.7 liters to 4.0 liters in displacement.

    The first dual-clutch transmission will appear on a new D-segment vehicle at the end of 2010. Also about that time, Chrysler will launch stop-start technology on the Jeep Wrangler diesel, an existing vehicle in Europe.


    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20091105/CARNEWS/911059997

    And they are planning on hybrid Rams too! Whew, it is a busy time at Fiatsler. Almost makes you believe this company could make it as an Italian, pseudo-American automaker. Did I read that the the 500 will be available in the U.S. in fall 2010? That's quicker than I expected. I am eager to give one of those a try, provided they bring over the Abarth version.

    Oh, I almost forgot Jeep! :-P

    Jeep's small SUVs will use Fiat-supplied platforms starting in 2013, Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley said on Wednesday.

    Jeep will eliminate the Patriot and Compass crossovers after 2012 and replace them with a single C-segment vehicle whose platform will originate with Fiat Group. Jeep also will introduce a B-segment small SUV in 2013 with a Fiat platform.

    And starting in 2013, the Liberty crossover will have a Fiat platform.

    The Jeep Wrangler also will undergo a “major modification” in 2011, Manley said.


    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20091105/CARNEWS/911059998

    Jeep is going to be a very different animal when Fiat gets done with it. I wonder what the "major modification" of the Wrangler will look like, given that one of Fiat's primary goals is to get Chrysler CAFE-compliant in the next five years.

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

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