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Chrysler, Fiat Talking about Hooking Up

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2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

2009 Chrysler 200C Concept

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Here we go again.

While the rest of the world holds its collective breath for the Obama coronation--er, inauguration--the Italians are characteristically dealing with their own crumbling infrastructure and business holdings, as Fiat is now said to be shopping for Chrysler.

The Wall Street Journal says the lovable losers have been discussing a chunk of Chrysler being purchased by Fiat, and possibly, for Fiat cars to be sold in the U.S. Something like the marvy Fiat 500 shown below would be a great addition to Chrysler's U.S. fleet--even if the car's potential, and Fiat's sellability, are total unprovens in the modern U.S. automotive scene.

While fans of cars like the Maserati TC by Chrysler may be encouraged, we don't put too much stock in these talks. GM and Fiat had a cross-equity deal in the late 1990s that was supposed to bring Alfa Romeos to Cadillac dealerships, and like all deals Italian, it ended up submerged in mind-boggling beaurocracy and poorly thought-out plans. Concrete shoes would have been the logical next step.

Chrysler and Fiat have talked many times in the past too--mostly during the Iacocca era--and a deal could actually provide Chrysler with some interesting, non-U.S.-available hardware to sell and to give it a lifeline through the current financial crisis. Also, a deal could give it some underpinnings for the lovely, if slightly evanescent, Chrysler 200EV concept from the recent 2009 Detroit auto show. However, Fiat's notoriously dodgy dealings with Americans (witness the Fiat 124 Spyder) should give everyone in Auburn Hills pause.

Engines and transmissions would also be a part of the deal. If it happens. Color us dubious...it's up there on the top row between orange-red and red-orange.

[Wall Street Journal]

2008 Fiat 500

2008 Fiat 500

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Comments (3)
  1. "Reece"

    While memories of Fiat's outplaying of GM are ripe and with a history that is as bad as Chryslers as far as nearing or going into bankruptcy is concerned, if done properly this may be beneficial to both parties.
    I have long said that without an international partner to share development costs and to access a small car platform Chrysler was doomed. I doubt Fiat would bring Fiat's to the US, name is mud, but they have some interesting platforms such as that which underpins 500/punto and various other small cars. More likey is a dodge and chrysler built using this platform and tie up re engines. Few people may know that Fiat was resposnible for developing the common rail diesel engine but due to monitory issues had to license the tech to other manufacturers, so it does have some engineering prowess. Also those running Fiat now actually have a good background. May be just what chrysler needs.
     
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  2. "New Fiats are better than u think"

    Having lived in the UK for the last 8 yrs, I can tell you many Americans have a dated impressions of French, Italian, and British cars. The Peugeots, Renaults, Citroens, UK Fords, and Fiats have much better designs, interiors, and quality than the typical USA subcompact or even compact such as Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cobalt, and even Chrysler Sebring sedan. These European makes have successfully held their own against Toyota and Honda in most EU countries. The simple fact is these small cars are the size typically purchased, unlike the US.
     
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  3. "Fiat"

    I had a Fiat back in the 70's. Not sure which model, it was a small 4 door sedan. The handling was amazing, but it was a piece of shite mechanically. It just disintegrated.
     
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