Where are the Fiat cars that are supposed to show up at Chryslerdealers?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by MoPar Man, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    Where are the Fiat cars that are supposed to show up at Chrysler dealers
    next month?

    Wed Apr 8, 2009 (New York Auto Show)

    Chrysler President and Vice Chairman Jim Press surprised reporters at
    Chrysler's news conference to unveil a new Jeep Grand Cherokee by
    arriving on the stage in an iconic Fiat 500 subcompact. The 500, one of
    the Italian automaker's most successful models, would help fill the void
    of small vehicles in Chrysler's lineup if Chrysler survives and brings
    Fiat cars to U.S. showrooms by 2011, as planned.

    The following originally posted here May 2, 2009:


    The plan: 7 Fiat vehicles for U.S.

    From mid-sized to micro, Chrysler can plug holes
    Bradford Wernle
    Automotive News
    January 26, 2009 - 12:01 am ET

    Chrysler LLC and Fiat S.p.A. will bring seven new vehicles to North
    America under their alliance — four with Chrysler brands and three as
    Fiats or Alfa Romeos.

    The vehicles will be built at Chrysler plants in North America and sold
    through select Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealerships, according to
    sources who have seen the product-sharing agreement.

    The plan includes vehicles on four Fiat platforms — in the microcar, or
    A, through the mid-sized, or D, segments. The two companies have not
    decided on timing or volumes. Teams at both companies are hammering out
    details of a plan they hope to make final by April 30.

    The two companies said last week that Fiat would take a 35 percent stake
    in Chrysler. Under terms of their tentative agreement, Chrysler will
    make the Fiat 500 at Chrysler's Toluca, Mexico, plant for sale in North
    America, according to sources familiar with the plans.

    Chrysler will retool the Toluca factory, where it currently makes the
    Dodge Journey crossover and Chrysler PT Cruiser. Chrysler announced last
    week that it would quit making the PT Cruiser this summer and put the
    line up for sale, making room for another vehicle.

    Speaking with reporters at the Automotive News World Congress on
    Wednesday, Jan. 21, Frank Klegon, Chrysler executive vice president for
    product development, said teams from both companies were working on a

    Referring to Chrysler's current lineup, Klegon said, "We don't have an
    A-segment vehicle, and we don't have a B-segment vehicle, and our
    C-segment vehicle [Dodge Caliber] is in the next stage of renewal. That
    creates some opportunities for us."

    Chrysler LLC dealers would get these Fiat vehicles

    Minicars (A segment)
    Two small cars, the Fiat 500 retro 3-door hatchback and a 5-door
    hatchback based on a next-generation Fiat Panda. The latter likely will
    be sold as a Chrysler or Dodge.

    Fiat 500: To be built in Mexico:

    Subcompact (B segment)
    Alfa Romeo MiTo, plus a vehicle for one of Chrysler's brands.

    Fiat's Alfa Romeo MiTo:

    Compact (C segment)
    A vehicle on Fiat's C-Evo platform made at a U.S. Chrysler plant,
    possibly a Dodge Caliber replacement. The alliance also would build the
    Alfa Romeo 147 replacement for U.S. sale on this platform.

    Mid-sized (D segment)
    A replacement for the Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger mid-sized
    sedans on a stretched version of the C-Evo platform Fiat is developing.

    The Fiat deal, if made final, would provide a quick fix for Chrysler's
    small-car problem. The company needs a fleet of vehicles to meet new,
    stricter U.S. fuel economy standards, which take effect for the 2011
    model year.

    The agreement calls for two minicars in Europe's A segment, the Fiat 500
    and one with a Chrysler or Dodge badge. A CSM Worldwide report says the
    500 could be sold in the United States in 2012.

    The five-door minicar could be based on the next-generation Fiat Panda,
    a small five-door hatchback that is the biggest-selling small car in
    Europe, where Fiat dominates the segment.

    A Panda-style vehicle would give dealers a city car. The 500 is
    something else altogether — a small, retro three-door that has
    Mini-style cachet without the Mini price. The 500 is Europe's
    second-best-selling minicar, trailing the Panda.

    "The 500 is selling like hot cakes, even in this difficult economic
    environment," said Nigel Griffiths, an analyst for Global Insight in
    London. "It has been a runaway success."

    Under the plan, Chrysler dealers also would get a subcompact, or B
    segment, Fiat, most likely derived from the next-generation Fiat Grande
    Punto. Dealers also will sell the Alfa Romeo MiTo, built on the same
    platform. The CSM Worldwide report says Chrysler could get a small
    crossover from this platform.

    The alliance also would give Chrysler access to Fiat's 1.4- and
    1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline direct-injection engines. The engines
    would be made at a Chrysler engine factory, most likely in turbocharged
    versions. Chrysler's smallest engine now is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder
    made at the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance plant in Dundee, Mich.
    CSM says the engines could be built in Dundee. A source familiar with
    Fiat plans says Chrysler may make only the 1.4-liter engine.

    Path to a deal

    October 2007
    Fiat and Chrysler begin talks on possible areas of cooperation.

    March 2008
    Fiat Powertrain Technologies buys the Brazilian engine plant Tritec from

    Spring/summer 2008
    Fiat studies whether to buy a Chrysler plant in the United States to
    build Alfa Romeo cars and/or a Chrysler plant in Mexico to produce the
    Fiat 500 minicar.

    September 2008
    Chrysler approaches Fiat with a list of what's needed to turn Chrysler

    Late November 2008
    Fiat and Chrysler conceive a possible deal calling for Fiat to exchange
    technology for a stake in Chrysler. Deal would include distribution and
    purchasing cooperation.

    Late December 2008
    Fiat and Chrysler begin finalizing nonbinding agreement that would give
    Fiat a 35% stake.

    Jan. 13, 2009
    Nonbinding agreement is signed.

    Jan. 20, 2009
    Deal is announced.

    March 31, 2009
    Deadline to sign final agreement.

    Mid-sized quest

    Fiat also will supply Chrysler new platforms to develop cars in the
    compact and mid-sized, or C and D, segments — glaring weaknesses in
    Chrysler's lineup.

    In the compact, or C, segment, Chrysler offers the Caliber, Jeep Compass
    and Jeep Patriot. In the mid-sized, or D, segment it has the Chrysler
    Sebring, Dodge Avenger and Journey.

    In a report on the proposed alliance, Michael Robinet, CSM Worldwide
    vice president of global forecasting, said Chrysler is uncompetitive in
    the compact and mid-sized segments. "Fiat offers Chrysler the ability to
    field small/compact unibody offerings with stronger global scale and
    increased fuel efficiency," Robinet wrote.

    Said Griffiths of Global Insight: "The potential opens up immediately
    with joining that with something like the Sebring platform, that size

    The C-Evo debuts at the end of this year in Europe on the Alfa Romeo
    project 940 car, which replaces the current 147. The C-Evo is a sporty
    hatchback stylistically inspired by the 8C Competitizione, a high-priced
    supercar sold through some Maserati dealerships in the United States.

    Fiat hasn't decided which models it will build on the stretched C-Evo
    platform. A Chrysler mid-sized car could be the first application.

    In 2007, Chrysler formed a team, called Project D, to explore
    possibilities for replacing the Sebring and Avenger. The team was
    disbanded in September, and CEO Bob Nardelli said Chrysler had moved the
    project down its list of priorities in the face of the credit crisis and
    the request for federal funds.

    Fiat may distribute the Journey cross-over and the Dodge Dakota pickup
    in Latin America and other markets, say sources familiar with the plan.

    Fiat's benefits may be more on the manufacturing and distribution sides
    of the deal. Fiat would gain cheap access to the North American market,
    where it hasn't played since 1995, when Alfa Romeo withdrew.

    Fiat also could fill a gap in its engine lineup with a V-6 from
    Chrysler's Phoenix family of engines due next year.


    Critics: Fiat is getting a free ride

    Harry Stoffer
    Automotive News
    February 18, 2009 - 12:01 am ET

    WASHINGTON — Chrysler is feeling some pushback — from Democrats, not
    just Southern Republicans — on its plan to take U.S. government loans
    and team up with Italian automaker Fiat S.p.A.

    Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in a letter to President Barack Obama late
    last week, suggested that Chrysler be forced to give back loan money if
    a "foreign" company gets control of the automaker.

    Earlier, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., questioned Obama's treasury
    secretary nominee, Timothy Geithner, on how Fiat could get a substantial
    Chrysler stake without putting up any money, especially after U.S.
    taxpayers are heavily invested.

    Chrysler understands that public officials are going to have questions,
    and it is eager to provide answers, said a company source, insisting on

    The company has been consistent since it first sought emergency federal
    loans in November, saying it would need the money, as well as
    partnerships and alliances, to become healthy again, the source added.

    Chrysler has received $4 billion in loans so far and seeks $3 billion
    more. An additional $1.5 billion is going to Chrysler Financial.

    Chrysler and Fiat will work together on a restructuring plan that must
    be submitted to the Obama administration by Feb. 17, the companies

    Industry sources say UAW support for the alliance should help overcome
    Democratic concerns.


    The wrinkle: Finding the funds

    Jesse Snyder
    Automotive News
    February 18, 2009 - 12:01 am ET

    The biggest obstacle to a Chrysler-Fiat alliance may be finding the cash
    to finance a potential surge of product sharing.

    Analysts say a strategic partnership of Chrysler LLC and Fiat S.p.A., of
    Italy, makes long-term sense and would be complementary, with little
    geographic or product duplication. But they question both automakers'
    current financial reserves.

    Chrysler took a $4 billion U.S. government loan this month to stave off
    bankruptcy and is seeking a $3 billion loan this quarter. Its plants are
    closed most of the first quarter.

    Fiat group's 2008 net profit fell 16 percent to 1.7 billion euros ($2.2
    billion). Last week Fiat lowered guidance on 2009 earnings because it
    expects weak auto sales. Last year Fiat's debt level rose unexpectedly
    to 5.9 billion euros ($7.6 billion).

    Chrysler and Fiat can reduce development costs on an anticipated seven
    new vehicles for North America, but they still have U.S. homologation
    and tooling expenses, said Rebecca Lindland, a Global Insight analyst.

    "Chrysler and Fiat definitely need an outside infusion of capital to
    make this work," she said.

    Last week, Standard & Poor's announced a possible future downgrade of
    Fiat's credit rating, citing its growing debt burden and the industry's
    outlook. Fiat's current bond rating is one notch above junk status.

    Cash problems ahead

    CSM Worldwide Vice President Michael Robinet sees two cash-flow problems
    ahead for Fiat: developing new generations of its four main platforms
    and a lousy European sales environment. CSM estimates sales will decline
    14 percent this year.

    Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas in London calls the alliance "a
    deal born of weakness on both sides," matching No. 6 in Europe with No.
    4 in U.S. sales.

    "Both companies need a partner to survive this crisis," Jonas said. "But
    it is unclear that partnering with each other is the solution."

    Last week's tentative agreement giving Fiat a 35 percent stake in
    Chrysler in exchange for Fiat technology injected no cash into the
    ailing U.S. automaker. It matches a trait in more than two dozen
    alliances that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has forged: Fiat rarely puts
    much cash into a deal.

    And it won't with Chrysler, either. "We're not going to fund" any of
    Chrysler's costs," said Marchionne in a conference call with analysts on
    Thursday, Jan. 22.

    "If they ever manufacture anything on our behalf, it will be done on our
    account," he said. "Anything which they produce on their account will be
    paid by them, regardless of the source of the architecture of the

    Marchionne said turning Chrysler around is possible only if Chrysler
    creditors agree to convert debt into equity. He said that must occur
    before Fiat takes its 35 percent stake to avoid dilution.

    Cerberus seems to want out

    Cerberus Capital Management LP currently owns 80.1 percent of Chrysler,
    plus all of Chrysler Financial. Daimler AG owns the remaining 19.9
    percent. Chrysler is privately held and does not disclose its finances,
    but analysts estimate its current debt at about $9 billion.

    A wild card in the deal is the future role of both Cerberus and Daimler.
    Cerberus appears eager to reduce its stake in its auto manufacturing
    side but keep its ownership of Chrysler Financial. Cerberus told
    Congress it would accept creditors and employees gaining equity.

    Daimler already has written down the value of its Chrysler stake to zero
    and is worried about its exposure to more losses. But it still could
    potentially block any deal it doesn't like.

    "Cerberus would do anything to get out of Chrysler," Global Insight's
    Lindland said. "Daimler would be happy to be diluted."

    While the alliance gives Chrysler no immediate cash infusion, it helps
    the automaker convince a skeptical Congress that Chrysler has a
    long-term future. By Feb. 17, Chrysler must submit a plan to Congress
    proving its viability as a condition to get the $3 billion loan.

    Even though some legislators may object to lending money to a
    foreign-controlled Chrysler, this will help over-all, Lindland said.

    "A Fiat-Chrysler alliance is certainly a better plan than it can provide
    by itself," she said. "And Chrysler abso-lutely needs the second round
    of loans because 2009 sales are not going to generate anywhere near
    enough rev-enue to survive."
    MoPar Man, Dec 6, 2010
  2. Are you holding your breath for them? I'm not. I can't imagine buying a
    Fiat 500. If I decide to buy something more eco-friendly when my 300C goes
    belly up I might consider a Chevy Volt or something of that ilk, it won't
    be a warmed over Fiat.
    General Schvantzkoph, Dec 6, 2010
  3. MoPar Man

    Rob Guest

    Rob, Dec 7, 2010
  4. MoPar Man

    DAS Guest

    Yeah, why are some (US-based) people only talking of the Fiat 500? There
    are plenty of bigger Fiat models around, are there no plans to bring them to
    the US?

    DAS, Dec 8, 2010
  5. MoPar Man

    Rob Guest

    they are bringing Alfa's over too but in limited numbers
    Rob, Dec 8, 2010
  6. MoPar Man

    DAS Guest

    Alfas look beautiful, I think. Would you agree?

    DAS, Dec 8, 2010
  7. MoPar Man

    Zombywoof Guest

    I wouldn't mind a new Spider or 8c being thrown my way.
    Zombywoof, Dec 8, 2010
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