Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fiat and Chrysler: Road to redeption?

Fiat and Chrysler have just announced a strategic alliance. While some critics speculate that alliance is going to be about as successful as the TC by Maserati. I think this could be a perfect match, and any plan that may help bring Alfa and Fiat back more quickly is great and my book.

Let's remember that a couple years ago, Fiat was in a position that some might consider is as dire as Chrysler's. Fiat's sales were declining, production was below capacity, and the products lacked focus and imagination. With money gained from a breakage from GM, Fiat was able to turn around in record time. This sounds very similar to the current crisis at Chrysler. Creating a sequel to their previous success will be difficult, but Fiat does stand a chance to turn Chrysler around.

Looking at this more closely, the pieces of this puzzle appear as though they might fit together. Chrysler is exactly what Fiat needs in the United States in order to ensure a successful resurgence. Currently, Chrysler has an abundance of dealers looking for new products, Fiat and Alfa products fill two niches currently untapped by Chrysler. The entry level cars currently sold by Chrysler are crap. (There is not need to sugarcoat this unfortunate truth). Additionally, since the departure of Mercedes and the DaimlerChrysler breakup, the Chrysler corporation has lacked a premium brand. Alfa could fill the premium void left by Chrysler, and Fiat could provide economical city cars for the United States in addition to platforms for Chysler economy and midsize cars. Fiat could share distribution channels with Chrysler thus minimized the costs associated with creating a dealer network in the United States.

When you start thinking about the potential new models that could be created out of this synergy, it gets even more exciting. The Fiat Panda would serve as the perfect replacement for what the uninspired and undesired Jeep Patriot and Compass were supposed to be. The Chysler LX platform could provide the basic for a new RWD flagship Afla, with the potential for Awd to boot. The PT Crusier could find a replacement with the rebadged Bravo. The opportunities seen endless.

We need to embrace this allegiance and hope for the best or at least hope that in the near future, the Chrysler connection will allow for the reintroduction of affordable Italian cars in the United States.

No comments:

Post a Comment