Fiat-Chrysler Deal: What it Means to You

FutureChrysler The Chrysler-Fiat deal is done. Today, the Italian automaker is the new owner of the majority of Chrysler’s assets. This clears the way for Chrysler to emerge from bankruptcy, having shed nearly 800 dealerships as well as billions of dollars in debt and labor costs.

Fiat plans to reopen most of Chrysler’s factories by the end of June. The factories were idled during the automaker’s bankruptcy filing. The future looks a lot brighter for Chrysler, but what Fiat cars can we expect to see here in the coming years?

Fiat in the U.S.
Fiat’s small cars will plug a gaping hole in Chrysler’s lineup. However, it will take time to adapt Fiat’s cars to meet U.S. emissions standards and safety requirements; Fiats were last sold in the U.S. in 1983. Some experts say we can expect to see Fiats here again by the end of 2010. According to published reports, here are the Fiat cars that are projected to come stateside.

• Fiat 500: This subcompact hatchback, which some suggest could be called the Chrysler 500, is 6 inches shorter than a Mini Cooper.
• Fiat Bravo: This small wagon, which looks like a Pontiac Vibe, could become the Chrysler Bravo.
• Fiat Panda: This popular European minicar features a hatchback and four-wheel drive.
• Alfa Romeo MiTo: This stylish two-door can be had with a turbocharged engine.
• Alfa Romeo 147: This hatchback is aimed at small families and could replace the Dodge Caliber.

Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep Lineups
Chrysler hasn’t announced which cars will remain in its 2011 lineup, but a few weeks ago we made our best guesses about which cars will remain.

• Chrysler 300
• Chrysler Sebring
• Chrysler Town & Country
• Dodge Charger
• Dodge Challenger
• Dodge Dakota
• Dodge Durango
• Dodge Grand Caravan
• Dodge Journey
• Dodge Ram
• Jeep Grand Cherokee
• Jeep Patriot
• Jeep Wrangler

By Jennifer Newman | June 10, 2009 | Comments (11)
Tags: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep

Comments 

TK

Sebring would stay and Avenger would go away? Not so sure about that one. . .

Peter Gravell

Not bad, my 2011 line choice would be this,
Chrysler--
Imperial, 300, T&C van, Sebring,

Dodge--
Charger, Challenger, Dakota (For $15k!!)
Ram, Grand Caravan, and Caliber (or replacement)

Jeep--Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Wrangler, Wrangler Pickup

Mart

The 147 is much more upscale than the Caliber. It's likely the Bravo would be the direct replacement as it's a a very similar style. The Bravo is certainly not in the style of the Vibe - it's far more conventional, and very handsome.

I'd be surprised if they bring the Panda though - it's a lovely little car but I just can't see it being a success stateside.

The 500 will be a smash though - it's truly stunning.

Russ

Fiat has, I hear, really improved the quality of their cars. They were always great to drive. My first car was a beautiful '73 124 Spider, which went well over 100K miles and never once let me down in the 14 years I had it. My second car was an X1/9, a brilliant sports car and a fine runner. I wish Fiat/Chrysler all the success in the world and hope we see the beautiful Alfa Romeos and Fiats stateside. Italian cars exemplify la dolce vita!

Paul

Chrysler is no longer an American company. So there is no big three. Only really two left.

Paul

They wouldnt drop Caliber,no matter how bad sales are.Its the base for Jeep Compass and Patriot,so the platform isnt going away,and Dodge needs an entry level vehicle.The big question would be Sebring/Avenger.The loss of Sebring would leave Chrysler with almost nothing (300),and over at Dodge they would go straight from Caliber to Charger.Thats a big gap!

Mongo

Caliber will be dropped. It will absolutely be dropped. Three models on two different platforms are tentatively planned to be built at Belvidere Assembly. In 2011 Dodge Hornet will begin production on Fiat 199 platform and Alfa Mito on 199 platform also in 2011, and in 2012 the Caliber replacement will be built on the C-EVO Fiat platform.
There was discussion of building the Jeep Panda at Belvidere, however, I think it's 95% decided that it will go to Tolucca since it will be on Fiat 169 platform.

Of course, Chrysler must generate adequate sales and cash flow to survive until 2011 in order for this to happen. Remainder of 2009 and all of 2010 will be extremely difficult.

it means a lot for Chrysler as it will be the beginning of their market again.

I’ve spent some time in Europe, and know, have owned, and rented FIAT and Alfa Romeo cars. The technology and quality is very good, the style is fantastic, and If you thought having more small cars in America will be a boring hell, then you’ve never driven a FIAT.

Forget what your college roomate told you in 1974, most of the problems arose from US safety and emissions regs, dealer issues in the US, and Russian steel which the company unfortunately obtained in a barter deal for a factory there.

I myself had a 1978 FIAT 131 Mirafiori that was the most enjoyable economy car you could imagine… still on the road 30 years later, too.

And current FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne is a genius, if you read what The Economist had to say about what’s he’s done at the company, you’d understand just how well run FIAT is… the only currently profitable European automaker.

I also rented a small, 4 door FIAT Panda in Greece… it got 40-50mpg on gas, and was a very sporty drive for an econobox. FIAT also makes what we would call a midsize, the Croma… which is like a Taurus, and they produce all matter of trucks right-up-to big rigs.

They invented the now widespread “single rail” diesel technology, and their smallest cars get 70mpg on diesel… who needs hybrids?

Any portrayal of FIAT as a producer of antiquidated, poor quality little cars is nonsense from the uninformed. IMO, they are going to surprise a whole lot of people.

http://fiat2america.blogspot.com/

I had a little Fiat, but had no idea that Chrysler had bought them over, this was really interesting to read , I just hope that they give these cars better safety features as they are really lacking in this department.

"Caliber will be dropped. It will absolutely be dropped. Three models on two different platforms are tentatively planned to be built at Belvidere Assembly. In 2011 Dodge Hornet will begin production on Fiat 199 platform and Alfa Mito on 199 platform also in 2011, and in 2012 the Caliber replacement will be built on the C-EVO Fiat platform.
There was discussion of building the Jeep Panda at Belvidere, however, I think it's 95% decided that it will go to Tolucca since it will be on Fiat 169 platform.

Of course, Chrysler must generate adequate sales and cash flow to survive until 2011 in order for this to happen. Remainder of 2009 and all of 2010 will be extremely difficult.

Posted by: Mongo | Jun 10, 2009 11:10:08 PM"
Excellent comment, it would be a pity if they did drop the Caliber as this is the only one in the range that I liked, but if they need to keep their heads above water during the recession then it will have to be done.

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