Skip to comments.QOTD: Marchionne Says Government Made Him Sell Fiat 500
Posted on 05/22/2014 4:16:58 AM PDT by jjotto
An event held at Washington D.Cs Brookings Institute saw FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne and former National Economic Council head Larry Summers discuss the auto bailout on its five-year anniversary. As always, Marchionne had some colorful commentary, with a one interesting nugget about Fiat.
According to Christina Rogers of the Wall Street Journal, Marchionne claimed that the Fiat 500 was only imported to the United States due to the governments hand, with Marchionne stating
It was a condition assigned to the [bailout] deal
This has previously never been stated in any bailout related discussion only the Dodge Dart and its 40 mpg capability has been highlighted as a specific requirement of the bailout, in terms of product.
If this is indeed correct, it would add some context to Fiats confusing position in the marketplace. For Fiat to thrive in America, it would make sense to add more product that is better aligned to American tastes. All weve gotten are the 500 and 500L, which are both unsuited to the vast majority of American tastes and driving conditions.
So far, Fiats American arrival has been an expensive endeavor that has not exactly fared well. The costs of homologating the cars, building the 500 in a new factory in the NAFTA zone, establishing a dealer network and marketing the car is certain to be a $1-billion dollar expenditure. Perhaps this is just a bit of bluster by Sergio to obfuscate the fact that Fiat isnt burning up the sales charts in America. I am sure that Fiat dealers would like a more lucid answer.
...only the Dodge Dart and its 40 mpg capability has been highlighted as a specific requirement of the bailout...
that doesn’t make sense. Was there some bureaucrat making decisions above their pay grade?
Seems like just a more outright requirement than CAFE standards. An attempt to make econoboxes cool. Nothing strange about it.
There are always conditions imposed on reorganized bankrupt companies. When the government does it, the conditions are aimed at changing society instead of just returning to pofitability.
Well D'uh! This is washington we're talking about. Everything they do (with the possible exceptions of Article I section 8 enumerated powers) is above their pay grade.
My first car was a 1975 Plymouth Valiant, which was the fancy Dart. Rusty, dusty, trusty. The Mopar slant 6was indestructible. That abomination they are calling the Dart now will be blowing smoke and leaking fluids right around the time the warranty expires.
The Valiants were fine. Lots of stories behind those. Originally it was going to be its own make. I drove various Darts and a ‘68 Valiant. My cat coul hear the ticking of the valves when I was a half mile away of any slant-six and would get up to greet me.
Dodge: Dead Old Dog Gone Engine
Fiat: Fix It Again Tony
What does this mean?
Limp-wristed shifters? Rear view mirrors fixed permanently on the driver's hair? Glory holes in the trunk?
The 500 could fit in the bed of my pick up... or in the back of my Expedition.