Usually, when you bring a car from Europe to be made in the U.S., you need to bring something else: Money. You know, for buying real estate for a plant, machinery, that kind of thing. Except when you are Fiat. In that case, a thankful U.S. government hands you yet another 5 percent of Chrysler, as a token of its appreciation, for what amounts to be a token act.
“Chrysler and Fiat formally committed on Wednesday to the U.S. Treasury Department to produce the 2013 Dodge Dart sedan at a U.S. Chrysler plant.”
With that simple commitment, Fiat has increased its stake in Chrysler to 58.5 percent. By announcing its intentions to build “a highly fuel-efficient car” at a U.S. plant, Fiat reached the final milestone with the Treasury. The government is out of the automaking business, at least as far as Chrysler is concerned. Fiat shares ownership of Chrysler with the UAW. The UAW’s retiree health care trust holds the 41.5 percent. left over after Fiat’s 58.5 percent.
Actually, it is not the new Dodge Dart that got Fiat the last chunk of Chrysler, it is a special anemic edition of said Dart. Equipped with a 1.4-liter turbocharged FIRE engine that also powers versions of the subcompact Fiat 500, THAT Dart is expected to get the required unadjusted combined fuel economy rating of at least 40 mpg. Never mind that the EPA-issued windows sticker probably will say something like 30 mpg. Who are you going to sue, the government?
The 2013 Dart will be built at Chrysler’s plant in Belvidere, Ill.