The Truth About Cars » Cooperation The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 16:00:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Cooperation Fiat Denies Seeking Asian Bride, Alfa Sale Tue, 15 Dec 2009 16:55:58 +0000 Ciao!

Cross-cultural alliances are the craze of the moment in the auto industry, particularly in the form of Europeans hooking up with Japanese partners. Renault & Nissan, PSA & Mitsubishi, Volkswagen & Suzuki and Bertel Schmitt & Tomoko (sorry, couldn’t resist it!) are just a few examples. Fiat, on the other hand, is not following the crowd. reports that Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of Fiat, is saying no ad un socio giapponese. “The others are doing what we have (already) done,” Montezemolo says. “This is a time when we have to be careful not get indigestion.” Is the Chrysler merger not sitting well on the stomach?

Fiat believes that it has a decent enough footprint in the East. It is building a plant in China with Guangzhou Automobile, has a joint venture with Tata motors and has close relations with Tata (Ratan Tata sits on Fiat’s board of directors). Luca di Montezemolo also believes that its stake in Chrysler will be sufficient to give Fiat a good presence in the Orient, with Jeep to be pushed hard in China.

In further developments, Mr Montezemolo took the opportunity to dismiss claims that Volkswagen would buy their Alfa Romeo marque after it was suggested by an analyst’s report. Bernstein analysts reckon that “Alfa may not be expensive and can sit on VW’s platforms.”. Mr Montezemolo dismissed this report by laying out plans for Alfa Romeo, “We will present the new Alfa … that substitutes the 147, and we think there are also very important opportunities for Alfa Romeo in the United States,” he said. “We have done everything that we said we would do. So give us a bit of time and we will do this,” Montezemolo pleaded. “There are big synergies with Chrysler that will allow us to cover market segments we are not present in.”. Fiat have laid out some mighty big plans and have Chrysler deep in the heart of them. But it is one thing having big plans and another thing executing them correctly. Let’s hope it goes well for Fiat and they they don’t end up with an embarrassing broken nose. At least, I can resist that joke.

]]> 12
Ford And Mazda: Still Happy Together Tue, 15 Dec 2009 15:51:01 +0000 The very model of a modern major alliance

“We’re still dependent on each other,” Ford’s head of global product development Derrick Kuzak tells the Detroit News, dispelling rumors that Ford and Mazda are going their separate ways. “You cannot change that overnight.” According to Kuzak, many of Ford’s most important vehicles continue to be based off of Mazda platforms. Ford Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth adds,

The strategic relationship continues. The business relationships continue. And they continue on the basis that they’ve always continued. Where it works to the benefit of both companies, we do things together, and where it doesn’t, we don’t.

Booth explains that, though in the past Ford was more dependent on Mazda, “now, it’s a little more two-way than it was. There’s more mutual sharing.” So why has Ford reduced its stake in Mazda over the last several years? Booth claims that the move was motivated more by Ford’s financial position than any dissatisfaction with the oldest alliance in the auto business. Mazda’s financial weakness now makes it more dependent on Ford than it had been, as analysts claim the Japanese firm is too small to be a true volume manufacturer but too large to be a niche brand. And besides engine and platform-sharing, the two firms operate joint ventures in China, Thailand, and South Africa.

And Chinese-market cooperation is being forced into the foreground of discussions between the two firms. The sale of the Volvo brand to Geely complicates the Changan Ford Mazda venture, as the 35 percent Ford, 15 percent Mazda and 50 percent Changan-owned venture currently builds Volvo-branded vehicles for the Chinese market. In addition to figuring out how to work that production out of Changan, Ford is seeking to improve the venture’s performance, as the Blue Oval’s Chinese efforts currently haul in a mere two percent of the crucial Chinese market. Work is under way on a plant expansion that would boost Changan Ford Mazda’s production to 600k units annually, nearly double what the number sold by the venture this year. As Ford and Mazda feel their way through their evolving relationship, Chinese market strategy should take on an increasingly important role.

]]> 3