Fiat Signs Deal With China's Chery; Cozying-up to Chrysler?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
fiat signs deal with china s chery cozying up to chrysler

China's "you wanna do business here you gotta hire my nephew" policy towards foreign automakers is inadvertently bringing Chrysler and Fiat into close proximity. Forbes informs us that Fiat has just signed a letter of intent with China's Chery to build cars in [Homer Simpson's favorite Chinese town] Wuhu by 2009. In its normatively optimistic press release, Fiat claims the factory will produce 175k units in the first year, and double that the next. The deal follows Chrysler arrangement with Chery to produce a small car for the U.S. market. All of which takes us back to '88, when Fiat was going to sell Chrysler minivans in Europe and Chrysler was going to sell Alfa Romeos in America. Could the Chinese hook-up mean Fiat's long-awaited return stateside could come via a Chinese-made Alfa sports car sold through Chrysler dealerships? Now there's a thought.

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  • Glenn 126 Glenn 126 on Aug 07, 2007

    Hmmm a Chinese made FIAT badged as a Dodge / Plymouth (redux) / Chrysler / Jeep. Yikes. Does anybody else remember the last FIATs sold in the US 25 or so years ago? The Ritmo ("Rhythm") - no catholic jokes now please... Wow was that car worse than a Neon, or what?! "Yes" and "OMG how is that POSSIBLE?!" A perfect POS of a car could not be more imagined than a Chinese made FIAT. My mind absolutely boggles. (Needless to say, everything Chinese I ever buy ends up drek within months instead of years - so my opinion of Chinese stuff is not high!) Of course, it matters little to me on a personal basis - simply because after my Neon commuter car (hecho in Mexico) I swore off "American Brand" cars for life. My wife's Hyundai is made in Alabama, ironically. So far, so good.

  • Glenn 126 Glenn 126 on Aug 07, 2007

    OK Chryslerberus, you can send me a check. I've done your work for you... all you have to do is put new grills and badges on these vehicles and away you go..... (after setting up production in China on FIAT group designs I mean) FIAT = resurrected Plymouth Alfa Romeo = Dodge (cars) Lancia = Chrysler

  • Luther Luther on Aug 07, 2007

    Agreed jthorner. Chrysler will become an Engineering and Marketing firm and farm-out to Contract Manufactures with possible final assembly in the NAFTA/CAFTA (FTAA?) regions. Nardelli's appointment as CEO is the tell-tail as he was a top Exec at GE (A GREAT company I might add).

  • OverheadCam9000 OverheadCam9000 on Aug 08, 2007

    jthorner has hit the piston TDC! Nardelli morphs the PentaStar into the autoappliance biz! Not everybody is a gearhead; there is money to be made there. It could play out like this.... 1. Chrysler dumps all manufacturing. 2. They then shop around the world looking for desperate/hungry small auto manufacturers looking to break into the US. They sign supply agreements with said companies. 3. Cerberus buys CarMax, creating a parallel sales channel to bypass the "official" Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep system. 4. Chryslerberus becomes the "Home Depot" of auto sales, offering sundry and various wheels at low, low, non-negotiable prices. (I'll take 1 Fiat, 2 Mahindra & Mahindra's and a WuHu...Oh, can you throw in an order of fries with that????) 5. The old line Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep dealers are left to rot on the vine, getting only *1* vehicle per model year to sell (or whatever the state mandated minimum is). After a few years, the old line dealer channel collapses. 6. Chryslerberus is seen as a visionary!