Fiat Eyes Detroit Partnership

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
fiat eyes detroit partnership

Fiat has been talking-up a stateside launch for Alfa Romeo, and even suggested manufacturing in the US or Mexico. Now Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne tells the Financial Times that his company is seeking suitable partners for North American production. "Nobody making anything in Europe is going to make profits in the US," says Marchionne, indicating that the losses on imported cars would be acceptable as long as a production partner could be found. Although the Financial Times makes much of Detroit's recent downsizing of North American operations, and stresses that The Big 2.8 have "overcapacity," other reports indicate that BMW is also a likely candidate for a FIAT partnership. For now, Marchionne is staying mum on the partner search, but makes it clear that BMW is on their radar… as competition. "We need to replicate the [BMW-owned] Mini phenomenon in the US," says the Fiat CEO. And yes, he does mean by bringing the popular Fiat 500 to the states. Toppolino!

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4 of 17 comments
  • BuckD BuckD on Mar 26, 2008

    I don't care how they do it, just bring on those small Euro-hatchbacks. I loves them things.

  • Sanman111 Sanman111 on Mar 26, 2008

    While I love the new 500, I wonder whether the U.S. market would go for it. It certainly helps that gas is as expensive as it is. However, I don't think the populace will embrace a car that is smaller than a mini. I know plenty of people that think the mini is too small. Personally, I just want the suzuki swift sport to get here.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Mar 26, 2008

    Why on earth would BMW allow Fiat to use them to compete with them in the US market? On the other hand, I think that Chrysler would be a perfect fit for both manufacturing and distribution. Fiat could get in there before a Chinese firm does.

  • Strippo Strippo on Mar 26, 2008

    My mind's eye keeps rewriting this headline as "Fiat Eyes Domestic Partnership".