Fiat News – Including North American Plans

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
fiat news including north american plans

The internets are abuzz with Fiatitude. Motor Authority reports that CEO Sergio Marchionne fingers distribution, rather than manufacturing, as Fiat's greatest hurdle to selling cars in the U.S. True dat. Setting-up a factory in Mexico wouldn't be impossible. But setting-up dealers and warranty service departments (which Fiat will need to convince people their cars aren't the unreliable rust buckets of yore) will cost serious dough. Wth U.S. car sales on the wane, who wants to buy a franchise from a risky manufacturer? Marchionne says he's shopping for an American partner. You just know it's going to be Chrysler. Maserati TC redux? Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the Italians (who already own the Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati names) are considering an additional brand to sell extremely low-cost vehicles in developing countries. Come again? The Fiat name has a lot of equity in the developing world (including Brazil, where the brand is popular). And besides, building cheap and cheerful cars is Fiat's forte. Anyway, my suggestion for a name for the automaker's low cost brand: Fiat.

Join the conversation
4 of 16 comments
  • Blowfish Blowfish on May 22, 2008

    "Peugeot syndrome"; that is, cars that seem to have proven records in countries with no roads at all, but won't start if it rains. Chryslerbus should be jumpng up & down to welcome the FIAT pisanos as Nardelli's root is from. Fix It Again Tony. They used to be cute little cars, see lots of them growing up in Hong Kong. They dont fae much worse than the British cars.

  • Matthew Potena Matthew Potena on May 22, 2008

    # jerseydevil : May 22nd, 2008 at 9:46 am I am stamping my feet and yelling “I WANT AN ABARTH!!! I WANT AN ABARTH NOW!!!!!” I second what jerseydevil says!

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on May 22, 2008
    carlos.negros: Someone bought it and came back the very next day asking for their money back. They said the car was haunted, that it wouldn’t start for them and they had to have it towed. I told them the car never had any problems as long as I owned it, which was true. I refused to refund their money. Looking back, it is possible they didn’t know how to use a manual choke and they flooded the thing. Had the same thing happen with a Beetle I sold in 1994 or so. I told the new owner what would happen maybe twice a year. Just tap the starter and the car will start every time. The starter would get hot during a hot day and the next time the car wouldn't. New owner had this happen and rather than try to start it proceeded to try to wreck my reputation with coworkers over it. I explained to everyone that brought it up the truth of the situation. Finally after two weeks I went and started the car exactly the way I told him and proceeded to warn him about ever opening his mouth with lies about me ever again. He stayed away from me and never brought it up again. I think the modern Fiat is far from the old Fiat. Today's Fiat is much more like Kias and Hyundais. Nice cars. Funky styling. Nice drivers. A bit small for a traditional American owner. I hope they come and I hope they do well. I've liked every one I've driven and everyone I've owned. I hope they bring 45 mpg gasoline cars back to America (without the hybrid tech).
  • John Horner John Horner on May 22, 2008

    Fiat and Tata already have alliances, so perhaps the Jaguar/Land Rover dealer network is an option.