Amazing Inventions: Fiat Produces Engine That Increases Ownership In Chrysler

Want to know how to get a good chunk of the Detroit 3, no money down? Easy: Today, Fiat increased its ownership of Chrysler from 20 percent to 25 percent. What did they pay for it? Niente. Fiat received the extra shares “upon the Company’s achievement of the first of three performance-related milestones,” as a Chrysler Group LLC press release proclaims. And what is that milestone? They started making an engine.“An irrevocable commitment letter” was sent “to the U.S. Treasury stating that the Company has received the appropriate governmental approvals and will begin commercial production of the Fully Integrated Robotized Engine (FIRE) in its Dundee, Mich., facility. As a result, Fiat’s ownership interest increased automatically under the terms of the Operating Agreement.”That was easy!They didn’t invent a new engine. They moved the production of the engine that will go into the Fiat 500 to an American factory. Where it is highly tax efficient, even if it otherwise makes no sense to make Fiat 500 engines there.Says the Freep: “While Chrysler is assembling the 500 minicar at its plant in Toluca, Mexico, the engines are produced at Chrysler’s newest and most efficient engine plant in Dundee. Chrysler employs 274 workers in the Dundee plant, which opened in 2005.” Wow.So now, the ownership of Chrysler is as follows:UAW VEBA63.5 %Fiat25.0 %U.S. Treasury9.2 %Canadian Governments2.3 %If Fiat wants more shares, it has to fulfill the following extremely tough milestones:
  • “The first milestone relates to revenue and sales growth outside of the NAFTA region.” That will get them 5 percent.
  • “The second milestone relates to commercial production in the United States of a 40-mile-per-gallon vehicle based on Fiat platform technology.” That will get them another 5 percent.
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  • Roy Mears Roy Mears on Feb 05, 2011

    Here is a novel idea that would help everyone not only the car makers. How about we stop getting into free trade agreements and start going for balanced trade agreements. If China wants to sell us a million cars they have to buy a million from us. The same should go for everything else too. If they don't well let them keep there cars and we keep ours. If we started to demand balanced trade two things would happen. There would be one hell of a lot more jobs here and we could wipe out trade deficits. Just think if we can't get products made by slave labor and sweat shops overseas we might have to make it here. The foreign countries couldn't cry foul because we are not putting on tariffs just asking for a fair shake.

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Feb 05, 2011

    Sure. That'll work.

    Let's start with bananas.

    Then move to something bigger, like oil.

    And if Boeing wants to sell planes abroad, we need to import Yaks and Ilyushins first.

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.