By on February 24, 2012

Chrylser’s U.S. plants are working flat-out, and reopening closed plants is not an option, Fiat & Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne tells the Milan daily Corriere della Sera in a wide-ranging interview. Plants and workers in other countries, such as Mexico, Canada or Europe will have to fill a third of the U.S. demand for Chryslers. Marchionne thinks that “demand  for cars in Europe will remain low for long. At least until 2014.” He counts on increasing U.S. demand for made-in-Italy Chryslers to keep his Italian plants open. If that demand should slacken, then …

“Then we should withdraw from two of our five  sites in Italy,” Marchionne says.


“What???” asks an aghast interviewer.

Marchionne reminds him of Sophie’s choice. In the movie, Sophie was forced to decide which of her two children was to be sent to the Auschwitz gas chamber. She chose her son to live, and her daughter to die.

According to Marchionne, Sophie had to spend the rest of her life with the nightmares of that decision.

Actually, in the movie, she committed suicide.


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14 Comments on “Marchionne To U.S.: Buy Made In Italy Chryslers, Or I’ll Kill This Kitten Close My Italian Plants...”

  • avatar

    Increasing US demand for what – Fiat 500s? What kind of miracle is supposed to occur that’s going to generate sufficient US demand for two plants’ worth of FIAT output?

  • avatar

    The Euro is tanking and not long for this world.
    This means he is being optimistic, and knows it.
    Yeah – Marchionne has been thinking about making gut wrenching decisions. Fortunately, not as bad as Sophie’s.

    Germany can’t keep propping up this monetary farce. VW better score some big profits while they can. Cuz when it goes down, which it will, German auto manufacturers better have Plan Bs in effect to survive the Market chaos.

  • avatar

    Glad I never saw that movie…I’m not waiting in line for a Fiat 500, either. A Dart? …Maybe…

  • avatar

    OK, but did you REALLY have to dump here the entire spoiler (book and movie)? that’s mean!

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    the last time I remember factories running at top speed to meet up with demand, we got the Xcars’ and their infamous reputation as GM’s biggest POS.

  • avatar

    I think Bertel Schmitt may have misunderstood the interviewer here – when he asks “Quali?” (which may be translated as “Which ones?” in this context), it’s simply a question of which plants Marchionne considers closing.

  • avatar

    I think this simply means that Marchione is threatening to close a plant or two in ITALY if people don’t buy his products, Fiat derived Chryslers or Fiat products itself.

    He also knows that his own country, Italy is on the brink of default, due to poor management of its own money and from what I’ve read, Italy is one of the countries that if it defaults, it could spell disaster for Europe and the Euro as a whole. They even have an interim president or whatever whom is working to keep Italy alive financially, even if it means a temporary state of austerity to get their finances back on a firmer ground.

    And to be quite frank, Fiat’s woes, while not dire could be eventually if Europe does not improve its financial state as that means new automotive sales are in the doldrums as of right now.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not at all optimistic about Europe improving anything anytime soon. And I say that based on how my cousins in Portugal and Germany are doing these days.

      The emails I’ve been getting from the people who live it first hand is depressing. Although all of them have a job or are retired, the cost of living has gone through the roof. And the fear of getting laid off from industry is ever present.

      With Civil Servants the fear is a reduction in pay in order to keep their jobs. IOW, if you need $3000 a month to live and pay the bills and your employer cuts that down to $2000 a month in order to preserve your job, something’s gotta give, like eating maybe. Forget about that new car!

      Aside from the $8-$10/gal gasoline, the cost of meat and staples has nearly doubled across the board. And this is on domestic products. Imports are even higher. Many of my cousins are helping their children and grand children make ends meet. The future does not bode well for much of Europe. They expect the breaking point to be the summer months when the tourism will collapse as people choose stay-cations instead.

      Buying a new car or any major outlay for all but necessities or emergencies is just not going to happen.

      Italy is not better off than other European countries and even with austerity measures Italy will not be able to effect an economical turn-around for several years yet, if ever.

      If Sergio is betting on America to pull Fiat’s bacon out of the fire he should make plans to close down those Italian factories now.

      But what I do believe is that Chrysler will emerge as Fiat’s cash cow and save Fiat’s bacon, now and in the future. A foreign company making cars in America, Mexico and Canada and providing jobs to Americans, Mexicans and Canadians. Yeah, that’ll work.

      • 0 avatar

        Just as Fiat saved Chryco’s bacon, you know Chryco had so much advanced tech. that with just a few billion in government guarenteed loans the next K car was just in the wings.

  • avatar

    Cute kitty.

    Another here; animated: add your own “http://”

    No matter how the economic winds blow I fear no evil because the “deserving ones” will continue to have access to more than ample vittles, health care, recreation and all they desire with no concern about the basics of life.

    Just lead your life as advised by Alfred E. Neuman;

    “What, me worry?” and all will be well.

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