Marichonne Still Seeking Location For New Minivans

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
marichonne still seeking location for new minivans

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV boss Sergio Marichonne, in talks with federal and provincial governments in Canada for loans to help prepare their factories in Windsor and Brampton, Ontario for new vehicle production, may come to a decision about moving forward with plans for where new minivans will be built by the end of March 2014.

Bloomberg reports that parent company Fiat is “not even close” to resolving those talks, with Marichonne hinting that he may take his business elsewhere, such as the United States or Mexico, if Canada won’t have them any longer:

“We’ve got to decide whether you want this or not. And if you do, I’ll be more than willing to stay. Global footprints are global footprints. I’m not using this as a threat, but there are some parts of the world that are desperately looking for capacity utilization, where infrastructure exists, is in place and is operational.”

The incentives sought for the new minivan production have been reported by Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail to be around $637 million, which would help Marichonne’s vision of an FCA capable of challenging larger automakers such as General Motors and Volkswagen.

Meanwhile, Canada is bolstering its Automotive Innovation Fund over the next two years by an additional $456 million (USD, or $500 million Canadian) over the $288 million (USD) already invested in six projects since 2008. The money is meant to attract all automakers in Canada beyond Chrysler, such as Ford, whose next-generation Edge will be built in Oakville, Ontario following a $640 million revamp by the automaker, and a $65 million investment by the Canadian government.

Though most of the Fiat-Chrysler merger has been worked out, Marichonne is doing all he can to remove distractions around the decision as to where new minivans will be constructed:

“We’re trying to remove all politics and noise around this issue. It’s a very simple investment call. We’re ready to go. We’re at the table. The car is ready. We’re ready to build minivans. Somewhere.”

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2 of 63 comments
  • NeilM NeilM on Feb 14, 2014

    Note to author: One way to forfeit all credibility is to misspell the name of the person you're writing about.

  • El scotto El scotto on Feb 14, 2014

    With every FCA and Sergio story why don't we get to know what they're thinking in Turin?

  • Jeanbaptiste I'll say that there really aren't any that need a manual, simply because the nature of a manual transmission (NOW) being a engagement factor (not a performance factor) that the cars that would benefit from having a good engagement for their segment already have them. I would say that even the typical buyer of a C8 would not benefit from downgrading to a manual from an engagement perspective. Aiming a model 's engagement profile at the typical buyer is how you get sales. I would say that "if you build it they will come" isn't a good strategy for manual transmissions.
  • Akear This reminds me of the dot com bust of the late 2000s. Throughout history reality always seems to catch up with fads. One day we will look back at this EV charade and say to ourselves what were we thinking.GM EV sales are even worse than Ford, and they too will have to face the fact EV just aren't popular. The only exception to this is Tesla, which will soon be impossible to catch.
  • Cardave5150 I only remember seeing the touring lamps on one of these a couple of times. Ever. I actually thought they were a goofy-looking aftermarket thing, used when the doors covering the headlights wouldn't operate correctly. I was completely wrong....For some odd reason, I always liked the look of the 4-door Mark VI (but then, I also like the look of the 4-door Thunderbird of the late '60's).
  • Lou_BC Push button door key pad. I've found that sort of thing to be a nice option. It's more handy than one would think.
  • Ajla The Mustang is about to have the somewhat affordable V8 car market all to itself, the pony car market to itself and the somewhat affordable sporty car market almost to itself. The 400Z is the closest competition left. Maybe the M240i or Supra on the higher end and 86/BRZ on the lower end.Although knowing Ford they won't be able to build more than 20,000 cars.