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Breaking: Chrysler & Fiat form alliance.

Monday, 19 January, 2009

Rome – Confirm as of 21:00 CET:
Representatives of Chrysler, LLC, Auburn Hills MI USA and Fiat SPA of Turin IT signed a memorandum of understanding this day Friday 16 January exchanging up to 35% of Chrysler in consideration for a technology transfer of Fiat designs. No specifics are available.

This was not entirely unexpected. Unlike the Daimler-Benz fiasco we anticipated hearing something before any ink went down. I will assume this means Chrysler gets access to complete Fiat designs, that is not merely power trains, chassis &c but entire vehicles. Daimler and Mitsubishi can finally wash their hands of the whole terrible business.

Take a look at what could be coming to America. I know it isn’t very exciting, but the cars are supposed to be very good. All I know is what I read on the Internets, being in North America and all.

Presumably, Fiat would simply build vehicles for Chrysler’s distributors in Europe and similarly distant lands. So was the Chrysler 200C based on a Fiat chassis? Honestly, I’m asking.

I shall again encourage the use of legacy names for all-new models. Fiat Panda becomes Dodge Dart. Fiat 500 becomes Chrysler Arrow or Scamp. Linea becomes Polara or Coronet. Chroma becomes Dodge Valiant and/or Chrysler Fury. I could go on like this.

Chrysler needs good, small cars and commercials. Fiat could use new markets. It just might work. This also gives Alfa Romeo an instant dealer network should they finally return to our shores, characterized as “selected Chrysler dealers”.

I like it. Sign me up for a Panda Dart. I’ll take the James May edition.

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