California Autos Examiner

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Deal or No Deal?

I was all set to talk Fiat/Chrysler and everybody was watching the inauguration. History was made, to be sure, but what about the history of these two storied brands? They are both divorced, we know that much. Fiat and GM broke up with Fiat getting a nice payout to stop calling and asking what went wrong. Chrysler wasn't as fortunate, with its German masters, in my opinion, wrecking the company and then absconding back to Deutschland. Chrysler was not the same, perky self after it was all said and done. I really can't fault Cerberus for much other than cockiness that they were going to teach everybody in the auto industry how business is done.

Anyway, now that there is change on the horizon for the Pentastar brand and I for one couldn't be happier. Sure there are risks, just like anytime you start a relationship you could end up with your heart broken and your finances ruined. In Chrysler's case, it doesn't have that much to lose. It really is on death's door and this Fiat link could be a shot of B-12.

As I stated before, I look forward to the return of Alfa and some nifty Fiats. Chrysler is showing some promise with the likes of the 200C Concept. The Ram is a credible entry in the pickup market. Chrysler's minivans have segment leading sales and keep the competition honest. I also adore the Jeep brand (well, most of it). When I look over Fiat's portfolio, my mind races with what possibilities lurk. To be sure, most of the cars currently on offer from Fiat would not meet U.S. safety standards, but that will be remedied as new models are rolled out. My concern is how fast can any of this new technology help Chrysler? That is a big question and right now I haven't found an answer. Fiat isn't forking over any cash right now and any fruits of the relationship will take time to ripen.

Deal or no deal? I say: Deal!

No comments: