Okay, probably not a question that most Americans are asking, but when can we logically expect to see some Italian jobs running around on our streets? The answer is, probably pretty quickly (at least in limited quantities). Fiat is likely to do is to bring over something like the sporty 500, modified minimally for U.S. standards as early as next year. There won’t be many brought over and they really won’t make any money on them, but it will get traffic into Chrysler dealerships by members of the curious public. As dealers well know, curiosity only lasts so long. So the real meat and potatoes will be when Chrysler can convert its existing facilities to produce new models based on Fiat platforms. That won’t happen overnight. At best you are looking at 2011-12 time frame. That’s a heck of a wait with only a smattering of refreshed product to tide the company over. That’s the part that worries me. If Chrysler was struggling before bankruptcy, how the heck is it going to survive until fresh product can arrive?
Fiat really was the only life line for Chrysler with the other option being to shut the company down, chop it up and feed it to the highest bidders. Talk about an unpopular notion! I wish the new management team all the best and hope that bankruptcy will be swift.