So.....Who's gonna buy a Fiat?

“the American market will never be receptive to the Fiat brand again, given the problems many people had with the cars in this country”

What you are not taking into consideration is that a HUGE percentage of the US car-buying public had not yet been born when Fiats were last marketed in this country. Thus, younger drivers–who would likely form the bulk of the potential market for small Fiat-based Chrysler products–would have no preconceived ideas about the brand.

Fiats are now noted for really cutting-edge, trendy design, this is likely to appeal to younger drivers in the US, and thus, the cars would undoubtedly be marketed to that younger crowd. You know–the ones who currently buy a Focus, or a Scion, or a Civic, or a Mazda 3, or an Impreza.

Those who are old enough to have had negative experiences with Fiats would probably not be in the market for a small car like this. Do you really think that the Impala/Taurus/Grand Marquis/Buick crowd is interested in small cars? I think not.

I traveled with my wife and son throughout Argentina this past October and Fiats were everywhere (as were Alfa Romeos, Renaults, Peugeots, Citroens and a number of nice small and mid-sized Chevrolet models that aren’t in the US). A lot of the cars there are diesel as well.

Fiat has a number of models that do have appealing designs and don’t appear to be the equivalent of tin cans. The layout and use of space seems efficient for their size. I rode in Fiat taxis as well as privately owned Fiats on many occasions and they seemed decent–I was mildly impressed. They definitely could help Chrysler in the small car niche. I’m at the tail end of the baby boomer generation and well remember the Fiats with rust and other issues. I think they have a chance if, as others have suggested, they gain a following with the Gen X and Gen Y crowd. I think that their present cars are light years away from the past.

On another note, when I was a baby my dad had a late 50’s red Fiat Spyder convertible he’d bought new (before he was married) and I have some nice early memories of that car (he sold it when I was 4). It even had a name–Fifi.

I must admit to being over 60. However, I detest Buicks, etc., and drive a) a Mazda Miata or b) a '67 VW Bug (my hobby car).

However, you’re probably right about current buyers being largely too young to have had experience w/troublesome Fiats of yore. But, I think the reputation’s still around, to some degree.

Agree; just spent 2 weeks in Brazil and Fiats are everywhere. I believe they are also assembled there in Sao Paulo where most of the car industry is located. The locals like them, and we rode around in the neatest Fiat Minivan (forgot the name) which held all our bags and had good passenger space as well.

“Do you really think that the Impala/Taurus/Grand Marquis/Buick crowd is interested in small cars? I think not.”

We might be interested in an Alfa, though.

Chrysler being forced by Team Obama to merge with (be absorbed by) Fiat in order to be allowed to survive is sort of analogous to a shotgun marriage between 1st cousins who met at a family get together. It should be an interesting gene pool. I can’t wait to see the offspring.

Here’s a joke,
How do you suqeeze a broken tranny into a rusty tin can? Call Team Obama!

As Inspector Clouseau would say, "Perhaps a little song to keep up the ker-rage’?"

Well, anyone who takes one out for a spin ;-)… Fiats are much loved in Germany, see all the owners’ clubs. They handle the Autobahn with no trouble, and are great to park in our cramped old cities. And they get super mileage. Let it be! [fiat]

Nuovo Doblo? Qubo?

Why, oh why, would an Italian company want to get in bed with the mob?

No difference between being told what to make by La Costa Nostra and the Zero Carbon Footprint gang who will be installed by the President.

For the sake of Fiat, I hope the deal fails.

" Why, oh why, would an Italian company want to get in bed with the mob?

No difference between being told what to make by La Costa Nostra and the Zero Carbon Footprint gang who will be installed by the President.

For the sake of Fiat, I hope the deal fails."

What in the world are you talking about?

Apparently shatto was engaging in a bit of commentary expressing a lack of belief that we have either air pollution problems or impending fuel shortages on this planet. At least he did not tell us–as one grossly overweight drug addict recently did–that he hopes the president fails.

I lived in Switzerland in the mid-80’s (I was a mechanic at a BMW dealer). I found that most people liked the FIAT, even back then. What I keep wondering is what kind of secret could FIAT reveal to Chrysler? It has to be something Chrysler hasn’t already dicovered and forgotten.

I think that there are a lot of things that Chrysler once knew, but has apparently forgotten. Remember the Torqueflite transmission? Those units were about as close to bullet-proof as an automatic transmission can be. Why is it that they could make such a great transmission as long as 50 years ago, but the transmissions that they designed and built over the past 10 years or so have proven to be among the most trouble-prone in the industry?

Years ago, you could buy a Dodge Dart or a Plymouth Valiant that had few problems during its lifetime. Compare their trouble rate to a Neon or a PT Cruiser, or…God forbid…a Chrysler Sebring. Yes, I know that the more modern designs are much more complex than the old ones were, but if other car makers can manage to produce modern designs that are relatively trouble-free, why have so many of Chrysler’s designs been extemely trouble-prone in recent years?

Maybe FIAT can force Chrysler to refocus its attention on good design, development, and pre-production testing, so that the public is not subjected to the types of cars that have come off of Chrysler assembly lines in recent years.

Let’s get back to the basics, the merger is to allow Fiat and Chrysler to work together. Chrysler is in need of small engine and transmission capabilities of Fiat, Fiat is in need of a greater market penetration, Looks good on paper! And YES I would buy one.

Amen! (Subject, of course, to what products actually result from this marriage of convenience.)

If I am offered a recycled 300, or PT Cruiser, or Sebring, or…hell, if I am offered ANYTHING that Chrysler currently markets…I would not be interested. But, after an infusion of new technology, new designs, new oversight, and a new philosophy, I would be interested in taking a careful look at the NEW offerings.

Yes, probably some strange name like that!

All I can say is, this could get interesting. Fiat has some good Italian design style and Chrysler could use a little of that. Chrysler could also use the apparent business acumen that the modern day Fiat has.

It may not work out, the Mercedes thing sure didn’t, but Fiat corporate culture is surely different from Mercedes and may be a better fit. Only time will tell. I hope it works out, because that would mean some interesting new cars in the future.

Those mediocre models will be killed off, I’m sure. The Dodge Caliber especially would be a complete eyesore to any Italian.
Hope Fiat is more with it than Renault was when they bought AMC. Those Alliance models they produced were substandard in every respect. The Jeep ine was the only group worth saving when Chrysler bought them out.

The Fiat president will be the new chairman of Chrysler/Fiat, and he is counting the new CAFE standards demanding high mileage cars! Fiat has a whole stable of these, including very good diesels.

FIAT…Fix It Again Tony. The Chrysler dealers in this area are so bad that they can’t even fix Chrysler’s own vehicles. They’ll never be able to fix a Fiat. In my humble opinion…fagetaboudit!