The Fiat-Chrysler Partnership

How’s that little Fiat-Chrysler partnership working out?

We have some concerns.

Assembly lines are only running a few hours a day. The Italian workers wander in late… Chrysler workers knock off early.

The Italian execs end every argument with “Oh yeah, well, did you build the colosseum?”

Fiat workers say, “Ciao!”… and Chrysler workers think it’s time for lunch.

The Italians say they, “ready to start pushing the new Fiat 500…”. and American workers put on their gloves.

Got your own concerns about the merging of these two cultures – serious, silly or otherwise? Share 'em right here!

The Italians have been miffed for years that Lamborghini is now a German car. They looked in vain for a German car company that was run so poorly that it would not only be a cheap buy, but would fit right in with the rest of the family. Since they couldn’t find one, they found a car company that used to be owned by a German car company. And it even has a German-sounding name. Bonus! My concern is that the Germans will have to retaliate, and then the Italians will, too. Where will it all stop?!

Be warned if the newest Chrysler is named the Status with QUO next to it. Stratus Quo? The management flipped a coin to decide whether to improve quality. It was a penny slug. I saw a Jeep being pushed by a pickup with plow blade yesterday. I have never seen it the other way around.

Fiat and Chrysler? Renault and AMC comes to mind. The blond leading the blond.

Lee Im-a-gonner. The Army has the M-Rap, Chrysler has the K-Rap. Made by a British company, the cars could have crumpet zones for safety.

The Bi-ignorant car company.

If it works out as well as Fiat-Allis, there will be trouble. They won’t merge with Caterpillar, but they will negotiate with termites. Penske thought Saturn could be saved but didn’t even consider Chrysler. Is that a good sign?

I just hope they don’t hire body designers from Saab, Volvo, Saturn and Oldsmobile. The company then could be called refunct.

Fix-It-Again-Tony Has Pretty Much Spoiled The Stew For This Formerly Loyal Mopar Owner / Operator. I Still Have A Bad Taste In My Mouth From The Rustiest Car I’ve Ever Seen, A Fiat X-19, Or Some Darn Thing.

I’ve never seen a car that wasn’t very old, that had the windshield (!) just about rusting out of it ( before or since that ) ! That wasn’t the only extreme rust, either. You could cut yourself just getting in and out of it.

I’ll be on the sidelines for a while, waiting to see how (or if) this plays out for Chrysler.


All joking aside, I don’t really see how Fiat has done anything since the merger that helps out Chrysler. Heck, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is built off an older Mercedes SUV platform, and older Mercedes transmissions are still being used across many RWD Dodge/Chrysler platforms.

The only positive in this whole thing is that Fiat now has a shiny new dealer network being created for them here in the US, being unveiled in the coming weeks. And soon afterwards, those same dealers will be selling Alfa Romeos to US Citizens. Not that I have a problem with that.

The only thing happening is that Fiat will be able to increase their worldwide sales numbers, with ease. They haven’t really added anything to the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep lineup of vehicles, which still looks exactly the same as it did over the past couple of years. Lots of thirsty vehicles, and questionable reliability and build quality coming from its North American plants and workers.

The Fiat 500, which should be hitting dealers soon, is being built in Toluca Mexico, at the same plant that had once built the now retired PT Cruiser.

I’m planning on looking at, and test driving the Fiat 500 when a dealer finally opens its doors here in Denver. I don’t think the car is going to help Chrysler in any way, shape, or form, but it will get Fiat up and running again.


“I don’t really see how Fiat has done anything since the merger that helps out Chrysler.”

It’s too early. It will take another year or two to see much change. And they won’t change the things that work, like trucks and Jeeps. I understand that they plan to discontinue 3 Jeep products. I also hear that Alfa Romeo will return. If the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Chrysler products are all sold in the same store, then it could help dealers. But that’s all preliminary stuff. The real changes will start after that. It’s not clear what they will do, though, and I don’t think it is even clear to the F-C management.

I can’t imagine spending my money on a Fiat or a Chrysler. Dodge products look great until you read a review or check Consumer Reports reliability ratings. Let this company die peacefully–it should have been buried in the early 1980’s along with AMC.

You’re Just An Observer. As A Long Time (Decades) CR Subscriber And A Long Time Dodge Owner / Operator (Many Vehicles, Many Years) I Can Assure You Not To Believe Everything You Read In The Mag.


And another thing: CR rates all vehicles with more than a 3% defect rate as poor reliability. They divide those better than 3% among 4 other categories. Merely average is very good these days.

Chrysler—Minivan Incident, low reliability ratings, losing hold on minivan market…Dodge—Dumb Old Dirty Gas Eater/Drips Oil, Drops Grease Everywhere…260

Fiat Jokes
What is a Fiat on a hilltop? A miracle.
Two Fiats? Science fiction.
Three Fiats? An odd place for a junkyard.

When is a Fiat’s first engine rebuild? After the test drive.

PS. The Minivan Incident will remain confidential. (I told my dad I wouldn’t publish it)

The Fiat Jokes Are Clever. I Have No Idea What You’re Talking About In The Following Comments.

“Chrysler—Minivan Incident, low reliability ratings, losing hold on minivan market”
“PS. The Minivan Incident will remain confidential. (I told my dad I wouldn’t publish it”


Nonetheless, among all major foreign and domestic carmakers, Chrysler has THE lowest overall reliability, according to Consumer Reports. Rock bottom. You can do much better. Why risk it? The last Chrysler I had, a 1996 Town and Country, it was just one major issue after another.

In 2008 I spent a month traveling around Argentina with my wife and son. Fiats were everywhere…I even rode in some Fiat taxis on a few occasions. I remember when they were in the US back in the 1970’s (Strada, X1-9, etc.–some of my friends had Fiats at the time) and what rust buckets they were, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw in 2008. Fiat has definitely made progress in the meantime but the jury will be out until we see what kind of splash they make in the U.S. this time. There are enough Generation Y’ers that don’t know about Fiat’s past that may give it the chance it needs, especially with the Fiat 500.

That was 15 years ago, and a lot has changed. Most brands these days have less than a 3% failure rate. That rate would likely have been very good in 1996.

But I do understand your dislike for Chrysler. I’ve had 3 Fords, and all had problems that led me to get rid of them long before I would have normally sold or donated a car. And the last one was a 1996 Windstar. Ford is low on my list of must-drives when I want a new car, just as Chrysler is low on yours. I know that Ford has one of the best reliability ratings in the world now, but I still remember that lousy Windstar.

I have been waiting to see what the new offerings would be for 2011-2012 for the Chrysler-Fiat merger. So far, there has been a lot of talk & quite a few pics online of the Fiat 500 which is yet to be unveiled anywhere that I know of. This new Chrysler 200 is just a slightly smaller version of the Chrysler 300 which are both overpriced and overgrown. Chrysler doesn’t seem to know that gas mileage is something more & more people are concerned about with gas prices rising. When I’ve read Consumer Reports about any Chrysler product, gas mileage always rates very low for any of the models I’ve read about. They need to totally turn that around if they want to survive. I can understand it taking some time for the merger to be complete, but they seem to be dragging their feet on anything new on the horizon. People in the market for cars now aren’t going to wait until 2012 to see what they have. So far, I have not been impressed by what they have.

Chrysler will build the big cars and Fiat will build the small ones. The 200 is a replacement for the Sebring; it is a mid-size car. The 2012 300 will replace itself, and is a big hit at the auto shows. Don’t confuse what you want with what everyone else wants. Have you noticed that the Accord and Camry have grown over the last 20 years? The Accord used to be a compact car. Now it is a full size car. It grew as the owners aged. The owner’s needs and desires changed over the years and the Accord change with them. Chrysler builds what they have found their public wants. If you don’t want one, don’t buy it. There are plenty of big, medium, and small cars to choose from - enough for everyone.

But the point you are missing is that “most” of the general public is wanting more fuel-efficient vehicles. Chrysler (like always) is in LAST place with its offerings. And it’s not just the size of the vehicles (I also noticed the ever growing size of the Accord & Camry’s over the years), it’s also about their reliability and their overall look. Where I live, I see few are far between for the Chrysler 300’s. The older version of Sebring (2006 or older) sold well around here & I actually thought (at one time) that it was a good looking car. When they radically changed the body style in 2007, it lost its appeal for many. I don’t think the new 200 is going to be answer to the older Sebring. They need to launch something totally new, totally innovative that might actually compete with some of the other car companies. So far, Chrysler is STILL sitting on its hands…and if they fall flat, then they have no one to blame but themselves.

Fiat has he transmission expertise, I will look at the options next year, no fear!

Chrysler did launch several totally innovative cars recently: The Chrysler 300 in 2005, PT Cruiser in 2001, Prowler in 2001, Dodge Charger in 2008, and Dodge Magnum in 2005. They are one of the only car companies still offering a minivan because they continue to innovate. Don’t forget that they built the original minivan. Their trucks and Jeep brand products were and continue to be popular. They were never good at producing small cars, and decided to do what they do best. Now that Fiat is their partner, they might do a better job in small cars. Fiat has already been a big help in providing a spectacular interior for the 2012 300. They don’t have to sell to “most” of the market, just enough of it to make a profit. Their share last year was 11% of the US market. If they get to 15% of the US market, it will be a 36% improvement - and still well under 50%.

But “recent” is NOT products that were new in 2001 or even 2008. There are lots of years in between when they offered nothing new or innovative. True, there are a lot of Jeep lovers who will probably keep them afloat, but overall, they need some new cars that can & will compete against the smaller Fords being produced. If they don’t, I still predict they will have more financial problems in the future. So far, the new 200 & 300 don’t exactly scream new or innovative to a lot of people. Just more of the same gas guzzling cars they’ve made in the past only with a slightly different body on them.