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Fiat 500 Abarath SS

Ferrari's upcoming "California" 2009 model  (Source: Wikipedia.org)

Chrysler Sebring

Dodge Caliber
New partnership between Chrysler and Fiat could bring both sports and compact expertise to Chrysler

Chrysler has seen its share of tough times.  First it was bought by German company Daimler, after falling behind its competitors GM and Ford.  Then the Daimler-Chrysler relationship disintegrated and Daimler sold Chrysler to a holding company.  Chrysler already filed Chapter 11 once, and there was recent talk of a second bankruptcy.

However, with the auto bailout package passed and Chrysler receiving essential loan money, it’s determined to turn around and regain an advantage on its publicly owned domestic competitors GM and Ford.  Today it announced a big new partnership that will take many by surprise.  Chrysler is pairing up with Fiat.

Fiat, known dually for its performance brands -- Maserati, Ferrari, and Alfa Romeo -- also has some of the world's best compact cars, like the Fiat 500, akin to a curvier Mini Cooper.  Fiat is actually buying part of Chrysler, gaining a 35 percent equity stake.  In return, Fiat will lend its energy expertise in developing fuel efficient and performance cars to Chrysler and will send staff to Chrysler's plants.  It will also help Chrysler prepare its turnaround plan to present to the U.S. Treasury.

While on the surface it seems strange for Fiat to invest in Chrysler, while auto sales slump worldwide and brands like GM are seeking to divest their interest in subsidiaries like Saab, deeper down the move makes a lot of sense.  Fiat already went through its own restructuring, after being hurt by sinking world auto sales.  It came out of the restructure stronger and more competitive, something Chrysler wants to do.

Further, Chrysler needs small car expertise to develop new fuel efficient compacts.  Fiat can certainly provide this, and will perhaps provide Chrysler with ways to improve upon its upcoming electric offerings as well.  A partnership with Fiat also gives Chrysler access to some of the world's hottest sports car technology.  Fiat production will also move into Chrysler factories, many of which are idle.  This will save both companies a great deal of money.

For Fiat, it means that it can perhaps offer its best-selling Fiat 500 compact in the U.S. sooner than the anticipated late 2010 target date.  At the very least, it gains a significant manufacturing presence to help push plenty of the compact onto the efficiency-craving portion of the American market.  Also, pairing with Chrysler gives Fiat a way to launch cars bearing the Chrysler name, which will appeal to those in the U.S. who only buy domestic.  According to reports, the Fiat 500 may indeed launch under a separate brand and name, made especially for the U.S.

Bob Nardelli, Chairman and CEO of Chrysler LLC cheered the transaction stating, "A Chrysler/Fiat partnership is a great fit as it creates the potential for a powerful, new global competitor, offering Chrysler a number of strategic benefits, including access to products that compliment our current portfolio; a distribution network outside North America; and cost savings in design, engineering, manufacturing, purchasing and sales and marketing.

"
This transaction will enable Chrysler to offer a broader competitive line-up of vehicles for our dealers and customers that meet emissions and fuel efficiency standards, while adhering to conditions of the Government Loan. The partnership would also provide a return on investment for the American taxpayer by securing the long-term viability of Chrysler brands in the marketplace, sustaining future product and technology development for our country and building renewed consumer confidence, while preserving American jobs."

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Group added, "This initiative represents a key milestone in the rapidly changing landscape of the automotive sector and confirms Fiat and Chrysler commitment and determination to continue to play a significant role in this global process. The agreement will offer both companies opportunities to gain access to most relevant automotive markets with innovative and environmentally friendly product offering, a field in which Fiat is a recognized world leader while benefitting from additional cost synergies."

"The deal follows a number of targeted alliances and partnerships signed by the Fiat Group with leading carmakers and automotive suppliers over the last five years aimed at supporting the growth and volume aspirations of the partners involved."



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Chysler?
By ecbsykes on 1/20/2009 10:13:29 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Chrysler is sunk...




RE: Chysler?
By napalmjack on 1/20/2009 10:32:18 AM , Rating: 3
Chysler?

It beats the hell out of Frod and Generial Mortars.


RE: Chysler?
By ecbsykes on 1/20/2009 10:36:41 AM , Rating: 5
General Mortars... a new defense contractor!


RE: Chysler?
By quiksilvr on 1/20/2009 1:32:33 PM , Rating: 1
"He stole our project! Get General Mills on the phone!"
(whoever can guess where that quote is from gets a cookie)


RE: Chysler?
By MamiyaOtaru on 1/21/2009 1:20:30 AM , Rating: 1
It's a guess, but Doctor Strangelove?


RE: Chysler?
By AstroCreep on 1/20/2009 9:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
CEO = Dick Cheney


RE: Chysler?
By Motoman on 1/20/2009 10:39:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I'm not sure there's much of a significant difference.

For the record, I have only bought 4 new vehicles in my life. 3 Dodge RAM trucks, and a Chevy Trailblazer. My first 2 RAMs were essentially bullet-proof over the 4-5 years I owned each one...my current truck needed some front end work right at the edge of the 100,000 mile warranty, which was covered. Over the past 1.33 years, the Trailblazer has also been fine.

Won't buy a Ford simply because it carries a very negative stereotype for me. But I'm sure it's unfair to say there's any fundamental differnce in quality.

That being said, I fondly remember when I was around 5 years old when my dad taught my mom how to drive a stick in our little Fiat convertible. Dad managed to get her out of the driveway, and shifted up to 5th gear, when we came to a stop sign. Mom put the clutch in and managed to stop without killing the motor...which she did immediately upon trying to get going again. Dad pointed out that she hadn't shifted back to 1st - to which mom replied "you mean I have to do that every time?!"

:)


RE: Chysler?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Chysler?
By Motoman on 1/20/2009 10:56:30 AM , Rating: 5
...way to assume the characteristics of a society from looking at one individual.

I'm not an average consumer, at least when it comes to vehicles. I race motorcycles, and my wife breeds/trains horses. That means we *always* need trucks. Vastly different from the "average" US consumer who doesn't have to worry about hauling feed, hay, pulling big trailers full of bikes/horses, and whatever.

You, sir (or madam, as the case may be), are a very entertaining little specimen.


RE: Chysler?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Chysler?
By Motoman on 1/20/2009 11:10:00 AM , Rating: 5
...and there we have the core of Reclaimer77 out in the open for everyone to see.

You are the most wildly hostile, uncontrollably hateful little person I have ever had the displeasure of running into. Thank you for just demostrating for all the world to see that you are totally invalid, in every way. Now please go away.


RE: Chysler?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Chysler?
By Motoman on 1/20/2009 11:13:27 AM , Rating: 5
My final comment to you is thus: Thank you for accepting and confirming my assertion that you are hostile, hateful, and thorougly invalid. Good day.


RE: Chysler?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Chysler?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/20/2009 11:28:01 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, you do realize you just call his mom a bitch because you did not read his story correctly and now you are going to say, "Basically we can't have a civil discussion because..."

Suggest you read number 7. Then ask yourself, how is calling someone mom a bitch NOT civil?

civ·il [siv-uhl] Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or consisting of citizens: civil life; civil society.
2. of the commonwealth or state: civil affairs.
3. of citizens in their ordinary capacity, or of the ordinary life and affairs of citizens, as distinguished from military and ecclesiastical life and affairs.
4. of the citizen as an individual: civil liberty.
5. befitting a citizen: a civil duty.
6. of, or in a condition of, social order or organized government; civilized: civil peoples.
7. adhering to the norms of polite social intercourse; not deficient in common courtesy: After their disagreement, their relations were civil though not cordial.
8. marked by benevolence: He was a very civil sort, and we liked him immediately.
9. (of divisions of time) legally recognized in the ordinary affairs of life: the civil year.
10. of or pertaining to civil law.


RE: Chysler?
By wordsworm on 1/21/2009 9:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
If he can't read a post, what makes you think he'll manage with the dictionary?


RE: Chysler?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/21/2009 4:36:08 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe luck?


RE: Chysler?
By Blisstechs on 1/20/2009 12:34:19 PM , Rating: 5
Reclaimer77 you are a complete tool please stick with trolling WOW forums or just get a life.

Fact is that the Big 3 have a big problem and that is the cost of union labor, health care, and its pension plan. It makes it almost impossible to make money because its SUV cash cow sank from the a hike in fuel prices. Also I remember reading an article a while back that ~$1500 USD from every car GM sells goes to paying its health care costs. That’s insane if you think about how many cars they sell and the fact that other companies don’t have that burden. I know that alone does not sink a company but along with union labor and pension plans it does not make things easy to make a profit.

Comparing GM to Toyota is a joke Toyota sells two brands while GM carries 8. So I would hope they can sell the same amount of cars.

That’s it for now I got work to do.


RE: Chysler?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Chysler?
By Samus on 1/21/09, Rating: 0
RE: Chysler?
By Atheist Icon on 1/20/2009 12:14:10 PM , Rating: 1
Actually the F-series outsold every other car/truck/suv out there.
http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idCAN05...

The F-150 in particular, I couldn't tell you, but for 27 yrs and counting, F-series FTW.


RE: Chysler?
By Spuke on 1/20/2009 3:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...way to assume the characteristics of a society from looking at one individual.
I read it to be an attack on you directly, not society. Did I miss something?


RE: Chysler?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Chysler?
By JoshuaBuss on 1/20/2009 6:36:52 PM , Rating: 1
it's not hypocritical if he realizes his own needs are in the tiny minority. in fact, if more people rationalized things like him constructive discussions would be much easier.


RE: Chysler?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Chysler?
By Aloonatic on 1/21/2009 6:07:59 AM , Rating: 3
It always strikes me as odd how Ford is viewed within the USA and all the things that F.O.R.D has been made into an acronym for.

Over here in the UK, whilst they are not viewed as the greatest company in the world, Ford are viewed pretty favourably, as favourably as most.

Maybe it's because we have the option of some European manufacturers that makes Ford seem fairly reliable.

I'd be interested to know what the general US opinion of a nation's cars is.

In short, the views of cars over here are:

French cars - Usually solid engines and electronics but the interior will probably fall to pieces within 5 minutes, and the drive is fairly average.

German cars - Over priced, options are expensive, tend to be built very well (apart from some Mercs from a certain period of time a few years back) and drive pretty well. They are something of the Apple of the car market though. Expensive and don't really offer anything that cheaper cars don't either except an image that the owner seems to think is a good thing yet people looking on at them think that they are pretentious arses. Secretly everyone would like to be able to afford one though.

Italian Cars - Usually beautiful, lovely cars with a lot of soul but you will be very friendly with your local mechanic as they are generally much less reliable (they never seem to be able to catch up so aren't any where near as bad as they were, just others are better) and they wont last a very long time. Certainly not seen as a good second hand purchase.

Japanese Cars - In a word Average. Usually pretty good but not great. Super reliable which makes up for most things. Favoured by the elderly, probably because their kids know they wont break down so they wont be hassled by them very often when things go wrong. Some good very fast 4 door cars (impreza and lancer evo) which are loved by the boy racer fraternity. Bought for reliability so you pay a bit of a premium, a good second hand purchase.

American Cars - Like Japanese cars, i.e. pretty average and nothing special, just not as reliable. Saving grace is price as they tend to be cheaper. Can produce some great and very popular cars though. Ford in particular seem to be able to get it right in the UK market. The only real players have been GM and Ford though. Others are moving in to the market though.

Tiger Economy Cars - Could be the greatest cars in the world but no one would choose to drive one. Taking up some of the "coffin dodger" market as they have crazy long warranties. People buy them because they think they have no choice, tend to be quite happy with them though. Image is slowly but surly improving. Will be more popular as times get tougher.

British Cars - What British cars? Only brands are left now which are passed around the world so often that they are becoming increasingly meaningless. No really industry in this country, just factories to get around import duties and quotas. Indigenous industry destroyed by mismanagement and overzealous unions years ago. Take note America.

I have taken up enough of your time now, thank you for reading. I'd be interested in your thoughts, preferable those to do with what I have written whoever, not what you are going to have for your lunch or the dark voices in your head.

*Tips hat* Good day.


RE: Chysler?
By log on 1/20/2009 1:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
It'll be fun to see Fiat in the US! They make great cars. Cheap, easy to drive, agile, efficient, and more recently, reliable.

It all depend on where you live and do. For commuting a an "econo shitbox", as you put it, is great. You know hihg mpg, easy to park, easy to drive in traffic.

Wait till the "Joneses" get one and become fashion.


RE: Chysler?
By Murloc on 1/20/2009 1:35:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think volkswagen are way better.


RE: Chysler?
By Spuke on 1/20/2009 3:06:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry but VW's are not that reliable.
http://tinyurl.com/7wzkya


RE: Chysler?
By AmazighQ on 1/20/2009 3:26:45 PM , Rating: 1
silly american :)
VW has de #1 selling car in Europa
Fiat is known here for cars that are unreliable
you saying that made me laugh


RE: Chysler?
By Spuke on 1/20/2009 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
VW has de #1 selling car in Europa
So Europeans love to drive crappy cars? And Americans are silly? LOL!


RE: Chysler?
By Zapp Brannigan on 1/20/2009 5:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
VW's in europe are as reliable as any other car, but most europeans would rather drive a good looking, fun to drive, unreliable car then a dull looking, boring to drive, reliable car, which explains why french car companies are still in business and why the toyota camry hasn't been sold in europe for over 10 years.


RE: Chysler?
By Spuke on 1/20/2009 6:32:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
VW's in europe are as reliable as any other car, but most europeans would rather drive a good looking, fun to drive,
Well that explains it. BTW, the Camry is a car built in the US for the US market. You guys probably wouldn't buy it.


RE: Chysler?
By xsilver on 1/21/2009 7:21:21 AM , Rating: 2
Im not sure you're right - Europe gets their camry's from japan which makes the price high because they are an import car.
Here in australia, we build our own camry's with custom tuning for our own market so I would suspect that europe would have the same treatment for their market. Its just that there are a lot better cars available if you had to pay a premium on a camry.
The euro accord is highly regarded almost everywhere in the world but is only average in the UK is one example.


RE: Chysler?
By Spuke on 1/22/2009 4:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Europe gets their camry's from japan which makes the price high because they are an import car.
Different Camry. Ours are designed and built in the US.


RE: Chysler?
By xsilver on 1/22/2009 8:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
sorry
http://toyota.jp/camry/
http://www.toyota.com/camry/photo-gallery.html

same car - with minor tweaks (suspension bumpers etc.). One built in the USA one japan. Japan exports to some parts of europe, not sure about the usa but im going to guess they are covering all of america.

The point was that the problem isnt the where its made but rather the cost because it has to be imported into europe. Every countries locally produced cars are always the cheapest.


RE: Chysler?
By afkrotch on 1/21/2009 12:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
VWs suck. Not saying it's their reliability, just overall somehow suck.

I rented a VW Golf last week, since my Opel Tigra was in the shop. So far, worst car I've driven. Not sure on the year of the car, but it only had 3500km on it, so 2008 or 2009 at least.

They gave the car really long gear ratios, so it's takeoff was horrendous. The brakes are touchy as hell. The slightest push would cause a full brake. For a small car, it feels like a boat and handles like one too. The only good thing I found out about that car is that it's easy to scrap ice off the wind shields.


RE: Chysler?
By log on 1/21/2009 6:12:47 AM , Rating: 2
My point wasn't so much about reliability, but about size.

Fiat has many small cars in its portfolio. This may induce a positive change in the carscape in many places of the US.

Sure, this won't be aplicable everywhere, due to weather and other constraints, but in many places, people may find a utilitarian vehicle is enough for commuting.

It's a positive move.


Oh sure
By sprockkets on 1/20/2009 10:35:37 AM , Rating: 1
I'm sure Fiat needed knowledge on how to build cars the worst way possible, aka, the neon. Mercedes also benefited from Chrysler too, by losing billions of dollars.




RE: Oh sure
By Gul Westfale on 1/20/2009 11:22:18 AM , Rating: 1
tyes, and FIAT isn't necessarily in a better position than chrysler... they do own most italian brands (with the exceptions of lamborghini and zonda), but most of those brands are not doing all that well.

this is an alliance of cripples... kinda sad.

then again, they do not cut into each others markets, as chryslers presence in europe is tiny and FIAT gave up on america some time ago (except with ferrari and maserati hat is).

if they are smart they won't end up sharing all that many components but perhaps simply allow their partner to sell cars through each others dealer network... FIAT 500 at chrysler dealers, and chrysler vans at FIAT dealers. but since when are car executives smart?


RE: Oh sure
By 306maxi on 1/20/2009 12:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. You couldn't be more wrong.

Fiat is actually in quite good shape as a group.

Ferrari are doing well
Fiat are doing well
Maserati are doing OK
Alfa Romeo is on the up and has new models out in the next couple of years
Lancia is well.... Lancia is a bit of a flop to be fair

If this were an alliance of cripples Fiat wouldn't have been gifted 35% of Chrysler for nothing. Fiat are bringing a lot of technology and platforms to the table and therein lies the value for Chrysler. I can assure you your government wouldn't allow Fiat to take a share in Chrysler if Fiat wasn't in good shape and this wasn't going to help Chrysler out.

Right now Chrysler is 3rd out of the big 3, I wouldn't be surprised if in 5 years time they're past GM in the US and looking to overtake Ford. The technology Fiat is bringing in is very significant in regards to economy and that's where the big money will be in the near future. Of course Fiat gets a dealer network and manufacturing capacity in the US so it's win win for both sides.


RE: Oh sure
By BZDTemp on 1/20/2009 12:31:30 PM , Rating: 3
How do you get that FIAT is in a bad way?

In 2007 FIAT made a profit of something like 3 billion US and the numbers for 2008 looks even better Q1-Q3 as Q4 is still to be released. Go to fiatgroup.com if you want to read the numbers. As I understand all the FIAT brands are making money.

I can really see FIAT bringing something which Chrysler needs. Right now the US may have forgotten about how important mileage is but the high gas prices will be back and by then access to efficient lightweight car tech will make a big difference.

For FIAT I think the deal is about expansion. They are doing good and want to get back into the US in a big way either with their own cars or perhaps with Chrysler cars using a lot of FIAT parts. Maybe you will see FIAT cars at Chrysler dealers also let us not forget the Alfa Romeo brand.

Chryslers vans at FIAT dealers on the other hand I don not think so. Firstly FIAT has a BIG truck factory named IVECO which makes both vans and trucks so they got that covered. Also even more than the car market the market for vans and trucks is ruled by economy and I do suspect a Chrysler van will use a lot more fuel than what is accepted in Europe.


RE: Oh sure
By Spuke on 1/20/2009 3:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget. Chrysler's dealer network will make it much simpler for Fiat to enter the US market. I would not mind a Fiat 500 Abarth at all. Do any of you have long term dependability studies on the Fiat models?


RE: Oh sure
By kontorotsui on 1/20/2009 1:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
You're joking. FIAT has improved a lot in earnings and marked share.
I'm a proud owner of an Alfa Romeo 147 and my new goal is the Alfa Romeo Spider, a car that has the best design of the world.
Chrysler has everything to gain from this cooperation.


RE: Oh sure
By Topweasel on 1/20/2009 11:55:46 AM , Rating: 2
False.Benz much like Fiat needed to go through restructuring in the late 90's early 00's. Fiat almost went under. Benz saw their pains coming and merged(bought) Chrysler to help stem the tide. Chrysler kept Benz profitable all through their rebuilding phase. It wasn't till Chrysler posted its first loss under the partnership that Chrysler was shipped off it cost DB about 5-6 Billion by the end of it but it was less then what DC made while Benz was unprofitable. Besides the fact that it allowed them to rebuild without being bought out by another company.


RE: Oh sure
By Jimbo1234 on 1/20/2009 1:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
The neon couldn't possibly have been as bad as the Maluch.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84...


Just when you thought Chrysler could get no worse..
By drewsup on 1/20/2009 10:55:46 AM , Rating: 2
Ya, this is really gonna work well, 2 sub par auto companies merging and going down together. Fiat does make some sexy looking cars, (when they run!), Chrysler makes the most god awfully styled squeak prone cars out there. Except for the new Challenger, they don't have anything I want, and I used to own a Sebring Conv. I can only hope the styling division of Fiat has more input to the owners of Mopar, and they both get 6 Sigma training from Toyota.




By Oregonian2 on 1/21/2009 1:44:53 AM , Rating: 2
Fiat has made a financial turnaround and is supposedly doing well now.


0_0
By SilentSin on 1/20/2009 11:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
Forget Chrysiat, or Fhysler or whatever...I'd just like to say that is the sexiest Ferrari I have ever seen. Not crazy about that color, but that style looks even better than the F355 and F360. That is all.




RE: 0_0
By tookablighty on 1/20/2009 5:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
Never on earth. The Superamerica with the rotating glass top is still king.


Experts
By axias41 on 1/20/2009 12:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
I see you all are expert about Fiat. Is one of you italian/european?




RE: Experts
By TheFace on 1/21/2009 3:14:00 AM , Rating: 2
Perché? Sei Italiano\a?


F.I.A.T.
By DonkeyRhubarb on 1/20/2009 2:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
Here in Ireland we have a little phrase that describes Fiat's reliability...

FIAT - Fix It Again Tomorrow




RE: F.I.A.T.
By dj LiTh on 1/21/2009 5:48:21 AM , Rating: 2
in america its 'Fix it again Tom'

Who the hell is Tom is another question entirely


Great....
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/20/2009 10:17:32 AM , Rating: 2
The all new garage dream team are now under one roof.

Why does every car they list remind me of spending money with my auto machanic?




Wow!
By Flunk on 1/20/2009 12:27:29 PM , Rating: 2
The legendary reliability of Chrysler and Fiat together?

They're doomed.




Interesting...
By lagomorpha on 1/20/2009 2:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting that Fiat decided to partner with Chrysler for sale of their 500 in the US given that the next generation Ford Ka is basically a rebadged Fiat 500 made in the same factory. Personally I'd see the Ka doing better in the US than anything Fiat or Chrysler could think to brand the 500 as.




Live longer
By 90014 on 1/20/2009 11:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
This is a total win for FIAT. They get to dump their models that have become 'tired' in the EU market and squeeze out another 5 years of returns from US sales. It's like free money for them. GM tried to do this with Saturn when they stopped designing cars. For 5+ years now most Saturn's are tired Opel's from the EU. Of course this could not save GM from themselves. Auto industry execs in the US could not get a job in the mail room of Unilever here in the states.




Money First, Plan Second
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Motoman on 1/20/2009 10:35:08 AM , Rating: 5
...because clearly, you know so much about European marques. No one in their right mind would want a Maserati or Ferrari - and while maybe *you* haven't heard of Fiat before, they are a very popular and well-respected brand.

...and if memory serves, one of the main reason that the America brands were faltering was because they weren't offering cars American buyers want. Like reliable, fuel-efficient small and midsize cars. You know...the kind of stuff that Fiat makes.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Motoman on 1/20/2009 10:48:58 AM , Rating: 2
Really. I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Saab, Aston-Martin, Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Lotus, so on and so forth have "sub-par" reliability? I don't suppose you have figures to back that up?


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Money First, Plan Second
By the goat on 1/20/2009 11:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
In general German cars have good reliability (BMW and VW are still good, Mercedes' reliability has drop in the past five years). Other European cars are not known for their reliability. Saab and Renault and anything British are the worst.

In fact does not FIAT stand for, Fix It Again Tony ?


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By bhieb on 1/20/2009 11:48:22 AM , Rating: 2
Although I cannot speak for Merc and VW. I can personally say I will never own another BMW. It could just be bad luck but of all the cars I've owned a BMW M3 caused me more trouble than all other brands combined (and I've had a few Ford, Hyundia, Honda, Toyota, Cadillac, Subaru, Dodge). Not to mention I know 2 other BMW owners personally that have had extensive problems with their 7 series and 525 (replaced a tranny twice).

Just pointing out to the US bashers, that EVERY car maker has QC problems it is how they respond that matters. BMW took me for over $2K in damaged "Rims / Rotors" before I finally drove the extra 20 miles to a dealer that wouldn't screw me over.

For my money Caddy all the way, they are competitively price and the service is amazing at my dealer (ymmv). I think the service is better because it has to be. To get the premium for the brand they have to "prove" themselves better than the imports and I think they do.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Radnor on 1/20/2009 11:54:11 AM , Rating: 2
Fiat doesn pretty good Cars. Had a few bad models, but nothing that justifies being spitted the way you are doing.

Euro Cars are pretty reliable. And FYI im driving a 22 Years Lancia HF Turbo, in a daily use, that most parts are still the original.

I hope you can say that of American Cars.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Spuke on 1/20/2009 6:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Euro Cars are pretty reliable. And FYI im driving a 22 Years Lancia HF Turbo, in a daily use, that most parts are still the original.
Anecdotal. One person can't speak of the quality of the entire line. The sun even shines on a dog's a$$ occasionally.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By slawless on 1/20/2009 1:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
I can only speak about BMW. I have owned 3 (2000 528, 2003 M3 and 2008 M3)They are the ultimate driving maching. But they are not on par with the Japanese when it comes to relibality. The E46 M3 is in the shop right now. They cant figure out what is wrong with it. The Toyotas I have/had (2003 Rav4,1997 ES 300, 2004 SC430) Dont break. Given My experience with the E46, Right now, I plan on turning in the 2008 at the end of the lease and go back to Japanese.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Daigain on 1/20/2009 3:57:45 PM , Rating: 2
The BMW3 series that people's been bashing here is the 3rd best car in the world according to statistics on bigger construction errors and breaking parts, with ONLY 7% of the cars having major faults/break downs. Only two Toyota cars have better statistics then that including the Corolla at the number one spot with 3-4%. I think the reason why a lot of Americans, especially, feel that these cars are such trouble makers is that they're generally very expensive to fix when they do break down.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Lord 666 on 1/20/2009 12:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
Saabs, when taken to a knowledgeable Saab specialist regularly, will run for a long time and provide excellent safety. Same thing could be said with older (70's and 80's) Porsche and MB. There was a local private shop mechanic named Gunther that was genius on car of that era.

Its the shady tree or "Pep Boy style" general mechanics that cut corners and mess them up.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Zapp Brannigan on 1/20/2009 5:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
older saabs are reliable, but the newer ones are just rebadged vauxhalls (GM) which considering the price of them isn't good enough, and nowhere near as good as a new volvo.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2009 10:53:22 AM , Rating: 1
That's exactly my point. The myth that domestic car companies are in trouble because they weren't selling cars is just that, a myth.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By masher2 (blog) on 1/20/2009 10:59:10 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry Jason, but this isn't even close to correct. Compared to Big 3 plants in North America, Japanese assembly plants have to pay higher shipping costs, as a much higher percentage of their parts come from overseas.

They still have lower operating costs. Why? Because their non-union shops don't have the massive pension, healthcare, featherbedding, and other costs and inefficiencies associated with them. They're also allowed to actually fire incompetent workers, which makes a substantial difference in assembly quality.

As for Japanese health care, a few comments from the Japan-America Society:

quote:
Most Japanese hospitals are being managed incompetently, as exemplified by the fact that 90% of university hospitals are in the red and are receiving government subsidies....

He went on to say that the Japanese pharmaceutical industry is in dire straits, as there are only two companies - Sankyo Co., Ltd., and Takeda Chemical Industries, Ltd. - which are competitive in the global market. He attributed this to lack of momentum toward mergers and acquisitions, which he noted have become common in the United States...

Hospitals in Japan, he said, face an urgent need to induce leading-edge technologies from the United States, because they lag far behind their American counterparts. For example, bypass operations in Japan number 20,000 per year as against 600,000 in the U.S.; there have been 15,000 cases of kidney transplant in the U.S. compared with 350 in Japan...

Japan, he said, is a paradise for medical practitioners because even if they commit a blunder, they are not expected to do anything more than making apologies...


Japan does insure everyone, a fact which leads some to consider it "better". But Japan also has a culture which carries a high social stigma for those who don't work and simply accept the government dole. Here in the US, free medical care for all would be just another step towards incentivizing millions more to become permanent wards of the state, on government aid from birth to death.

http://www.ajstokyo.org/ajs_j/teruo_hirose-j.html


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/2009 11:15:39 AM , Rating: 1
You missed my point entirely. I wasn't comparing shipping costs of domestic plants to U.S. plants. I was comparing costs of shipping for foreign plants in Japan to foreign plants in the U.S. The foreign plants in the U.S. have to ship some parts overseas, but don't have to ship vehicles overseas and thus are generally smaller.

Your comparison is something entirely different.

I agree with you on your point about firing less competent workers, absolutely. I think the union is overreaching in these protections.

Short of having numbers, though, its hard to compare the "massive pension" costs of U.S. domestic plants to U.S. foreign brand plant as U.S.-based foreign brand plants are generally relatively new, being built in the last 10, 20 years. Thus they inherently would have a lower pension burden. Most of the pension burden for Toyota is in Japan, and thus the healthcare and education items I discuss fully applies.

Give Toyota 20 to 30 years, and they will see their pension costs skyrocket, as many of the U.S. plants are offering decently high pensions, just nobody is collecting yet.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By 306maxi on 1/20/2009 11:27:48 AM , Rating: 2
Wow nice FUD there. Fiat's actually have a good reputation for reliability these days. The best Fiat's are actually the ones built in Poland based on the Panda platform which means the Panda and the 500 as well as the new Ford Ka. This is a REALLY good move for Chrysler as Fiat make great small cars and have some truly great engines coming online this year and next year. Fiat's Multiair technology is going to kick butt.

http://www.italiaspeed.com/2008/cars/others/fiat_p...


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By BZDTemp on 1/20/2009 11:56:18 AM , Rating: 2
Just about anything is behind the Japanese car makers when it comes to reliability. But most European car makers are very close.

Also as it may be the European cars offer less reliability than the Japanese I think picture is reversed if you compare US to European cars so what is really your point. Surely it can not be that quality is hindering Fiat in having something to offer Chrysler.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By onelittleindian on 1/20/2009 10:44:58 AM , Rating: 1
When I had a Fiat, it stood for "Fix It Again, Tony". Only car I ever had that broke down on the way BACK from picking it up from the shop.

Well respected, my ***.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By thepalinator on 1/20/2009 11:08:53 AM , Rating: 2
My dad had a Fiat Spider for a while. I don't think I ever saw that thing running lol.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Lord 666 on 1/20/2009 11:50:39 AM , Rating: 1
It also provides some insight on why Motoman is no longer a mechanic and now taking a stab at fixing computers.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By tookablighty on 1/20/2009 3:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh no better not say that. Motoman will come and tell you
You make some good points now and then mate, but you'd convince more people if you didn't come across with such a large chip on the shoulder.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By BZDTemp on 1/20/2009 12:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
FIAT has come a long way the last 10 years or so and goes for all their brands.

If you judge a company solely by history then you often will not get the current situation right. After all nobody believes Ford only sell black cars so perhaps it would be worth looking into current FIAT offerings rather than dismissing them on some old car experience.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By FITCamaro on 1/20/2009 2:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you judge a company solely by history then you often will not get the current situation right.


Everyone seems fine with saying that American cars are still as bad as they were in the 80s.

So why not judge other makes by their history?


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By BZDTemp on 1/21/2009 7:25:28 AM , Rating: 2
Which "Everyone" is that? I do not see it here.

However just a look at the weight many US cars brings to the table and the appalling gas mileage tells that for most models advances in those areas have not seen much work since the 80s.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By Lord 666 on 1/20/2009 11:47:57 AM , Rating: 2
Thats why FIAT is also known as Fix It Again Tony? Back in the day, their reliability was along the lines of Peugeot.

Strongly hope this new partnership brings more diesel options here and Chrysler maintains access to the MB parts bin for the Bluetec technology.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By 306maxi on 1/20/2009 12:10:32 PM , Rating: 3
I'll agree some Fiats were pretty terrible back in the day. But these days Fiat builds very good cars and have some great technologies coming out.

I know I'll get rated down for posting a link to a 2 cylinder engine but here's a link anyway.

http://www.italiaspeed.com/2008/cars/others/fiat_p...

Now I know a lot of people will hate the idea of a 2 cylinder engine but Fiat is able to match the performance of 4 cylinder engines and give about 20% better fuel economy with their brand new 2 cylinder engines which will have hydraulically actuated valves. They also have DDCT boxes coming out which will add an extra 5-10% to economy as well. Fiat also has hybrids in development as well

Hopefully this helps you to understand why Chrysler have gone and done this because while Fiat essentially get 35% of Chrysler for no monetary outlay Chrysler are getting some very good small car platforms and a lot of engine technology which will help them to make good cars.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By RedBull73 on 1/21/2009 9:40:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Strongly hope this new partnership brings more diesel options here and Chrysler maintains access to the MB parts bin for the Bluetec technology.


Nope, that's not gonna happen. After the news of this deal, Mercedes announced that they are selling their last 20% stake in Chrysler a.s.a.p.

But Fiat Powertrain has several interesting engines in development, including the MultiAir, where the valves are controlled electrically and independently, IIRC, with great fuel savings over previous tech. Also, the "Euro" exhaust regulations in Europe are getting to the same levels as the ones in California, so you should see more Diesels coming your way over the next 5 years.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By The0ne on 1/21/2009 10:03:00 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think diesel is a-coming to US anytime soon, although I would love to see them. Just an opinion base on the hatred most users here have towards anything diesel.


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By RedBull73 on 1/20/2009 12:25:32 PM , Rating: 4
For all you Americans out there, you don't know what Fiat has come to be as a carmaker over the past 20 years. It's not your fault, it's just that Fiat retired from US operations because they would have drowned in lawsuits for the terrible quality their cars had back in the 70's and early 80's. They had the same terrible name for this reason in Europe, too.

I currently drive a 2008 Fiat Bravo 1.6 MJT. It's the size of a VW Golf, 5 doors, with a 120 bhp 1.6 liter turbo diesel. A few more numbers? I normally drive at least 500 miles with a 13-gallon tank of fuel (you do the math on that...), and the engine is a real pleasure to rev. Granted, it doesn't have the handling of the Alfa 147 (same chassis but different suspension) but every time I drive along a curvy mountain road I have loads of fun.

I'm not a Fiat fan. I've owned a Golf Mk2 and a Jetta Mk4 in the past and my next car will be a BMW 3-series. But I have to say that the latest cars do deserve some credit. The 500 is a fun car to drive and has everything from A/C to GPS, and a very simple automatic transmission can be had as well. All magazines that have tested the latest models on 100.000 kilometers only encountered normal stops for maintenance at average costs, so they compare quite well to other European brands.

You can forget the old Fiat Spider, the Alfa Milano of the 80's and all other cars you remember... We've had progress here in Europe, too, y'know... :-)


RE: Money First, Plan Second
By bruce24 on 1/20/2009 1:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
>>> For all you Americans out there, you don't know what Fiat has come to be as a carmaker over the past 20 years.

Fiat stopped selling cars in the United States in the early 80’s at that time they were not very reliable, but neither were most America / Japanese cars of that era...but it seems many here want to compare the Fiat of old with their favorite cars of today.


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