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Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne will be the focus of attention on tonight’s 60 Minutes on CBS that airs at 7:00pm EDT. Reporter Steve Kroft will focus on Chrysler’s miraculous turnaround under the careful guidance of Marchionne.
Both Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan and Fiat headquarters in Turin, Italy will be featured on the television show special, alongside the Chrysler Belvedere, Illinois plant where the new Dodge Dart will be built.
The show will focus on how Marchionne helped transform the failing Chrysler brand into a formidable automaker in the market. Last year, Chrysler earned $183-million, its first profit since 2005.
It’s amazing the turnaround Marchionne has orchestrated since he took over in 2009, stating in the interview that “there wasn’t a CEO in the world from the auto side that would have touched this with a 10-foot pole,” when talking about the state of Chrysler as it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
[Source: USA Today]
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat-Chrysler, is looking forward to 2013 for being a big year for the Italian-American brand. Marchionne is looking ahead to a collection of new Chrysler products, the reintroduction of Alfa Romeo back to America and have a chance to fully combine Fiat and Chrysler into one company.
Fiat, who now owns more than 50-percent of Chrysler, is waiting quietly for Europe’s currency crisis to clear up before deciding on future vehicle investments in the country. And with five money-losing plants in Italy, Chrysler has ironically become Fiat’s strong point in their portfolio. Chrysler made up two-thirds of Fiat’s third-quarter profits thanks to the rebounding US auto industry. On the other hand, Fiat has had to deal with the euro crisis and rigid Italian labor laws.
Looking towards the future however, Chrysler will be launching the Dodge Dart next year which is their compact car built on a Fiat platform to compete with Toyota‘s Corolla and Honda‘s Civic. But 2013 is when everything will be coming together for Fiat-Chrysler, with several refreshed Jeep models making their debuts, and the relaunch of Alfa Romeo into the United States.
We’re not sure how well received Alfa Romeo will be in the US, considering Fiat sales hasn’t exactly gone well in America. Chrysler has sold less than 18,000 500s this year, well shy of their original 50,000 target. We just hope they get a little more clever this time around with Alfa Romeo and avoid any sort of collaboration with J. Lo. Seriously Chrysler, more Fiats would sell if you didn’t associate it with J. Lo.
[Source: Automotive News]
Gas prices are getting higher and Chrysler would like to sell you its Fiat 500 EV that uses no gas for $10,000 below cost.
What’s the catch? No catch, except its cost could be three times higher than a $15,995 gasoline-powered version.
Citing the high price of developing an all-electric city car, Chrysler Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly said the company will roll out a limited number of Fiat 500 EVs and will take the loss in order to get them out there.
Even at around $45,000, the car will already be a good $12,000 or more than a Nissan LEAF – another purported loss leader – so this is the high price of trying to start an automotive revolution.
Edmunds.com said it could not get a comment from Chrysler reps, but said in order to get an electric alternative to the far more sophisticated extended-range Chevy Volt, pending Ford Focus EV, and others, Chrysler is willing to do what it takes.
Last March, the financially troubled Chrysler first committed to the Mexican-built, Italian-brand car after its 2010 fleet was ranked last in EPA fuel economy ratings among 14 major automakers. Sprinkling the mix with fuel-free units probably won’t hurt on that score either.
Thus far, the expense of bringing EVs to market has been an oft-repeated story in one form or another. The industry is being government mandated, and manufacturers and consumers are being subsidized respectively to develop and buy them. On the positive side, the proposed paradigm shift has created a frenzy of enthusiasm among companies working on much-needed solutions to dwindling oil supplies, greenhouse gases, and other ill effects, with high hopes on the horizon.
The incentive at this point is seen as necessary in today’s far more complicated economic climate to, er, jump start the new industry. No matter where the grand experiment will go, nearly every major automaker is rushing to get into the fray. It would appear the Fiat 500 EV is Chrysler’s first charitable donation to the effort.
[Source: Edmunds Blog]