1st Gear: Fiat Has To Fix Itself Instead Of Buy The Rest Of Chrysler

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The Detroit News says Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says the company has a plan to fix the struggling Italian auto company. But to do so, Fiat will have to use the cash it was going to spend on acquiring the rest of Chrysler. ”“Building things is a lot more exciting than retrenching into defeat,” Marchionne told analysts and reporters during a conference call Tuesday. “I think we need to come out fighting.” As part of its new plan, Fiat will scale back the poorly performing Lancia brand to one model, and fill the rest of its lineup with rebadged Chryslers.

He confirmed that Fiat will build a small Jeep in italy that it will sell in Europe and export to the United States. Fiat also will build a small SUV. The company’s goal is to export 15 percent of the vehicles it builds in Europe to other markets. When Fiat unveiled its original five-year plan, it thought the European market would reach 16.5 million this year. Instead, the market will only be around 14.1 million. The plan differs from what Ford is doing, which is to retrench in Europe, but Marchionne said he was confident that “this is the best economic choice we can make.”


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