Tell me this isin't a crock of shit...
Fucking bunch of dago wops Marchionne and the rest of his fiat maffia.
Chrysler vanishes from Europe as Marchionne stems losses
Automotive News Europe -- June 1, 2011 06:01 CET
MILAN -- Fiat S.p.A., the automaker that controls Chrysler, ended Paolo
Mazzali's American dream. The car dealer near Milan spent the last 10
years selling customers "American lifestyle" as embodied in Chrysler
cars and minivans. Now, he'll need to convince them to buy Italian after
Fiat's decision to convert Chrysler dealers to Lancia.
"We used to sell an emotional American brand, as American as a Harley
Davidson motorcycle," said Mazzali, whose company owns three Chrysler
showrooms. "It's like giving up a piece of your heart to pitch something
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, ceased sales of the U.S.
brand in continental Europe Tuesday after four decades. The combination
of Chrysler and Lancia is part of his plan to end losses in Europe and
cut costs by 1.5 billion euros ($2.2 billion) by 2014.
Under Fiat, Chrysler's sales slumped to about a quarter of their total
with Daimler AG. "We couldn't maintain the two brands everywhere so we
had to decide," Olivier Francois, the Fiat executive who heads the
Lancia and Chrysler brands, said in an interview "Lancia has a higher
awareness in Europe, while for the U.S. and the rest of the world,
Chrysler is a more global brand."
The automaker will consolidate Chrysler Group's results starting this
month, a sign of the rapid integration of the two carmakers since the
U.S.-based manufacturer exited bankruptcy in June 2009.
Fiat, which was initially granted a 20 percent stake by the U.S.
government, aims to acquire 57 percent of the third-biggest U.S.
automaker by the end of 2011.
Europe is a weak link for Fiat, where it struggles to compete with
Volkswagen AG and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA.
The company, which doesn't breakdown results by region, lost about 1
billion euros last year on its home continent, according to Max
Warburton, a London-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. "Fiat is
unlikely to ever make Europe profitable," said Warburton.
"There's little new product. In the next two years, market share will
likely slide further." Fiat's deliveries in Europe fell 17 percent in
the first fourth months of 2011, while industry-wide sales slipped 2.4
percent and VW rose 5.3 percent.
General Motors Co., which is expanding the Chevrolet brand in Europe,
increased sales 2.1 percent in the January-April period. Marchionne
acknowledges that European operations suffered as he focused on the U.S.
Fiat will continue to sell Jeep models in Europe alongside Lancia.
Marchionne aims to expand Chrysler's Jeep and Fiat's Alfa Romeo into
global upscale brands as he forges an auto-making group to compete with
GM and VW. Lancia will be a local European brand bolstered by Chrysler
Chrysler failed to win over European customers, unlike GM and Ford Motor
Co., which both outsell Fiat in the region. The U.S. carmaker bought a
stake in France's Simca in 1958 and then sold its European operations to
Peugeot in 1978.
Under Daimler, the brand renewed its effort in Europe, with sales
peaking at about 120,000 cars in 2007. Last year, Chrysler's European
deliveries slumped 27 percent to 36,900 vehicles, including Dodge and
Jeep models. In the U.S., the group's sales rose 17 percent to 1.09
Lancia's takeover of Chrysler's distribution network will boost the
Italian brand's locations by 40 percent to 650 dealers. Chrysler will
also provide more than sales outlets. The 300 sedan will be sold as the
Lancia Thema starting in the fourth quarter, and other Chrysler models
will be re-badged to give Lancia a broader lineup, including a version
of the Grand Voyager minivan. The 200 may be renamed as the Flavia.
The goal is to more than double Lancia's sales to about 250,000 cars by
2014 from 99,400 last year. Overall, Marchionne aims to boost
Fiat-Chrysler's combined sales to 104 billion euros by 2014 from about
66 billion euros last year. The combination with Chrysler is critical
for Lancia, which is too small to survive on its own, Marchionne has
"It's going to be very difficult for Lancia to double sales as
competition is very heavy," said Massimiliano Romano, head of research
at brokerage Concentric Italy in Milan. "Marchionne is moving in the
right direction. Margins are tiny, so you need to optimize resources."
Lancia was founded in Turin in 1906 by Vincenzo Lancia, a Fiat race car
driver. It has moved between luxury and mass market over the years. In
the 1950s and 1960s, Lancia went head-to-head against Jaguar and
Maserati with luxurious coupes such as the Flamina and Flavia. After
being acquired by Fiat in 1969, its models veered between race-bred
sedans such as the Delta and big-box sedans such as the Thema. In the
1990s, the brand dipped down market, with the compact Y.
Part of Lancia's makeover is the revamped Ypsilon compact, which will
become a five-door hatchback in a bid to widen its appeal compared with
the previous three-door-only version. The model, the brand's best
seller, is one of only three current Lancia products and marks a rare
Fiat postponed the introduction of new models until the second half of
2011 in hopes of a recovery in European car demand. That tactic led to a
loss of market share to 7.2 percent from 8.4 percent. Fiat plans to
introduce five new cars this year, compared with nine in 2012 and 11 in
2013. The Poland-built Ypsilon began sales Tuesday at a starting price
of 12,400 euros. The target is to sell 120,000 Ypsilons a year, Francois
said in a May 25 interview.
For Chrysler, the cooperation with Lancia isn't just a one-way street.
The brand will still exist in the U.K. and Ireland and will sell a
version of Lancia's sporty Delta hatchback as well as the Ypsilon.
Chrysler may also sell Ypsilons in Japan, South Korea, South Africa and
Australia, the company said. Even as it re-badges Chrysler and Lancia
products, Fiat tries to account for regional sensibilities, such as
Italian leather made by Poltrona Frau S.p.A. in the Lancia version of
the Chrysler 300.
It's also bridging cultures with ads featuring Elisabetta Canalis, the
Italian girlfriend of George Clooney, with the tagline, "Italian
character meets American glamor." For auto dealer Mazzali, he's spent
more than 2 million euros to prepare his shops for Lancia. "We're ready
for the change," he said.
- posted 8 years ago