Fiat, Jeep, Dodge… No More Chryslers?

Fiat has completed their purchase of Chrysler, clearing the way for the troubled automaker to exit bankruptcy — but what will the new company look like for consumers? Well, according to BusinessWeek you may be visiting your local Fiat, Jeep, Dodge dealer.

From BW:

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne will also serve as CEO of the newly formed U.S. company. Though he has been silent on many of the specifics, sources familiar with the planning work say there is a strong likelihood that the Chrysler brand of cars and SUVs will be eliminated and replaced by Fiat, and sold alongside Dodge and Jeep vehicles in combined dealerships that will carry all three brands.

Will the Chrysler nameplate be missed by anyone other than Michael Scott?

Chrysler-Fiat Finalize Accord [BW]
(Photo:Ben Popken)

Comments

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  1. GavinEstecado says:

    nope

  2. Yankees368 says:

    no

  3. Yankees368 says:

    well actually, maybe car mechanics will miss Chrysler.

  4. JediJohn82 says:

    I, like Michael Scott, love my Sebring. That being said, I am not really tied to brand name…just MPG, reliability, and price.

    • samgmano says:

      @JediJohn82:
      That’s what she said.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @JediJohn82: & yet you drive a chysler…

    • sir_pantsalot says:

      @JediJohn82: That sentence does not compute. You claim that you love Sebrings because you are concerned about MPG and reliability. Do you ever drive your Sebring or just look at it.

      If you have a reliable car am am happy for you. I inherited a Sebring and needed a carat the time and it was horrible.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @sir_pantsalot: I ended up with a Sebring a couple of times when I rented a car. I liked driving it and thought it looked good. I was pissed when I saw the ratings it got from Consumer Reports. SO disappointed. (Not that I’ve been able to get a car yet…)

      • JediJohn82 says:

        @sir_pantsalot:

        Just got back from a 3100 mile road trip actually. Got 28 miles per gallon. Haven’t had any trouble since I bought the car…of course I stick to the maintenance schedule precisely (if not a bit early) which I am guessing most Americans don’t.

        • greenunicorns says:

          @JediJohn82:

          John, you seem to be missing the point that although your car is serving your needs well, you MUST hate it because so many people in this forum are convinced that every single car of a certain brand must be horrible.

          Look, I know you think you’re getting good gas mileage. Sure you can drive X miles, using only Y gallons, but what you don’t realize is that the popular opinion in this thread is that your car gets bad gas mileage. Clearly it is a horrible car.

  5. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    I think that Fiat has better perceived name recognition than Chrysler, so this may work out well for them.

    • 11hawkinst says:

      @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: Not so fast… I’ve had a couple of Fiats in Europe and let me say… they suck. There’s a reason why Europeans coined the term Fix It Again Tony.

      Although, since the U.S. consumer base is unfamiliar with the Fiat name, this might help the company rebrand itself.

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @11hawkinst: As opposed to Fix Or Repair Daily? Ford is currently still doing better than GM and Chrysler.

      • rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

        @11hawkinst: I’ve had Fiats too.
        Yes, they are not the best of cars, very simple and unsurprising. Yes, they tend to blend with anything and are somewhat frail. Yes, they are small cars. And Yes, they have a huge fan base for the few cars that gained a lot of history.

        BUT, if anything brakes it is easy to repair, even the new models are quite simple to repair and maintain, and most European brands are quite frail when brought out to America. Those cars need to be adjusted to fuel quality and predominant road conditions.

        Most of the settings on your bimmers and benz are different from the euro counterparts.

      • failurate says:

        @11hawkinst: Fiat has changed quite a bit in the last 5 years.

  6. CaptZ says:

    I hope they bring the Fiat line of cars to the US. I owned 3 Fiats in my teens and twenties and they were all good cars. It would be a nice change from what’s on the road here now.

    • TheBursar says:

      @CaptZ: Which were these? the Punto and Uno i had were POS

      • Communist Pope says:

        @TheBursar: Did Fiat really have a car called the Punto? The Fiat Punto? Really? Holy cr@p, a Google search shows they did. And they look just like I’d expect a Punto to look — little wedge-shaped lumps of boring. The Punto. Well, at least it’s accurate.

        • TechnoDestructo says:

          @kidjesus:

          Care to share for those of us who don’t even know in which language that is funny, let alone what it means?

          • Communist Pope says:

            @TechnoDestructo: I sense misunderstanding: I have no idea what “punto” means in any language. I just think it’s a horrible name and looks like a lame car. And therefor the name is accurate, at least in my case, in that it brings to mind a lame-looking car.

        • mac-phisto says:

          @kidjesus: hmph. i thought it looked like a vw gti when i saw it:

    • mac-phisto says:

      @CaptZ: i hope they bring some of the technology. i was screwing around on their website with their ECODRIVE technology – pretty cool stuff. you plug a thumbdrive into your car & then into your computer & it rates your driving efficiency (shifting, braking, accelerating, etc.). way beyond anything i’ve seen the americans push out (although onstar does have a few cool features).

  7. The Cheat says:

    I can haz Fiat 500 Abarth now?

  8. idip says:

    Very interesting. Sends a tingle down my back to hear the Chrysler name will not continue one.

    • TechnoDestructo says:

      @Silversmok3:

      Whether he’s crying depends on whether he deals in scrap or in parts.

      If he deals in parts, sure, he’s getting less to part out, but then again, people are usually eager to get rid of their Chrysler when it breaks down, so no one wanted the parts anyway.

      If he deals in scrap…on the one hand that’s fewer Chryslers glutting the market. On the other…there goes a steady revenue stream (like you were thinking.)

  9. jscott73 says:

    Car rental agencies will miss the Chrysler brand, Chrysler seems to be their bread and butter.

  10. Preyfar says:

    Personally, I love my Chrysler PT Cruiser. It’s by far the best car in the world, but it’s solid. I honestly would hate to see them go.

    Then again, I feel like I’m one of the few people that LIKE Chrysler cars.

    • MPHinPgh says:

      @Preyfar: Then again, I feel like I’m one of the few people that LIKE Chrysler cars.

      I’m there with you. I love my PT, my Dakota my wife is pretty happy with her Grand Caravan. Will I buy Dodges in the future? Dunno. Depends on how Fiat-ized they become, I guess.

      • jscott73 says:

        @MPHinPgh: ugh, more power to you but I cringe whenever a car rental place gives me a pt cruiser, maybe because I am 6’4″, 220lbs but the car feels so narrow, my knees hit the hard plastic console and it has absolutely no acceleration power unless you completely gun it. My Mazda Protege5 fits me just fine with plenty of power and it’s about the same size.

    • Nicole Jordan says:

      @Preyfar: They were already planning on discontinuing the PT in 2009, which is a shame. I love mine to death- it has to be the coolest and most unique car to come along in ten years. Awful thirsty for a small car though.

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @Nicole Jordan: That doesn’t surprise me. The aerodynamics of that cool 1940s-style shape have to be pretty bad.

        I rented one once and it seemed like an OK car. Kind of plasticky inside, like a lot of Chrysler products, but otherwise not bad.

    • 67alecto says:

      @Preyfar:

      I’ll miss them as well. Not that I had plans to buy another at this time, as I feel like Chryslers were just overpriced Dodges with some wood accents, but I’m a MOPAR guy.

      At one point, I owned a Dodge Dakota, a Chrysler LHS, and a 1967 Plymouth Fury. The original MOPAR triumvirate.

    • rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

      @Preyfar: Well, good for you. It was already said above, but yes they were to die this year.

      I always cringed when I saw one. The image I had associated with it was a hearse. Don’t worry it the same with Chevrolet’s HHR.

    • AlphaWolf says:

      @Preyfar: I have to agree, I bought a PT Cruiser last year to commute back and forth to work. I was not a fan the first few weeks I owned the car, I came from driving a V6 engine and the PT is not quick off the line. However, the thing grew on me. Now I cannot imagine not having it around.

      • Preyfar says:

        @Preyfar: D’oh. I just realized my stupid slip.

        I mean to say “It’s far from being the best car in the world, but…”

  11. woolygator says:

    FIAT = fix it again Tony.

  12. nataku8_e30 says:

    noooooooo, not the brand of the Aspen, Crossfire and much beloved Sebring.

  13. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    It makes me a *little* sad to see these classic nameplates going the way of the Dodo. Studebaker, Oldsmobile … there’s some of the magic of the romance of the automobile attached to those. Even though the romance of the automobile is over and nobody puts fins on anything anymore.

    But I won’t, like, cry about it. Sorry, Chrysler.

  14. pop top says:

    Does this mean that Fiat will be considered domestic, or will Jeep and Dodge go under the dreaded classification of “foreign”?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @squinko: Since Fiat is based in Italy, I think Chrysler as a company will cease to exist, and Jeep and Dodge will be under the wing of a foreign manufacturer. It doesn’t mean the cars won’t be produced in the US, it just means they are technically foreign.

      But in name, Jeep and Dodge will be US auto brands, just like Aston Martin was still a British brand even when it was owned by Ford until 2007.

    • jscott73 says:

      @squinko: good question, shouldn’t we move beyond those classifications now anyways since all cars are “international” with parts being built and assembled all over the world and the parents companies running operations worldwide?

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @squinko: Some people have regarded Chrysler as foreign ever since Daimler bought them.

      That said, when it comes to whether you get to park in front of a UAW shop or not, what seems to matter is the nameplate.

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @squinko: Considering that Fiat is purchasing a 20% stake in Chrysler, and I believe the UAW is getting 55%, I’m not sure that I would call this a foreign auto-maker.

      • pop top says:

        @nataku83: But the CEO is foreign and won’t pay taxes on his salary!

        (Which is a common excuse that people use to not buy Japanese cars, even though they’re made in America.)

  15. Silversmok3 says:

    Somewhere, a junkyard owner is crying right now.

  16. The_Legend says:

    Gwd, nthr “ccrdng t Bsnss Wk” nsbstnttd “srcs fmlr wth th plnnng” nn jrnlstc ntry. Sms lk CR/Cnsmrst hv prvn gn tht blggng s nt jrnlsm. BW hs th ntgrty f Fx Nws. Ths stry hs bn fltng rnd fr cpl f dys, sw t n dvrtsng g, nthr rg tht wll nvr gt Pltzr.

    • SteveZim1017 says:

      @The_Legend: DAmn, that one was hard to re-emvowel and read.

      I’ll save everyone else the trouble and fix it for you

      “HA HA everyone is stupid for reading consumerist because they cited an article from BuisnessWeek. I, however, am superdeduper clever and will call BW the lamest ever. I will continue to show my undisputed intelligence and uniquely compare them to Fox News! Har har.

      note: that may not be a word for word translation

  17. johnmc says:

    So long as they don’t bring the Multipla over, we’ll be fine. Actually, to be honest, the newer Multipla isn’t quite as ugly as the old one was. That was the real life version of the Homer.

  18. David Brodbeck says:

    What I’ve read elsewhere (but can’t place, right now, unfortunately) is that they’re going to avoid using the “Fiat” name here. The feeling is its image is too low-end for the upmarket cars they’re planning to export. They’ve watched the problems VW has had selling luxury cars under the “VW” name and they want no part of that.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @David Brodbeck: VW has luxury cars? You mean the Touareg (which isn’t much more than a mid-luxury midsize SUV)? Or the Passat (which is more than a Civic and Maxima)?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Oops. The Passat is more than a Civic, less than a Maxima. Which explains why I don’t see many new Maximas.

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: I was thinking of the Touareg and the Phaeton. They had trouble selling both of those under the VW nameplate, and probably should have made them Audis. The Touareg was actually a pretty good deal if you wanted that type of vehicle, since it was a Porsche Cayenne without the Porsche price.

        • Major-General says:

          @David Brodbeck: Phaeton being a steel bodied cousin to the Audi A8, though there were other differences. Actually, the Phaeton had features that weren’t on the Audi but on the Bentley Continental when it came out.

          Then they killed the Phaeton for the North American market and redesigned the A8.

      • Trey Mahaffey says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: the phaeton is listed from 66,000 all the way to 101,000 dollars. this is probably why you haven’t heard of their luxury cars. who in there right mind would spend that much on a VW. i never saw one until i moved to Indian Rocks Beach fl. you would be surprised how many of them are down here. must be the heat that makes a person crazy enough to drop 100,000 dollars on a VW.

        • David Brodbeck says:

          @Trey Mahaffey: That’s exactly the point. People won’t spend that much on a VW because the nameplate’s image is one of cheap cars. If they’d badged it as an Audi it would have sold much better.

          Fiat is trying to avoid the same mistake, so don’t expect to see cars sporting “FIAT” badges here. There are rumors that even the Fiat 500 will just have a “500” badge. Higher-end models will probably be sold as Alpha Romeos.

          • The Cheat says:

            Audi A8 = VW Phaeton, for the most part. Not that I see a lot of either around town but there are more A8s.

    • failurate says:

      @David Brodbeck: They are not bringing “upmarket” cars. They are bringing small economy cars, think Kia or Suzuki without the icky stigma.
      You might be thinking of Alpha Romeo, which will be slightly upscale (think Acura+). But Alpha has a pretty solid name.
      Fiat doesn’t make any cars that are comparable to the Phaeton or Touareg.
      What we will see first is the 500. Followed by the Grand Punto, then maybe the Qubo.

  19. sir_eccles says:

    I’m sure it’ll have rusted through by tomorrow

  20. DWalk says:

    At least Fiat’s cars aren’t any uglier than the last few years of Chrysler’s designs.

    Except, maybe the Panda 4×4…

  21. sanjsrik says:

    Who’s michael scott?

  22. captadam says:

    I’ve alwyas kind of liked the name Chrysler. Something about the hard sound of the “Ch”, and the “y”–it renders beautifully.

  23. lilyHaze says:

    The only people I know who owned a Fiat were Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. But then they changed from a perfect size 6 to a size 2. And I’m pretty sure they changed the car during this redesign.

  24. subsider34 says:

    I doubt the Chrysler brand will go away, particularly after what Marchionne said:

    “We intend to build on Chrysler’s culture of innovation and Fiat’s complementary technology and expertise to expand Chrysler’s product portfolio both in North America and overseas,” – [news.yahoo.com]

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @subsider34: I think Marchionne is referring to Chrysler, LLC, the corporation, not the specific marque called “Chrysler.” It’s possible they’ll keep some of the specific Chrysler models and rebadge them as something else.

  25. MaliBoo Radley says:

    Woot! Bring on the Fiat 500! That would be amazing.

  26. H3ion says:

    Yes, I’ll miss Chrysler. I have a 5-year old Pacfica. No repairs other than routine maintenance and that replaced a Town and Country which made it to 160,000 miles before I gave it away. That said, I don’t pay much attention to the name plate but I think Chrysler has gotten a bad rap.

  27. humphrmi says:

    Yes. Oh wait, will Chrysler be missed. No.

  28. Dennis says:

    Chrysler? Fuggedaboutit!

  29. Vulpine says:

    While I will accept that Fiat had a reputation as a poorly-built car, so, too, did Chrysler at one time. How many people remember the K-cars?

    According to one specific BBC motorsports-oriented program available on BBCAmerica, Fiat has made a significant improvement over its old models. The 500 is considered a remarkable car for its size and even their performance brand, Alpha Romeo, is regaining some of the status it held a long time ago.

    Don’t look down on Fiat without at least giving them a chance. Look at what Kia has done here in the States. And Fiat has won European Car of the Year awards twice in the last 10 years. Fiat ain’t what it used to be.

  30. dangermike says:

    I still miss Plymouth. I had a ’92 1/2 Sundance Duster with the 3 liter v6 and 5 speed manual and that was easily one of the best cars of the 1990’s. It wasn’t best looker and it really could have used a slightly stiffer suspension but really for the price and for what it was — a subcompact sedan to get from point A to point B — it was quick, nimble, fun to drive, reliable, easy to work on if it needed it, and surprisingly enough, roomy. I was *really* disappointed when they replaced it with the neon. The neon was never as usable or reliable although I will admit the SRT-4 version was at least fun.

  31. Guvmint_Cheese says:

    Glad Jeep is sticking around. I’m on my second one (first one had 130k+ on it), and I’d buy another one. Love having 4wd in the winter (I couldn’t get out of my driveway sometimes without it).

  32. AgitatedDot says:

    I hope Ford makes it as the *ONLY* US car manufacturer. Seriously we don’t need anyone else.

  33. I Love New Jersey says:

    Get it right, Fiat is only one of the groups buying it. The rest is the union and the US and Canadian governments who will own more of it than Fiat.

    • humphrmi says:

      @I Love New Jersey: Funny thing about minority owners these days though. They run things. Out of the three: Fiat, the U.S. Government, and the Canadian Government, who is more likely to guide the design, sales, marketing, and dealership model for the company?

      The governments own majority shares because the governments lent them lots of money. But they have no interest in running manufacturing companies, let alone making product decisions. All those decisions will come from Fiat. Eventually, Chrysler will recover, and the governments will cash out their stakes – hopefully for a profit.

  34. joel. says:

    I can’t wait for the Fiat 500 to reach our shores… *fingers crossed*

  35. rockergal says:

    as a chrysler town and country drive I feel a slight pang of pain, but I love fiat. (especially Fiat Spyders)

  36. Joey_Brill says:

    All the older guys in my neighborhood went with the 300M instead of Lincoln. It’s kind of cool because you see lots of muscle cars with bitter old men driving.

    Now they’ll be stuck with the Charger.

  37. Bryan Price says:

    I just got the current car (Hyundai Sonata) paid off today. (yesterday, since it’s after midnight here…)

    I want a new Challenger. It’s doubtful that it will survive, but I hope so. I owned a ’71 (tragically totalled in it’s youth — not even my fault!), and would like to own one again.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I own a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500, a 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix and a Kawasaki Z1000.

    Would I miss the Chrysler name plate? No not really. Kinda sad to see it go, but oh well. I do think it would be a mistake to not have a Chrysler branded vehicles though.
    You want a truck or muscle car, you buy Dodge. You want an economy car, you buy Fiat. You want an SUV you buy Jeep. You want a luxury car, you buy Chrysler.
    Using this plan you keep your vehicles completely separate (no Ford Taurus vs Mercury Sable) and you cover the majority of the markets here in the US while brand image (for example, Jeep) isn’t tarnished.

  39. Mike S. says:

    My parents were faithful Chrysler owners (’56 Windsor station wagon; ’62 Newport sedan; ’69 Newport sedan). Sadly, the ’69 was the last straw–three transmissions and a whole line of defects during its time with the family. It was a comfortable and roomy car, but was the victim of Chrysler’s bad quality control at the time.
    I haven’t owned a Chrysler product since I sold my ’74 Dodge Monaco in 1984. Let’s see what Fiat can do….

  40. radiochief says:

    Well, it makes for symmetry at least. Chrysler dealers were usually Chrysler-Plymouth dealer; while the good Dodge Bros. was separate.

    I hate losing a little piece of Americana, that century-old brand name is us. But then again, if they did not screw the pooch after their FIRST bailout and renaissance they would not be in THIS mess to begin with. (If this report is true.)

  41. anduin says:

    chryslers are teeribad, mom was a realtor and so she did substantial driving around the city, literally around the 4-5 year mark of each car, the engine exploaded and would cost more than the car was worth to repair and replace. Thank god she finally got a new mercedes which is only a little more expensive but is a diesel at that.

  42. DTaylor404 says:

    Maybe it’s time to bring back DeSoto.