Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fiat Will Manage or Own Both Chrysler and GM

This past week there's been a very concrete development in the ongoing breaking apart // restructuring of Chrysler and GM: both companies sent out letters to hundreds of dealers that revoked their franchises.

Yesterday's Times included a sad anecdote about a Kentucky dealership that had recently been awarded a "50 year" certificate (from Chrysler, I think) -- then, just a couple of months later, it's being cut loose. I get the impression from the coverage that some dealers might take legal action to try to block revocation of the franchises, but it sounds like they'd be fighting an uphill battle particularly in light of Chrysler's having filed for bankruptcy protection.
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Today's Washington Post includes an article (here) about Fiat and some of the hurdles it faces in becoming a major player with respect to both companies. The article makes the point that even Italians are surprised at Fiat's turnaround (as of 2005, it was struggling mightily).

Fiat's CEO is Sergio Marchionne, whose background is in accounting.

220. How many CPA's are there in Congress? It seems like there aren't many (at least not that I've heard of) -- what would make CPA's less likely to run for political office than attorneys?

One of the issues confronting Fiat is that German unions (and politicians) are pushing back against Fiat's proposed ownership of Opel, which is GM's primary European division. In order for the acquisition to work, Fiat will have to cut a bunch of assembly-line jobs in Germany, and this is making the Germans none-too-happy.

221. Which Fiat cars (if any) will catch on in the American market?

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