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FCA May End Chrysler line


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The article points out that Chrysler now makes only

TWO models:  the 300 sedan and the Pacifia utility vehicle.

Evidently, they gave up their mini-van and their beautiful convertible,

as well as their 200 sedan.

 

Successful companies tend to EXPAND their

product lines.  That Fiat-Chrysler would be doing 

just the opposite shows that they may not be succeeding

to the degree they expected.

 

Over the years, Fiat has been known for unreliable cars.

Chryslers, too, haven't been tops in recent years, I'm 

sorry to say, though they have had excellent styling.

To the degree that Fiat's engineering permeates their

American brands, to that same degree will they falter.

 

If only a good car company would buy Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge

and return them to glory!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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35 minutes ago, Curti said:

Aren't Dodge cars IE. Challenger and Ram trucks a part of Chrysler?

 

Don't confuse Chrysler the car brand with Chrysler the corporation. Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram Trucks are all separate brands under FCA. Killing Chrysler the brand is no different than killing Oldsmobile or Mercury.

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5 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

The article points out that Chrysler now makes only

TWO models:  the 300 sedan and the Pacifia utility vehicle.

Evidently, they gave up their mini-van and their beautiful convertible,

as well as their 200 sedan.

 

Successful companies tend to EXPAND their

product lines.  That Fiat-Chrysler would be doing 

just the opposite shows that they may not be succeeding

to the degree they expected.

 

Over the years, Fiat has been known for unreliable cars.

Chryslers, too, haven't been tops in recent years, I'm 

sorry to say, though they have had excellent styling.

To the degree that Fiat's engineering permeates their

American brands, to that same degree will they falter.

 

If only a good car company would buy Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge

and return them to glory!

 

Pacifica is the new name they use on their minivan. The Jeep and Ram brands are doing well for FCA, since they're pickup and SUV lines. Like every other manufacturer, passenger car sales are in the toilet.

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14 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

 

Don't confuse Chrysler the car brand with Chrysler the corporation. Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram Trucks are all separate brands under FCA. Killing Chrysler the brand is no different than killing Oldsmobile or Mercury.

 

That's 'sort of' a relief, I guess.  Poor Walter, they're killing him softly...

I worked for a Fiat division for several years (Sorin Biomedica, USA).  Yuck!  How does Fiat stay in business!?

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8 hours ago, Real Steel said:

...I worked for a Fiat division for several years (Sorin Biomedica, USA).  Yuck!  How does Fiat stay in business!?

 

Can you tell us more about Fiat, its quality or lack thereof?

Hearing from those who know cars firsthand is always interesting.

Your experience is a part of automotive history that should be written down.

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If Fiat ever made a quality automobile they kept it for themselves. The ones they sold here in Canada were junk. Can't speak for the latest models.

 

When a company decides their business is no longer profitable and it is time to go out of business they don't just shut the doors. They run the business into the ground and milk all the profit they can out of it first. Cut out new product development, plant maintenance, eliminate all expense and run on their reputation. Finally when their product is so obsolete no one will buy it and the plant is a worn out wreck close the place up tear it apart and sell off any divisions anyone will buy and sell the rest for junk. This can take up to 10 years after the decision is made. Some investors specialize in doing this - Warren Buffet calls them "cigar butt" companies, you pick them up and get a few more puffs out of them then throw them away.

 

I don't know how Fiat is still in business, I suspect government subsidies are involved. They have never been able to sell their crappy cars in North America, although they make a quick buck, hit and run raid every 10 or 20 years then run off with their money leaving their customers holding the bag.

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1 hour ago, Gunsmoke said:

Fiat has been a quality manufacturer of automobiles for over 100 years. Let's not be too nationalistic in our comments. Patriotism can sometimes be like a set of blinders.

 

I don't think so, Gunsmoke.  If Fiat has been so great for a century,

for many decades, in good times and bad, why have they

not successfully expanded throughout the world as Toyota

and Honda have?  Does Fiat have a name world-respected

for quality?  It has nothing to do with pride of country, as

we already noted that Chrysler products haven't been the best.

Instead, it's pride of excellence, and the sincere admiration thereof,

wherever it is found!

 

For example, in my 1981 Consumer Reports Buying Guide

issue, the past several years of used cars were rated.

Fiat had some of the WORST ratings, at least as bad as the Dodge Aspen's.

"Much worse than average" overall, in almost every year, for the

Fiat 128 and 131 models, which they had sufficient data to rate.

Going even further:  The 1974 Fiat 128 was "much worse than average"

in the specific categories as Body Exterior (Paint);  Body Exterior (Rust);

Body Hardware;  Brakes;  Clutch;  Driveline;  Electrical System;  

Engine Mechanical;  Fuel System;  Steering;  and Suspension.

They were "average" in a couple categories, and nothing better than that.

 

In contrast, the mid-size and full-size Oldsmobile were "above average"

overall, showing why they were selling like gangbusters in that decade.

 

 

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if you look back, fiat's reason for buying chrysler was to cash in on the government bailouts in 2008-2009. they had already been denied said bail outs from italy, so the went after the great cash cow, the USA government.the fact that they stopped trying to sell in the us market says everything about the quality of the product. the onlly smart thing fiat has done in recent years is to sell re-badged mazdas as the new 124 spyder

 

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It's the same reason that Ford is ceasing to make cars; instead just trucks, the Explorer and the Mustang.

 

Fiat is doing real well with the Dodge truck, and the Dodge Challemger, and they have the Dodge Durango which is almost indistinguishable from the Ford Explorer. What "Chrysler" vehicle was selling well? I think the Chrysler 300 was very popular, at least it was.

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J-S-P, not to be too argumentative, but you need to recognize that Consumer Reports research base is typically US Citizens (and perhaps some Canadians), a notoriously patriotic sub-set of cars owners. Indeed I suggest 50% or more of US citizens swear to never buy a "foreign car" out of sheer patriotism. So the Consumer Reports Buying Guide results are skewed to favor US built vehicles and disfavor foreign cars. The vast dealer and service network and marketing cutthroat practices the big 3 used as marketing tools for decades shut down lots of potential quality foreign car companies before they could get a decent foothold. I recall so many authorized big 3 dealers in the 60's/70's refusing to service any foreign car. Asian manufacturers like Honda, later Toyota and more recently Hyundai, Kia, with their low initial manufacturing costs, were able to break the wall down, and eventually challenge the big 3 at their own game. Protectionist tactics, the administration is brewing right now, do not help anyone in the long run. Let the free market rule! 

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The Fiat Spider convertibles from the 1970's were

attractive little cars.  I wish they were reliable--were they?

 

In the Consumer Reports issue I mention, I doubt very much

that loyalty to America made people rate American cars the

best.  Because they didn't!  The best cars were the Honda,

Toyota, Nissan (that was before Renault bought them), and

two Mercedes-Benz diesel models, which were the only

Mercedes cars they had sufficient data to rate.

 

Wow, what a HUGE difference in the owners' evaluations

between any Toyota car and any Fiat!  A vast gulf between

them--wider than any seen in today's Consumer Reports!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, mike6024 said:

image.jpeg.153f024bccd53b504594d8d9415e2317.jpegimage.jpeg.49483a097c192398278c79dc9600bc0b.jpegimage.jpeg.c70a2744beaf06a393c337d2ca558262.jpeg

 

I'd buy a Fiat 128 if I could find one.

If you can find one that still runs and isn't rotted to the door handles you shouldn't have much trouble buying it. I doubt there will be a lineup of bidders waving fist fulls of cash. The difficulty will be finding one.

 

The Fiat Spyder was a great little sports car in the seventies but got a reputation for body rot. The engines were still running great when the body was falling apart.

 

Fiat's solution was to put a supercharger on the engine.

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OY - as usual many mythconceptions.

 

Guess I've always liked FLATs, had a 1500 cabriolet, 124 Spyder, and 850R. All had idosycracies. Most common was the oil-slinger on the front of the crank. Once it got sludged up (because no one knew how to clean) the oil pressure (remember oil pressure gauges ?) would go into the toilet and car would get junked. (or sold to a deserving soul who knew about the slinger, clean it out, change the oil and filter, & voila, pressure was back). Best was the '68 124 with a really nice DOHC 4 & a five speed.

 

Closest thing today is the Merc SLK230 (1998-2004) also a DOHC-4 with 5 speed just a retractable instead of a fabric top.

 

Which brings us to Daimler-Chrysler (SLK320 became the Chrysler Crossfire) which became FCA.

 

My cars from the last century are GM, this DC so if GM bought FCA I'd be back to all GM ?

 

ps thought the later turbocharged 2000 was a Bertone ? available with automagic also. Mine was a NA 1438.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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Interesting thread. Have any of you guys (edit: other than padgett) ever owned Fiats? Driven them? Worked on them profesionally?

 

You know, its funny... Car guys never seem to gravitate toward the stuff Consumer Reports likes. Why is that?

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Because they often misunderstood by the sans coulottes and nice interesting ones are cheap. Particularly in the first or second decade. Just now I have four (and a visitor) that are AACA eligible. Living where cars do not rust (deliberately) does help.

 

Did grow up in a strange community with Mercs, Rolls (easiest car to hotwire known), Renaults, DKW (3=6 Das Kline Wunder), Jags (finally had to take the cure), FLATs, Minis (once hit all three pedals with one shoe), even Facel-Vegas. Best friend had a 289 Cobra (original crispy) with dual quads, next best had a much modified 4CV (all Gordini stuff). Not to mention a few DDs like an Auburn Boattail. Lotsa road courses and abandoned airports but no drag strip short of Gainesville so we used the bridges..

 

Target rich environment and often cheap when the ashtrays got full. Guess that is why I enjoy so many cars and keeps varying.

 

So the real question is "who will own Chrysler next year ?"

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Being a market sample of one, I have to say that my 2013 Fiat 500 (base model) has been a great, trouble-free, 44 mpg, plenty of get-up-and-go, automobile. Other folks I've met also like theirs. I'm quite pleased with how my '59 Granluce was built and am having a ball playing around with my '67 Giardiniera. No, I'm not a lifelong Fiat nut - just happened to travel this path accidentally.

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And with a 1.4 liter engine it can actually pass things other than another Topolino

 

I really liked my 124 Spyder, just like the SLK320 a lot better.

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5 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

The Fiat Spider convertibles from the 1970's were

attractive little cars.  I wish they were reliable--were they?

No. My wife bought an 850 Spider just before we got married. She didn’t know how to drive a manual shift but that’s another story. Beautiful French Blue that was a lot of fun, great on gas, held the road well and had a major problem starting if the temperature outside got below 35 degrees. It got so bad I put a block heater on the engine and a hundred foot extension cord in the trunk. She taught school and parked near the gym each day in a reserved parking space the principle assign her. She would pulg the heater in and run the cord into the school thru a gym window. It also had a cooling problem and the electrical was marginal. Sometimes nothing on the dash would light up. I finally said that’s it when she came home with it overheating which warped the head. She kept driving because the idiot light never turned on. I bought her a Chevy and as we drove away the dealer was putting the 850 on the show room floor. It was a real good looking piece of junk. 

 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Can you tell us more about Fiat, its quality or lack thereof?

Hearing from those who know cars firsthand is always interesting.

Your experience is a part of automotive history that should be written down.

 

John-  My work was for a Fiat biomedical division (Sorin Biomedica), not an automotive division.  Don't forget that in Italy, Fiat owns everything, not just the car business.  I can say this, "Engineering discipline" is a term they never heard of.  Also, if you're in the USA working for Fiat, they're extracting revenge for WW2 as much as possible.

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Back in the 60's and 70's we used to joke that although Fiat made wonderful cars in Europe and throughout the word it seemed that like a Vampire, something happened when they crossed water. The reliability went away, they rusted as you watched . When they ran well(almost never) they were great fun (I owned 3 over the decade). And I usually depended them for my main transportation.( Yes, I was that dumb)

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On 5/30/2018 at 11:16 PM, Rusty_OToole said:

Last summer I went to the local Chrysler dealer for parts for my 1966 Dodge. The parts man told me they couldn't get parts for anything more than 10 years old. I knew then Chrysler was through.

 

It has been like that for almost 30 years for all make not just Chrysler

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On 6/1/2018 at 3:36 PM, Bloo said:

 
Interesting thread. Have any of you guys (edit: other than padgett) ever owned Fiats? Driven them? Worked on them profesionally?

 

You know, its funny... Car guys never seem to gravitate toward the stuff Consumer Reports likes. Why is that?

 

 

all these references to consumer reports. i stopped looking at them when in the same year, they loved the mazda navajo and hated the ford explorer sport(same vehicle built on same assembly line) they also loved the mercury cougar, and hated the ford thunderbird that same year. how can you give these obviously non-car guys any credibility?

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I don't know which fate is worse. To be canceled like an out of date sitcom or to be passed around from owner to owner like a cheap whore on the waterfront, as in the case of the bastard child Jaguar.

Both pretty grim ends for once fine marques.

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4 hours ago, cheezestaak2000 said:

... how can you give these obviously non-car guys any credibility?

 

Because they are usually very good in their

assessment of reliability.  If we are to believe

ONE person whose opinions are posted here,

might we not better rely on hundreds or thousands

who have collectively owned a certain car model?

Consumer Reports' assessments of NEW models are

likely subjective, as are Motor Trend's and Car and Driver's,

but their reliability ratings of cars already in use have

nothing to do with "love" or "hate."

 

Please remember:  Their reliabilty ratings aren't based

on their own opinion.  Instead, they are based on

statistics of many, many readers' experiences.

 

Would any of us deny, for example, that Honda or

Toyota were far superior to Fiat in the 1970's?

Just because a publication's conclusions may

disagree with a reader's in a couple of instances

doesn't mean that the publication's entire system

is in error. 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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That may be, but I doubt it. As a tech who was constantly fixing broken cars I had a fairly good idea what was good, what was mediocre, and what was crap. I was often appalled by their choices.

 

P.S. If reliability is the only important parameter, you will probably find yourself in a lot of really boring cars. The Camry comes to mind. Pick any year. By that metric it just might be the best car ever made.

 

One thing to keep in mind about reliability, most European cars have, and have had for years, a strict maintenance schedule that must be adhered to. Things go south pretty quick in the reliability department if you defer any of it. Many Americans defer it. Some German companies shame people into doing the maintenance. A car that falls apart because it wasn't kept up is simply dismissed as a "poorly maintained example" that shouldn't reflect on the brand. Generally speaking, Italian brands (with the possible exception of Ferrari) have not been able to pull this off.

 

Some Japanese companies have done quite well engineering vehicles specifically for people who they know will not maintain them. It is telling that so many European cars are simply modified to meet American regulations, while Japanese ones are often (not always) designed from the ground up for us.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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So much talk of Consumer Reports.  Is this the same CR that only a few weeks ago excluded the Tesla Model 3 from their 'Recommended List', only to now include that car on the list only a few days ago?  A lot of mind changing, or money changing, or who knows what.  Faith in CR...are you kidding?

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8 hours ago, Real Steel said:

So much talk of Consumer Reports. ...  Faith in CR...are you kidding?

 

NO, not joking!   Please read previous postings and ponder the

logical arguments I tried to convey.  Surely you aren't saying that Fiat

has been a manufacturer of outstanding cars!  If you do really like

Fiats, at least we'll be able to look at a seldom-seen car at a show.

 

I appreciate, at least, Consumer Reports' attempt to be totally uninfluenced.

No organization is perfect, but do you realize that 

Consumers Union purchases all their own cars that they test?

That is different, I believe, from every other tester,

because magazines such as Motor Trend get their cars

handed to them by the manufacturers.  

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