Fiat, Fiat Cars and Trucks, and the Chrysler-Fiat Alliance

golling fiat

Chrysler-Fiat Alliance • Fiat-Europe recovery plan, 2012 • Fiat commercial vansFiat cars and trucks • Dealerships • Maserati TC • Lamborghini LM

Dan Minick wrote:

Alfa Romeo Giulietta two-year review/test drive

The successor to the big Alfa 166 (large executive sized four-door), is the 2013 Alfa 169. It was suppossed to have been launched in 2009. For several years, Alfa has been poking around looking for a suitable platform on which to base it. They want a return to rear wheel drive, and their Maserati Q platform has been deemed too expensive. Talks were held with Daimler several years ago, and a plan was under way to base it off of an E-class platform, but in 2007 agreements broke off with Daimler due to difference of opinions and plans. So, the search for a suitable platform was under way again.

1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider
This Alfa Romeo 2600 was the flagship in 1963, and the last Alfa to have the DOHC inline
six-cylinder engine. RM Auctions sold this one for $39,600 in 2012.

If you are familiar with the relationship between the Mercedes E, the new Mercedes CLS [editor’s note: reportedly based on the LX platform], and the Chrysler LX, we can probably draw some dotted lines as to another reason the Fiat/Chrysler alliance keeps moving forward.

FIAT or Fiat?

Bill Cawthon wrote:

Fiat was originally an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino” or “Italian Automobile Factory in Turin.” In the early days, the company used to spell that out on the badging. However, Fiat S.p.A. hasn’t used all capital letters in referring to its cars since 1906, and stopped using them for the company name in 1918. Perhaps I am a creature of habit, but 93 years seems to me to be adequate to establish proper usage.

Fiat and reliability

Allpar forums member jorisr wrote:

In Europe, Fiat Group vehicles have had a well-deserved reputation for being less than perfectly reliable. During the 1990s and early 2000s they were much improved, but still lagged behind most competitors (Peugeot/Citroën and Renault were worse, Opel and Ford had a bad decade), though their engines have generally been exceptionally good.

What happened at Fiat since Marchionne took over is impressive. For example, the reliability numbers on the Fiat Panda, launched in 2003 in Tychy, Poland, have dramatically increased since the implementation of WCM. In the German ADAC stats, the Panda went from poor (reasonable, as it was a completely new model) to best in class. It is now considered the most reliable car in its class and even overall, it is in the top three. Every car built in this plant (Fiat Panda, Fiat 500, and Ford Ka) has a stellar reputation in reliability and building quality.

The same improvement can be seen in the Fiat Punto, launched in 2004. The numbers improved dramatically in the last couple of years, along with the previous Punto, still being sold until 2009. ADAC rated the Punto third in its class behind the Fiat Panda and a Toyota.

In one set of German tests, they wear the car for 100,000 km, and then completely dismantle and examine every part of it. Older Fiat products would score average at best. While the Germans love to put down the competition where they can, they couldn't look away when several Volkswagens where dismal, and the bottom ranks were filled with VWs and a couple of Peugeots and Citröens; but the most recent Fiats were among the best on the list.

The 1.3 JTD diesel engine was recently called by the DEKRA expert “one of the best engines he ever had under his measuring device,” even after the German testers decided to see if the Italian diesel would have problems if they filled it up with gasoline. (The tolerances measured after 100,000 km were like new on this little engine.)

You can see a correlation in plants’ WCM ratings and the quality of their vehicles. The highest rated plants deliver vehicles that rate among the best in the marketplace. The plant with the worst results only recently was converted to WCM — Pomigliano d’Arco (Alfa Romeo 159 and 147).

If Fiat can get to Best in Class reliability within five years, Chrysler will be able to do at least the same. Marchionne knows that this is the absolute base condition for success for a company known for unreliability (as Fiat was, and until people catch up, still is).

Fiat • 500 • Abarth • 500C500e • 500L • 500X VansReviewsFreemontForum

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