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Next-generation Sebring will be built in U.S.

by Bill Cawthon on

According to reports in Corriere della Sera, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has decided to build the upcoming Chrysler Sebring in the U.S. instead of Europe.

The original plan was to build the Sebring in the Turin, Italy, plant that produces the Alfa Romeo Giulia. This was part of Marchionne’s strategy to have Fiat and Chrysler produce vehicles for each other. However, what Corriere della Sera calls “productivity problems” reportedly have caused Marchionne to change his mind.

Productivity problems translates to labor problems, primarily those with FIOM, a powerful Italian union. The union’s intransigence has already caused Fiat to move production of a future vehicle from the Pomigliano d’Arco plant to Kragujevac, Serbia, along with a 350 million euro investment.

In another article about Fiat, Corriere della Sera notes that Marchionne likes to cite the United Auto Workers as a model “responsible union.”

Corriere della Sera (“The Evening Courier”) is the largest Italian newspaper, based on sales. It is published in Milan. It is owned by RCS MediaGroup, in which Fiat S.p.A. holds a 10.3% stake.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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