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The new car company’s name

by David Zatz on

Speculation. There has been considerable speculation about the name of the new car company being formed by Fiat and Chrysler, after the January 20 (or so) purchase of the rest of Chrysler by Fiat.

The two companies share a CEO, Sergio Marchionne, who has been quoted as saying that the new holding company would have both Fiat and Chrysler names in it. This limits the options, and since he has repeatedly referred to “Chrysler-Fiat” (we are inserting the hyphen), the most obvious choices would be:

  • Fiat-Chrysler
  • Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles: the most likely candidate
  • Fiat/Chrysler
  • FiatChrysler: unlikely due to negative association with the InterCapped combination “DaimlerChrysler”
  • Fiat:Chrysler
  • Fiat~Chrysler

It is worth noting that there is no legal need to change the name of the parent company from Fiat, since there is no merger but a takeover, and no shareholders need to be comforted or fooled; however, Mr. Marchionne appears to understand the symbolism involved in the name, and has worked to ensure that people on both sides of the Atlantic understand that the combination of the two companies is not based on complete dominance of Auburn Hills by Turin.

Reader “nadepalma” suggested numerous alternatives, which no longer seem likely given that both Fiat and Chrysler will be included. These include:

  • AMC = Agnelli Motor Company (Giovanni Agnelli was the founder of FIAT), or Atlantic Motor Company (since Europe and North America share borders with the Atlantic), or Alliance Motor Company. The A can also stand for Atlas, Amerlia, or Agnelli-Chrysler (after the two founders).
  • Columbia Motor Company, for an Italian-American connection; of note, there is a Columbia car company in Chrysler’s very distant past.   
  • Eagle Motor Company (from the Eagle division/symbol of the United States, and the standard for ancient Roman legions; however this does have some negative modern connotations in connection with Italy)
  • United Motors Cars
  • Universal Motor Company

Some have suggested World Motors, as well, picking up on an older theme. James Mooney and nadepalma both suggested Eagle, for different reasons: first, for the shared symbol (the US’ bald eagle, Chrysler’s old Eagle division, and the standard of ancient Roman legions), and as James Mooney wrote, “European-American Global Liaison Enterprises.”

The names of the various divisions are not changing, and it is possible that Chrysler Group, LLC, will remain in its current administrative form as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat-Chrysler (however it is spelled, and whether it is followed by other words).

See the forum thread for more discussion and choices.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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