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Fiat Chrysler HQ is going to London

by Bill Cawthon on

It’s official: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be setting up shop in England.

In a Thursday press conference attended by Reuters, Marchionne said, “Headquarters will be in London. It’s clear that group executive functions, the board, my office, some of my functions, need to operate out of London, but that doesn’t mean that I’m giving up my operational responsibilities of the U.S. We will be multi-faceted … we will do stuff everywhere.”

While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. is registered in the Netherlands, it’s a British company for tax purposes. London is also a major international financial hub.

While many were hoping that Detroit would be the home of the newly merged company, London is a less politically volatile choice. There are already going to be some hard feelings in the Italian government which is losing the headquarters of its oldest automaker and largest private employer after 115 years in Turin.

It’s unclear just how many people will be migrating to Britain on a permanent basis; it’s likely most of the Group Executive Council will shuttle back and forth between, Auburn Hills, London, and Turin, as Marchionne himself does.

The decision is a break for Chrysler brand CEO Al Gardner, Jeep CEO Mike Manley, and CFO Richard Palmer, all of whom hail from Great Britain. Gardner was born in London; Manley is from Edenbridge, and Palmer’s family is from Bath.

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, 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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