Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am typically not a fan of American automobiles. And I haven’t been for quite some time. However it looks like I might be forced to change my opinion.
As I mentioned in one of my past articles (Auto Americana), some of the greatest sellers from American auto makers like Pontiac are actually European inspired, some even borrowed like the Opel GT. Normally this would be the point at which I climb atop my soap box and start to wail, and I will, however I can no longer be angry at Ford. In that same article I mentioned that “in recent years this has been more a stroke of genius than an affliction of sub-par decision making” and the decision makers at Ford seem to think so as well.
Back when gasoline was selling as high as $5 a gallon in some places, small car sales were booming in America. In Europe however Ford has been selling smaller, smarter vehicles like the Focus (If you question this choice just look at the new Focus RS, or even the old model, you will be impressed), the Ka and now, the new Ford Fiesta. For Europe this might not be such a big shocker or even seen as the light at the end of the tunnel. For US customers though, this means a whole new ball game. Its not hard to see the changes being made and much like the time of the $5 Gallon we are forced to factor in far more than before. That having been said, choices like the new Fiesta and possibly the new Fiat 500 and Grande Punto might just make all the difference in the world.
The news of Fiats decision to step in and help Chrysler reorganize is all the buzz. This type of assistance however isn’t news. A similar “helping hand” was lent when Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault, took the reigns as CEO for Nissan and brought the company from a $6.1 billion loss in ’01 to a $2.7 billion net profit the very next year. Ghosn is also credited with turning Renault around before doing the same for Nissan. If Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is anything like Ghosn we stand to see amazing things happen with the Chrysler brand. In fact Marchionne already has the credit of bringing the company he hails from, Fiat, back to profitability. Like Ghosn, if successful, this will be Marchionne’s second victory. In the very year Ghosn took over at Nissan we saw a landfall of change in the models offered by Nissan. Similarly Fiat also plans on lending Chrysler several new engine and model designs.
Could you be driving a new Ford Fiesta or Fiat 500 in the next year or so? Absolutely! Learn more about them here…
Ford Fiesta: http://www.fiestamovement.com/
Fiat 500: www.fiat500.com/eng/