Fiat Has Long Shed 'Fix It Again Tony' Reputation

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 30, 2009 9:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – The last time Fiat tried to make a go of it in the US market, its unreliable cars earned it the nickname Fix It Again Tony, reports the New York Times. That was 25 years and another world ago. After a renewed focus on quality under CEO Sergio Marchionne, the Italian automaker is now hoping to rescue bankrupt Chrysler—it will have a 20% stake and three seats on the new company's board—through its new and improved technology.

Fiat plans to begin selling its 500 model—popular in Europe with a price of about $12,000—in the US by 2011. Other models will follow, but the company says its main focus will be retooling current Chrysler models—the Sebring, for example—with Fiat technology. “Selling Fiats won’t turn Chrysler around,” said one executive. “You’re going to see a new range of Chrysler cars, based on our engineering, our platforms and our engines with a shape exclusively their own.”

Jim Press, president and vice chairman of Chrysler, steps out of a Fiat 500 at the 2009 New York International Auto Show on April 8.
Jim Press, president and vice chairman of Chrysler, steps out of a Fiat 500 at the 2009 New York International Auto Show on April 8.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
The Fiat 500 convertible at the Geneva International Motor Show in March.
The Fiat 500 convertible at the Geneva International Motor Show in March.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Sandro Campardo)
In this 2007 file photo, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne poses near the Fiat 500.
In this 2007 file photo, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne poses near the Fiat 500.   (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, files)
The New Fiat 500 convertible, shown at the Geneva International Motor Show in March.
The New Fiat 500 convertible, shown at the Geneva International Motor Show in March.   (AP Photo/Keystone, Sandro Campardo)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow

We look forward to delivering on the vast potential this alliance holds and reintroducing to North American customers some of our most popular brands. - Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne

« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
0%
0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!