Chrysler's Honeymoon With Fiat Won't Last Long

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2009 10:36 AM CDT
Jim Press, president and vice chairman of Chrysler, steps out of a Fiat 500 at the New York International Auto Show Wednesday, April 8, 2009, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Chrysler is rushing into the arms of Fiat now, but it may be sorry later, writes Dan Neil for the Los Angeles Times. Fiat "pays next to nothing and now has instant access to US markets," which it’s been lusting after. "But in this new Italian romance, the relationship is distinctly one-sided," Neil cautions.

Chrysler’s NASCAR presence, Mopar subsidiary, and Dodge-based cars are “all likely to be swept into whatever museum there is left to memorialize Chrysler,” writes Neil. Chrysler’s current customers probably aren’t into Fiat's light, stylish models, either. As for retooling Chrysler’s plants, Neil observes, “You can’t simply throw a big switch that says ‘Fiat.’” One element that might help: a jump in the price of gas, which would reignite Americans' interest in fuel efficiency.