Joe Sherlock who, incidentally, owns a ’39 Plymouth is not at all sanguine about Fiat’s absorption of most of Chrysler:
AutoExtremist Peter De Lorenzo has written that the Fiat-Chrysler “merger” more like a twisted-up Gordian knot of perverted capitalism was “never about saving Chrysler or rescuing its poor, downtrodden minions. And it was never about doing good for the perennially mocked City of Detroit or the domestic automobile industry for that matter, either. For Marchionne it was about taking over Chrysler, sucking every last dime out of it and using those profits to bolster Fiat, the Italian automaker whose reign as a perennial joke in this business goes back multiple decades.”
Well, yeah. Marchionne talks PR with the best of them. Then again, anyone who saw Daimler’s “merger of equals” with Chrysler in 1998 got to see exactly the same scenario: there was cash in Auburn Hills, and the Europeans planned to get it any way they could. And once they got it, they tossed the forlorn husk to a band of vulture capitalists. Would Marchionne do the same? I’m not quite sure. I suspect that for right now, wearing those two CEO hats suits his style sort of Carlos Ghosn with pesto but things can change at the drop of either hat.