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Discussion Starter #41
Fiat to increase prices

Fiat to increase prices by up to Rs 25,000 next month

December 28, 2009


“Owing to increasing input costs through the year, the company has taken the decision to have the prices of the Linea and Grande Punto increased by 2-2.5 per cent. The new prices will be effective from January 1, 2010. Prices of the Palio, however, will remain unchanged,” the statement says.

Fiat’s move at jacking up its prices comes on the back of almost all automotive companies contemplating a similar hike in the coming weeks. Companies like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Honda and Toyota have signalled a price rise.

While rising input prices is one of the primary causes, higher import costs due to fluctuations in exchange rates is also proving to be one of the main reasons for a price hike for those companies which have a high import content in their vehicles.

Since its launch in January this year, more than 12,000 units of the Linea have been sold, while the Punto, which was launched in June this year, has seen sales of 9,000 units so far.

LINK: Fiat to increase prices by up to Rs 25,000 next month
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Fiat launches ‘beach 2010’ mission

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Newest models will be shown along the Argentine coast
Fiat launches ‘beach 2010’ mission


This summer, Italian automaker FIAT Auto Argentina will be present all along the Atlantic coast and at different mountain centres in Córdoba promoting its latest vehicles. The stands will mainly exhibit the Fiat Linea, Fiat 500, the Adventure Locker line (includes models Idea, Palio, and Strada), Fiat PuntoMultiJet, and the Palio Groove that will be the main novelty of the summer, targeted to the younger public.

For the third consecutive year, Fiat will set stands at Uruguayan restaurant Tequila, located at the luxury beach resort of Punta del Este. In this occasion, models Fiat 500 and Linea will be the stars of the event. The famous Tequila restaurant has became one of the most exclusive and trendy places of Punta del Este, where every night celebrities, athletes, and businessmen meet up. Fiat did not want to be not be the exception.

This year, Fiat has reached an agreement with Argentine ice-cream chain Freddo to show the Adventure Locker Palio and the Idea models at Freddo storesi n La Barra and downtown.

As it’s been happening for the past years, Fiat will also be present in popular Mar del Plata city. It’s already a classic of every summer to find the Fiat stands at the Tío Curzio beach resort, where this year models Linea and Punto MultiJet will be exhibited. Those who visit the stand wil have the chance to try all models, get a souvenir, and also participate in games. Also, be aware that parties and numerous special activities will he held at the Tío Curzio resort.

In Cariló (around 400 kilometres from BA city), Fiat Argentina will be exhibiting the Fiat 500 and Linea at the commercial area in the downtown.

Likewise, the Italian automaker will also be present in Pinamar, where the company will set a large showroom and Customer Care centre (Av. Bunge 620). Visitors will have tha chance to watch and try the models Fiat Punto MultiJet, Fiat Linea, and Adventure Locker’s line vehicles (Idea, Palio, and Strada), Fiat Siena, and the new Fiat Palio Groove. Besides, tourists will be able to take free driving-tests, and participate in the Probá Fiat contests.

Last but not least, Fiat models will also hit the streets of VillaCarlos Paz, in the province of Córdoba. A huge stand will be set right at downtown area. The people of Córdoba will be delighted by the Palio Adventure Locker, Strada Adventure Locker, Fiat Punto MultiJet, the emblematic Fiat 500, and the new Fiat Linea.


LINK:Buenos Aires Herald
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Fiat India exhibits next-generation technology

Fiat India exhibits next-generation technology at 2010 AutoExpo
Fiat500-by-Diesel


01/06/10


Fiat India is showcasing its new variants at the Auto Expo 2010 – Fiat 500 by Diesel, Linea Dualogic Transmission, Linea T-Jet, Grande Punto Natural Power, Grande Punto Sports and Grande Punto Trendz. The new Fiat 500 by Diesel was seen by the public for the first time. The car inspired by the leading European fashion brand – ‘Diesel’, comes in 3 funky colours- Diesel Green, Diesel Black and Diesel Bronze. In addition to this, the car also sports unique 16 inch Diesel logo alloy wheels, yellow painted brake calipers, Diesel side moldings, flared rear view mirrors and eye-catching front end ‘whiskers’.

The car’s chic exterior look extends to the interiors as well, as exemplified by the Diesel brand denim cloth upholstery (with yellow stitching). The basic Sport version also has a Diesel logo on the dashboard and on the gear lever knob. The Fiat 500 by Diesel is available in any of three engine sizes (1.2 liter 69 HP, 1.3 liter Multijet 75 HP with DPF and 1.4 liter 16V 100 HP) coupled to 5-speed or 6-speed manual transmission. Along with the Fiat 500 by Diesel, Fiat’s other possible future variants were also very well received. The Auto Expo, India’s biggest auto show, has always been a great platform to showcase upcoming company products and plans. Taking full advantage of this fact, Fiat’s grand show to unveil these variants is bound to spark considerable consumer interest on the company’s upcoming plans.

The Linea, launched in January last year, has been a great success in the Indian auto market. Within one year, the classy sedan, sold over 13,000 units and continues to rake in the numbers. Now, along with the popular existent model, Indian consumers may also have access to the Linea Dualogic Transmission and the Linea T-Jet.

Linea Dualogic Transmission will have a built in transmission system that allows the user to switch between automatic & manual modes while also having the choice of using both the automatic and manual modes. The variant offers around 10% more mileage than a traditional Automatic Transmission and around 3-5% mileage improvement over a Manual Transmission. The Linea T-Jet on the other hand is the latest generation of petrol engines from the Fiat stable. The variant is higher powered as compared to the existing model and has a 110 PS Turbocharged Petrol Engine. To further add to the exciting prospect of a high powered Linea, the T-Jet will be available in a ravishing ‘red-purple’ shade that is sure to make heads turn.

The Grande Punto, launched in June of last year, and has been very well received having sold over 10000 units since launch would now be available in three variants – Grande Punto Natural Power, Grande Punto Sports and Grande Punto Trendz. The Grande Punto Natural Power, the new dual-fuel version of Fiat, will sport a bi-fuel engine (petrol/CNG) with negligible CO2 emissions. Fiat is currently the largest selling brand of CNG powered cars in Europe with around 200,000 units sold in 2009. Upon launching in India, this technology and innovation is sure to change the way consumers look at bi fuel engines.The Grande Punto Sport and Grande Punto Trendz are Fiat’s gift to the cool and modern Indian youth and come with a number of cool add-ons to surely make the user the talk of the town. This variant is a top end model of the Grande Punto range, sporting a 1.3 Multijet engine with a 90 HP power output. To make it more appealing to the Indian youth, the car will also sport a funky electric sunroof, a rear spoiler, sport red decals and dual colour interior leather seats. With these exciting add-ons, the user is sure to feel exhilarated and ready to take on the world. The Grande Punto Trendz is a limited edition variant fired up with the powerful 1.2 FIRE petrol engine. The car’s Active Plus option comes in bright and vibrant external colours with sporty decals. The car’s interior has been tastefully done to compliment the bold exterior with a high-tech CD/MP3/ FM audio system also added to the trendy mix. All these variants could be available in the near future.
LINK: Fiat India exhibits next-generation technology at 2010 AutoExpo -WheelsUnplugged Automobile Industry News
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Alfa Romeo brand 'not up for sale

* Alfa Romeo brand 'not up for sale'


* Fiat needs to be 'realistic' on Alfa Romeo's role

* Marchionne sees Jeep as a way to boost sales in China


DETROIT, Jan 11

Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Monday the company's Alfa Romeo brand is not up for sale, but that he understands its shortcomings and is working to determine a strategic direction for the luxury sports car unit.

Fiat, which took a 20 percent stake in Chrysler last year as part of the U.S. automaker's bankruptcy restructuring, is also close to deciding whether to reintroduce Alfa Romeo vehicles to U.S. consumers, Marchionne said.

"We need to be realistic on what Alfa should do," he told reporters at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Marchionne, who heads both Fiat and Chrysler, said Chrysler's iconic Jeep brand would be the most immediate way for the companies to tap China's rapidly growing auto industry, which overtook the United States as the world's largest car market last year.

Marchionne said the Fiat-Chrysler alliance has started to discuss ways to promote the Jeep brand in China and boost the combined company's presence there.

LINK:AUTOSHOW-UPDATE 1-Fiat's Alfa Romeo not up for sale-CEO | Reuters
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Fiat 500 BEV goes on display

Fiat 500 BEV goes on display

A Fiat 500 (left) and Fiat 500 BEV (battery electric vehicle)


A Fiat 500 and Fiat 500 BEV (battery electric vehicle) engineering study on display at the Chrysler Group LLC stand at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Fiat 500 BEV







 

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Discussion Starter #47
Fiat Ducato UK’s best motor home base

Fiat Ducato UK’s best motor home base

January 18, 2010





For the fourth consecutive year the Fiat Ducato has been named the top vehicle on which to base a motor home in the Which Motorcaravan Awards 2010, presented by the UK’s leading motor home magazine.

The Ducato was designed specifically for the motor home market, and the judges praised its blend of power, acceleration, relaxing drive and the smooth gearshifts from Fiat’s six-speed MTA automatic transmission.

“It is the MTA-equipped vehicles which impressed us most,” said Which Motorcaravan awards judge, Peter Vaughan.

“We had no qualms in giving the Ducato MTA victory in the Base Vehicle category last year. And nothing has changed to stop it winning again this time around.

“With power aplenty and smooth shifts, the MTA Ducato is just effortless. It puts you in the holiday spirit straight away,” he said.

Fiat is currently the market leader in mainland Europe and the UK for the supply of base vehicles to the motor home industry.

LINK:http://www.caradvice.com.au/53488/fiat-ducato-uks-best-motor-home-base/
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Maserati announces pricing for new GT convertible

Maserati announces pricing for new GT convertible
January 19th, 2010





Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati North America, the U.S. representative of Fiat-owned Maserati, has released the base price for its 2010 GranTurismo Convertible with initial deliveries scheduled for late spring.

The ultra-premium drop-top, the first-ever four-seat Maserati convertible, will carry a base price of $135,800, plus tax, title and license and you can reserve yours now at one of the 56 Maserati dealers in North America.

The 2010 GranTurismo is a hand-built, four-seat convertible offered what Maserati calls “an unprecedented level of personalization” including nine standard and five optional exterior colors, interior seating in a choice of ten shades of Poltrona Frau leather, six soft-top colors (Black, Burgundy, Blue, Dark Gray, Beige and Dark Brown), three wood trim options with Rosewood standard and Walnut or Wenge available as no-cost options, 20-inch Birdcage design wheels with your choice of six different optional brake colors and all the other amenities one would expect from a car
that costs the same as a house. The price of admission includes a set of tailored luggage from Ferragamo.

The GranTurismo Convertible is equipped with a 4.7-liter, 433 horsepower V8 and a six-speed adaptive automatic transmission
with standard paddle shifters.

For more infomation, visit the Maserati North America website.

LINK:Maserati announces pricing for new GT convertible | Allpar Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep News
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Fiat sees '09 beating estimates

UPDATE 1-Fiat sees '09 beating estimates, '10 improving


* Fiat CEO says 2009 will beat average of consensus

* Year results to be announced on Jan. 25

* CEO says 2010 to be better even without sales incentives

MILAN, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Fiat SpA's <FIA.MI> 2009 results
will beat the average of consensus figures from analysts, Chief
Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Wednesday, and he said this
year would be better even without any incentives for car
buyers.

"They will be above the average; they will be better,"
Marchionne told reporters at an awards presentation.

He said if there were no tax breaks from the government on
car sales in 2010, "we would be able to take that blow," and
this year's results would still be better than 2009's.

Fiat, which owns a 20 percent stake in U.S. car maker
Chrysler Group LLC, is set to publish results for the fourth
quarter and year on Jan. 25, but visibility for 2010 and 2011
remains limited ahead of a new industrial plan.

The consensus forecast for the Italian carmaker is for
group trading profit of 460 million euros for the fourth
quarter and just over Fiat's target of 1 billion euros for the
year.

Fiat polled analysts to arrive at the consensus on Jan. 7.
But some brokers had already suggested that Fiat could beat the
consensus based on Italian, Brazilian and European car sales
data released since Jan. 4. [ID:nLDE6030W0] [ID:nSPG002671]

"Sales were better than the consensus forecast, so we're
expecting a net industrial debt under 5 billion euros ($7.10
billion), because working capital grew less," said an analyst.
Two further analysts from leading Italian institutions agreed.

According to data from the consensus compiled by Fiat, auto
trading profit should be 200 million euros and group net
industrial debt should stand at 5.015 billion euros.

For the year as a whole, the group is expected to post a
trading profit of 1.030 billion euros and a net loss of 470
million euros.

In May last year the group set out objectives targeting a
group net profit above 100 million euros for 2009, a trading
profit above 1 billion euros and net industrial debt at 5
billion euros.

Fiat won't meet its net profit target because of
exceptional circumstances, and in particular depreciation,
which will weigh on its bottom line.

"They have talked about noncash depreciation on some
platforms, because of program changes for new models," said
another analyst.

At the release of its third quarter results in October,
Fiat said that as a result of aligning some business with
Chrysler's, it could review past investments, "necessitating
the write-off, as unusual items, of these legacy investments."
[ID:nLL248922]

The uncertainties weighing on 2010 performance are linked
to the possible renewal of scrapping incentive programs in
Europe, and to the limited visibility of the heavy goods
vehicle and industrial machine markets.

The Italian government has said its incentives, which ended
on Dec. 31, will be extended in some form this year but has yet
to give details.

Analysts are looking for clues on possible synergies and
savings from Fiat's stake in U.S. automaker Chrysler, and on
new products.

Below are consensus forecasts compiled by Fiat. They show
the median of the estimates of 25 analysts who responded to a
survey sent out by the group's investor relations department on
Jan. 7.

Q4 09 2009 2010 2011

Group Trading Profit 460 1,030 1,490 2,190

Auto Trading profit 200 480 400 630

CNH Trading Profit 110 350 515 690

Iveco Trading Profit 35 60 180 360

Pretax profit 30 (210) 790 1,560

Net profit 65 (470) 535 1,060

Net industrial debt 5,015 5,015 4,700 4,100
($1=.7040 Euro)
(Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo; Additional Reporting by Nigel
Tutt; Writing by Helen Massy-Beresford; Editing by Gerald E.
McCormick)
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Fiat will merge Alfa, Maserati and Abarth

Fiat will merge Alfa, Maserati and Abarth into single brand group

Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2010 at 12:27 PM EST.(Employee News)

Fiat S.p.A. has created a new brand group for its sporty Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth marques, the Automotive News reported.

The group will be headed by Harald J. Wester, who is currently CEO of Maserati and Abarth as well as chief technical officer at Fiat Group and Fiat Group Automobiles, the trade paper said. Wester will keep all of his current job responsibilities, the Automotive News said.

Alfa’s current CEO, Sergio Cravero, is reassigned to head of product portfolio planning and product concept at Fiat Group Automobiles, the story said. (Automotive News)
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Fiat's new EVO-lution

Fiat drives a new EVO-lution

Jan 25 2010


ITALIAN giant Fiat holds the distinction of being the car maker with the greenest credentials in Europe.

And with the launch of its new Punto Evo the company is raising the stakes - in terms of both cleanliness and quality.

Acutely conscious of the fact that increasing numbers of people are downsizing to more environmentally friendly, cheaper to run and easier to park models, Fiat has replaced a top notch performer with an even better one.

So out goes the Grande Punto - currently Europe's fifth best seller - to make way for Punto Evo, a car with the potential to prove an even bigger success.


Not only does the new arrival look the part, it also comes with a raft of fresh innovations and safety features.

Inside, the cabin looks and feels classy even in the most basic Active trim, while the piano black panel surrounding the sound system adds an upmarket touch. The seats are also comfortable and the two-tone plastics soft rather than brittle.

Every model in the 22-strong line-up is fitted with Fiat's Blue&Me interface that controls all the car's major functions. However it's well worth the extra £275 to add the slick new Blue&Me Tom Tom.

This means fingertip access to a touchscreen navigation set-up, mobile phone, trip computer and MP3 player with steering wheel commands.

It is compact, links to the car via a discreet connector on the dash and being portable it can be used in any other vehicle. It also includes something called eco:Drive, whereby owners receive info on how to reduce the environmental impact of their driving style.

The Punto Evo's trump card though is located beneath the bonnet in the shape of two new engine ranges - the MultiAir petrol family and MultiJet II diesels.

All five powerplants in the line-up conform to Euro 5 emissions rules and have fuel-saving Start&Stop technology as standard, the oil-burners boasting such low CO2 that car tax is £35 a year.

MultiAir, which will eventually be rolled out across the whole Fiat stable, works by optimising air intake over the car's entire rev range. The upshot is a reduction in fuel consumption, lowering of emissions and boosting of power - all by an average 10 per cent.

Two 1.4-litre MultiAir engines are available from launch, one producing 105bhp, the other a turbo-charged 135bhp, and there are also the familiar Fiat trim grades of Active, Dynamic, GP, Eleganza and Sporting.

The 1.3-litre MultiJet II - available with 75 or 95bhp - is a development of the proven diesel engine already used by the company and, like the petrol unit, is also more efficient. It will be joined by a 1.6-litre 120bhp model in October.

Entry to the Evo experience is the 8-valve 1.4 Active 77bhp three-door model at £10,995, the only petrol engine not to feature MultiAir technology. Range topper is the 135bhp model in (three-door only) Sporting trim.

Nonetheless it's an engaging car to drive, well balanced and capable of returning just under 50 miles per gallon, though it struggles a bit uphill. Fiat expects this car and the 105bhp MultiAir to prove the biggest sellers.

The latter, which costs £14,095 as a five-door in sporty GP trim and has a six-speed manual gearbox, proved terrific fun to drive around the picturesque Forest Of Dean.

Give the car a few revs and it responds with a lovely peppy engine note and fair degree of punch, though it came up short of the claimed average fuel figure of 49.6mpg.

The ride was also firm, though GP and Sporting versions feature a Sport chassis while the rest have a Comfort set-up.

Regards the Start&Stop, I have driven cars that respond more instantly though the Evo's system works well enough to avoid that feeling that you've stalled the engine.

Safety spec includes a driver's knee airbag, ABS and hill holder. Electric mirrors and front windows, adjustable steering wheel and 'follow me home' lighting are also included on every car.

There's also the scope to personalise with stickers, stripes and various wing mirror covers from £70.

Spirito Di Punto may have been the thrust of a past generation of this car, now Fiat is urging fans of the marque to 'Drive the Evolution' - the Evo certainly has what it takes to succeed.

LINK:Fiat drives a new EVO-lution - Perthshire Advertiser
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Fiat plans two-week production stop

Fiat plans two-week production stop in February-March amid falling orders


01/26/10

ROME — Fiat will halt car production at all its Italian plants for two weeks starting at the end of February amid a sharp drop in orders, the company said Tuesday.

Some 30,000 workers will be temporarily laid off from Feb. 22 to March 7 after orders this month "sharply declined," reaching a lower level than January last year, Fiat said.

The announcement came a day after Fiat, which has a controlling stake in Chrysler LCC, reported a fourth-quarter loss due to a sharp decline in sales of trucks and construction equipment — even as sales of its small, fuel-efficient cars rose thanks to cash-for-clunkers incentives.

The company also reported a loss for the full year, but cut its net debt level more than anticipated and significantly strengthened its cash position.

It warned that its fortunes in the coming year would depend heavily on whether European governments continue scrapping incentives that have benefited makers of small cars.


LINK:Fiat plans two-week production stop in February-March amid falling orders | Washington Examiner
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth brands

PRESS RELEASE

HARALD WESTER NEW CEO OF ALFA ROMEO AUTOMOBILES

Harald J. Wester has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Alfa Romeo Automobiles, replacing Sergio Cravero, who will assume responsibility for Product Portfolio Planning & Product Concept of Fiat Group Automobiles.

Mr. Wester will maintain his current positions as Chief Technical Officer for Fiat Group and Fiat Group Automobiles and Chief Executive Officer of Maserati and Abarth.

The Fiat Group Chief Executive, Sergio Marchionne, stated: "The purpose of bringing the Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth brands under the same leadership is to emphasize and leverage the value of the shared qualities of the three brands in terms of their sporting characteristics and performance. Harald Wester, who has demonstrated his enormous commitment on several fronts and achieved optimum results, will bring strong leadership capabilities and solid technical experience and know-how to this project. In his new role, Sergio Cravero will be well positioned to fully leverage his technical and commercial abilities."

Turin, 22 January 2010

Harald J. Wester

Harald J. Wester, born in Linz am Rhein (Germany) on 26 February 1958, received his Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Braunschweig University in 1986. He began his professional career at Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg where he served as General Manager of the Vehicle Research and New Concepts department from 1991 to 1995. Later that year, he joined Audi AG in Inglostadt where he became Program Manager for A2 models and Special Vehicles, a position that he held until January 1999. Subsequently, he joined Ferrari S.p.A. as Director of Product Development until his appointment in 2002 as Group President Engineering and Chief Technical Officer (Research, Development and Technologies) of Magna Steyr AG. In 2004, he joined the Fiat Group where he took on the role of Chief Technical Officer for Fiat Group Automobiles and, subsequently, CTO for the Fiat Group. In addition to these roles, in August 2008 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Maserati S.p.A. and, in January 2009, Chief Executive Officer of Abarth & C. S.p.A.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Fiat and Sollers Establish Global Alliance

Fiat and Sollers Establish Global Alliance in Russia

Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia, Feb 11, 2010 -

A FIAT GROUP Sollers press release follows. Please note 2.4 billion EURO = US $ 3.3 billion

Fiat S.p.A. and SOLLERS have announced the establishment of global alliance in the format of a joint venture for the production of Passenger Cars and SUVs. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Vadim Shvetsov, CEO of SOLLERS, and Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FIAT Group, in the presence of Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of Russia.

The total production capacity of the new JV will be up to 500,000 vehicles per year by 2016. Nine new models (C and D segments, SUVs) will be marketed on the Russian market with up to six to be produced on a new global FIAT-Chrysler platform. A minimum 10 percent of the produced vehicles will be shipped to export markets. The FIAT/SOLLERS project will be implemented in Naberezhnye Chelny, located 1,000 Km East of Moscow in the Republic of Tatarstan. The SOLLERS-Naberezhnye Chelny plant production site will be expanded by new production facilities and a technology park for component production.

Development and technical adaptation to the Russian market of the new vehicles will be carried out at the Engineering Technical Centre of the JV, with intellectual property rights for the platform to be contributed to the JV.

Target localization within the framework of the given project will reach no less than 50 percent, including the production of engines and gearboxes and the establishment of a new technology park for the production of components. Moreover, the required components will be produced at the production site of ZMZ and at the new technology park in Togliatti.

Thus, the establishment of FIAT/SOLLERS JV in Russia will become one of the biggest investment projects in the Russian automotive sector and will include all key aspects of vehicle production with high added value.

For implementation of the project the JV expects to get the support from the Russian Government in raising long-term loans at a favorable subsidized interest rate for the whole amount of the investments required, estimated at € 2.4 billion.

“The plans to implement a full-scale joint project reflect our confidence about the future development of the Russian automotive market. By establishing one of the global production centres specializing in the development and production of FIAT and Chrysler Group vehicles in Russia, we will be able to offer our customers the most desirable products in the most attractive passenger car segments and to occupy leading positions in the growing Russian market in forthcoming years,” said Vadim Shvetsov, CEO of SOLLERS.

For Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Group and Chrysler Group, “Today’s agreement marks a turning point for our presence on the Russian market. This is one of the largest alliances signed by our Group in one of the World’s most important markets. This partnership forms part of Fiat Group’s and Chrysler Group’s strategy of increased internationalization which will allow us to also leverage our two Group’s know-how, expand our geographical footprint, increase customer choice and achieve cost benefits.”
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Alfa Romeo back in the U.S. by 2012

Marchionne: Alfa Romeo back in the U.S. by 2012

Feb 16th 2010




It's been 15 years since Alfa Romeo last sold vehicles in the U.S. market, but according to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, we won't have to wait much longer for a chance to own a vehicle donning the Cross and Serpent. Automotive News is reporting that Marchionne insisted that Alfa will return Stateside in the next 24 months, adding: "I'm a lot more confident now that Alfa Romeo will reconstitute a product offering that is acceptable globally, and more in particular in the United States and Canada."

To make the jump to the U.S. and Canada, Alfa will reportedly need to rely on its newest sibling Chrysler for the appropriate platforms. AN sources say that the most likely Alfas to make the trans-Atlantic journey are the successors to the 159 and 166, but those vehicles could be sitting on Chrysler platforms when they make their way to production. The 159 replacement would reportedly be built in the U.S. with a scheduled 2012 arrival and it could rest atop Chrysler's "compact wide" midsize architecture. The range may eventually also spawn both a sedan and wagon. AN indicates that the 166 successor could be matched up with The Pentastar's large rear drive platform that currently underpins the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, with the vehicle being built at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario plant. The 147 replacement that is scheduled to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show will apparently not be coming to North America.

We're really hoping Alfas will in fact arrive on our shores within the next couple years, but we've certainly witnessed this song and dance before. There is no question that Fiat has to do something with Alfa, though, as global sales that have gone from 203,000 in 2000 to 102,000 in 2009 won't cut it for long.


LINK:Marchionne: Alfa Romeo back in the U.S. by 2012 — Autoblog
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Small Engines Get Even Smaller:

Small Engines Get Even Smaller: Fiat's Turbocharged Twin
February 18th, 2010

Small Engines Get Even Smaller: Fiat's Turbocharged Twin - Green Car Reports
Share

February 18th, 2010



Fiat 900cc TwinAir engine, to be introduced for Fiat 500 at 2010 Geneva Motor Show


As we keep saying, one of the ways that automakers will meet more stringent fuel economy regulations is by making smaller engines that work harder.

Now Fiat has one-upped its European competition by announcing it will offer a 900cc turbocharged twin in European models of its Fiat 500 mini-car. That engine won't be fitted to the 2011 Fiat 500 to be offered in the U.S. at the end of the year; it will use a 1.4-liter four.

Fiat and Tata only

The tiny new engine, to be called TwinAir (but unrelated to the global air-filter company also called TwinAir), helps Fiat meet increasingly stringent European limits on carbon dioxide emissions.

The company hasn't released figures, but pledges that TwinAir-equipped Fiat 500s will emit less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

While two-cylinder engines were common in postwar European small cars, Fiat last offered a twin in 1996 in one model of its Cinquecento mini-car.

Today, only one other carmaker now offers a two-cylinder engine in a production car. That's the 623cc, 33-horsepower twin used in the Tata Nano now on sale in India.

Threes common

Many makers offer three-cylinder engines in European models, with the smallest being an 800cc diesel, developing 45 hp, that is offered in European Smart ForTwo models. Other threes are offered by Chevrolet Mitsubishi, Opel, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota, among others.

Fiat's new turbo twin develops 85 hp from its 900cc. When it is introduced at next month's Geneva Motor Show, it will be accompanied by a base 65-hp version and a high-performance 105-hp turbo model as well.

Electrohydraulic variable valves

All three twins use the MultiAir technology Fiat pioneered on its small four-cylinder engines. Compared to an engine with standard valvegear, the electrohydraulic system that varies valve timing not only cuts fuel usage by roughly 10 percent but boosts power as well.

Fiat plans to use the two-cylinder in other small cars it sells in Europe and elsewhere. The engine can run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG).
 

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Fiat in two-week Italian shutdown

Fiat in two-week Italian shutdown




Monday, 22 February 2010
Fiat is temporarily shutting six Italian factories for a fortnight.

The carmaker said the move was needed because the end of car scrappage schemes in Europe had led to "a collapse in orders".

About half of Fiat's Italian car plant workers, some 30,000 people, will be affected. There were demonstrations over the weekend at Fiat factories.

Earlier this month, Italy's government announced it would not be renewing the country's car scrappage scheme.

The plants concerned, which make cars rather than trucks and farm machinery, are in Rome, Turin, Naples and Sicily. Five of them are owned by Fiat and the sixth is a joint venture with Peugeot.

"Over the past year we have had various plant stoppages, but this is first time that all the plants have been closed at the same time for two weeks," said Fiat Group vice-president for communications Richard Gadeselli.

He added: "The car industry in the past used to stockpile new cars, but now we're only building to demand."

The unions have requested a meeting with Fiat's management and the government on the future of Fiat.

The longer-term outlook for Fiat's Termini Imerese factory in Sicily is in question. The car firm plans to shut it in a year's time and relocate some production to other Italian sites.

The Italian government is keen to see the plant remain in operation and has been taking bids from other firms to convert the factory and keep it open.
Story from BBC NEWS:

BBC News - Fiat shuts down six Italian car plants for two weeks
 

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Chrysler Group Names Laura Soave to Lead Fiat Brand for North America

Auburn Hills, Mich. , Mar 10, 2010 - Chrysler Group LLC today appointed Laura J. Soave to serve as the Head of the Fiat Brand for North America.



Soave will lead the reintroduction of the Fiat Brand in North America, beginning with the Fiat 500. She holds full profit and loss responsibility for the Fiat product portfolio in North America. In her position, Soave, who reports to Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler Group, will work with the brand Presidents and industrial leads to fully integrate Fiat product into the marketing, sales, service and dealer network organizations.

“Laura joins Chrysler with extensive experience in automotive marketing,” said Marchionne. “Her rich background will serve as a springboard for reintroducing the Fiat brand when it takes to U.S. and Canadian roads this December after more than a 25-year absence. This truly iconic car exemplifies Italian style, technology and passion and, offers something more. The 500 heralds a new vision of technology’s role in sustainable mobility.”

Soave joins Chrysler Group from Volkswagen of America where she most recently was the General Manager of Experiential Marketing leading consumer marketing initiatives. While at VW, she also was the head of advertising and communications activities for all large passenger vehicles and SUVs. Prior to that, she worked at Ford Motor Company in a variety of positions including most recently as a Brand DNA Manager where she managed the repositioning of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands.

About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat Group, produces Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck, Mopar® and Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) brand vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler’s culture of innovation – first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925 – and Fiat’s complementary technology – from a company whose heritage dates back to 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group LLC’s product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler and Ram Truck. Fiat will contribute world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-sized cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.
 

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2010 Alfa Romeo Giulietta – Official Photos and Info

March 19, 2010

Even with a base motor, this Alfa still qualifies as a hot hatch.

Alfa Romeo will be introducing the most important model in its history at the Geneva auto show . Alfa has been in a tailspin for the last decade or so, and Fiat—and Chrysler—head honcho Sergio Marchionne has made it clear that the brand, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, won’t live to see many more birthdays unless it can prove itself worth sustained support.

The most important Alfa ever is not the next iteration of the 8C supercar, nor is it a ground-breaking new microcar. No, the car upon which the future of the brand hinges is the pedestrian 2010 Giulietta. About the size of the Volkswagen Golf, the Giulietta is the first vehicle to be based on Fiat’s new C-evo platform, an architecture that will underpin a number of Fiat and Chrysler models.

More Here:
 

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Fiat Doblo new model released in Europe & UK

March 22, 2010

Fiat has released details of its new Doblo model in Europe and the UK. Building on the model’s reputation as a versatile, practical and value for money people mover, the new Doblo boasts improved comfort, style, economy, safety and running costs.


First going on sale in 2000, the Doblo has since sold more than 1 million units around the globe. The new Doblo will be offered in eight variants featuring seating for up to seven passengers (five seats as standard).

Doblo features innovation new bi-link suspension, a new exterior appearance and 790-litre boot that can be expanded to 3200-litres with the seats flipped down. The second and third row seats are also removable.



Engine choices include 1.6- and 2.0-litre turbo diesel and 1.4-litre petrol units. All engines are Euro V compliant and feature Start&Stop technology and a gear shift indicator.

Safety features include standard ABS with EBD, ESP, Hill Start Assist plus front and side airbags.



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