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#63 of 92 Re: Yes, because... [iluvmysephia1]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Feb 02, 2009 (8:06 pm)
If the government doesn't help you, why have a government?
I don't need a government to go tell me to go sink or swim. That's one message citizens do NOT like to hear.
American will endure great sacrifices if you give them a job to go to.
Autoworkers don't have to just build cars. They can re-cycle them, too, or rebuild them.
#64 of 92 Re: Yes, because... [Mr_Shiftright]
Feb 08, 2009 (9:37 am)
If the government doesn't help you, why have a government?
Many people look at business and life like a game. As such government is the infrastructure and rules of the game. There will be people who do better and worse in the game; the government however should not be biased deciding which of the players get special treatment.
If something is "too big to fail" - like AIG, Citi, or the D3, then we need a new game-rule to limit their size before they must be split-up into separate organizations.
Right now the world does not need all these auto-makers, and the weak would fail, allowing the strong to survive if we let them. The alternative is for each to shrink greatly.
If Fiat or any other company wants to get involved with Cerberus or Chrysler, that should trigger immediate repayment of the Chrysler loan to the U.S.
If I knew Chrysler is going to entertain $0-Down-Deals, why heck many of us can make those.
#65 of 92 It All Started on February 16th, 2007
Jun 01, 2009 (12:29 pm)
Hello all. I started this thread and I'm amazed how long it has lasted. Indeed, I wonder if the "new" Chrysler will last longer than how long this thread has been in existence. It is my hope they do.
In reflection, I believe if they had heeded my words, Chrysler would be in a better position product development wise, but even I didn't expect the downturn to be as severe financially.
I went on the Fiat website to refresh my thoughts and impressions of the current Fiat and Alfa Romeo line-up. And it is my fervent hope that Fiat will go through with resurrecting the Abarth name as a stand-alone brand for premium sports and GT configured Fiat cars like the Grande Punto, the 500 and Bravo. Of course, I expect to see the Abarth marketed and sold alongside their Chrysler branded, but lesser, siblings.
Anyone wanna make a bet?
#66 of 92 Re: It All Started on February 16th, 2007 [yipyipyipee]
Jun 01, 2009 (12:51 pm)
I think the Abarth legacy is probably no longer bankable in the US, as the heyday of the cars was 50 years ago. Of those who might buy, how many remember? Even the Alfa name is alien to a whole generation of American sports car enthusiasts.
Let me offer an alternative. I've suggested some variation on this scheme before, but here goes:
resurrect the Neon name as a separate brand, and fill it with "cheap and cheerful" Fiat-sourced vehicles like the 500, Qubo, Multipla, and Panda. The ad campaign could even start with "Hi again."
make Dodge a truck/van brand only
introduce Alfa Romeos as direct competitors for the sporty end of the VW line--if you try to pitch them directly against BMW they will not sell well
keep the Fiat brand name off of US-market cars
make Chrysler a brand for medium-to-large sedans only, and be prepared to sunset it
if and only if all this works, bring the Abarth name in as a higher-performance variant of the Alfa line
#67 of 92 Re: It All Started on February 16th, 2007 [stephen987]
Jun 01, 2009 (9:46 pm)
It will be really sweet if we get some U.S.-bound Abarths out of this, but will Fiat be able to shoulder the burden it is taking on here?
#68 of 92 Re: It All Started on February 16th, 2007 [nippononly]
Jun 02, 2009 (4:19 am)
A good question, particularly now that Fiat's bid for Opel appears to have failed. They could still try for Saab, but that would arguably give them exactly the wrong thing--too much exposure in the shrinking upper-middle market. Unlike many here, I think Fiat's small, quirky cars will do well in the US--think of them as alternatives to Scion, or to Kia's more interesting models (Soul, Rondo).
The wrong strategy would be to go directly into the mainstream--Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Hyundai are too well entrenched there, and frankly I doubt Fiat can match their quality. Now might be the exact right time to sell "cheap and cheerful."
#69 of 92 Re: It All Started on February 16th, 2007 [stephen987]
Jun 03, 2009 (10:02 am)
An interesting proposition, Stephen, but I was only thinking the Abarth name would be new to the American market, the same way Scion, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti were introduced. It would also fit with Fiat's global strategy to use the Abarth name to sell premium small cars against the MINI, the BMW One series, VW GTI, etc.
Abarth has been traditionally associated with Fiat cars and not Alfa Romeo, and I don't think Fiat would be too keen confuse the rest of the global market on that point. It is the age of the Internet, you know.
#70 of 92 Re: It All Started on February 16th, 2007 [yipyipyipee]
Jun 03, 2009 (10:51 am)
Good point, although there were also other brands used as a base for Abarth specials (Simca comes to mind). Perhaps Abarth could build only two-seaters and maybe a 500 variant.
My thinking was that "Neon" would work as an entry-level brand, and that Alfa would be the premium/performance brand. Creating a new brand might be more difficult than reviving an old one. Hard to say, though. The US market is really unpredictable right now.
Either way, I think we may be in for some interesting options by 2011. . .
#71 of 92 Re: It All Started on February 16th, 2007 [stephen987]
Jun 03, 2009 (11:01 am)
Oh, come on. Let's introduce Lancia into the mix and then we'll REALLY see what happens!
Indeed, it's a toss-up, although with the all the musical chairs, I think it would be a good time to introduce a "new" old brand.
#72 of 92 Re: It All Started on February 16th, 2007 [yipyipyipee]
Jun 03, 2009 (11:22 am)
I miss the Lancias from the pre-Fiat days. Elegantly styled, mechanically innovative, and well built.
Unfortunately Lancia's been on life support for decades, ever since the days of the ill-conceived Prisma and Dedra.