American Elephants

Climate Change is Dead. Fiat Expands Chrysler SUV Production to Italy. by The Elephant's Child
December 3, 2010, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Europe | Tags: , ,

Auto sales are this year are already ahead of  last year. Light trucks have outsold passenger cars in November, capturing 53.5  percent of the market, while hybrid cars have declined from 2.8 percent of the market to 2.4 percent of the market, in spite of ObamaMedia’s claims that the hybrid world is here. Americans have renewed their love affair with SUVs.

President Green’s handpicked CEO for Chrysler— Sergio Marchionne — who was to educate Americans on the wonders of very compact cars — will now build Jeep and Alfa Romeo SUVs in Italy to feed the European truck market.  Chrysler’s Detroit plant will start building Maserati SUVs on the Jeep platform. The Jeep Grand Cherokee plant is running 24/7 turning out SUVs on which the company actually makes money.

This is the company to which Obama gave 20 percent of Chrysler— for free — in return for building one 40-mpg teeny car, the Fiat 500, here in the states.  He will use U.S. ‘platforms’ and make as many as 280,000 vehicles a year at the Italian plant.  New Jeep and Alfa models will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2012.

Going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

5 Comments so far
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Agree that it is ironic that Fiat is chasing the SUV market as well as the market for cute Cinquecentos (Fiat 500s). But the fact that Fiat might make some SUVs (to serve a very small market in Europe) is unlikely to set the world afire.

France’s Renault (wisely) stayed out of the SUV market for years, concentrating instead on energy-efficient vehicles and comfortable but boring sedan-vans. Then, sometime in the early 2000s, when oil prices were still cheap, it decided to build one. It’s car, the Koleos, was unveiled in 2006, just as oil prices were heading northwards.

It has been an almost complete flop in Europe, and sales were so abysmal in the UK that they stopped selling it there.

Typically, the only people who can afford to own and run gas guzzling SUVs in Europe are very rich (and most of those people prefer big Mercedes sedans), ex-pat North Americans, and people who manage to convince their employers to let them have one as their company car.

But the EU and many of its member states are busy closing loopholes in the tax system that favor providing company cars (and fuel credit cards) in lieu of higher salaries. A study undertaken by for the European Commission last year, for example, estimated that the fiscal cost in terms of lost tax revenues from the under-taxation of the true value of the benefits conferred to employees by company cars and credit cards could be as much as €54 billion ($70) billion dollars a year in the EU.

Many people are asking: wouldn’t it be better to reduce the overall income-tax rates and close those loopholes?

As for climate change as a policy issue (much less an environmental concern) being “dead”, dream on. Just because you like to read that in your tea leaves doesn’t make it so.


Comment by Subsidy Eye

Americans have renewed their love affair
with Gas hogs until gas prices jump again.
The prospect of an Italian S.U.V based on
a Jeep platform is dim , and would be a
not so intelligent idea since S.U.Vs exist
already the market is flooded with them.
They have Volvo XC90 , BMW X5 , VW Touareg
Mercedes ML , Porsche Cayenne and most of
those have diesel options.
The Fiat S.U.V is a non-starter

All it will take is $5.00 A Gallon gas
prices to deflate the truck/S.U.V bubble.
This video is more like reality


Comment by Ron spins

So when does the hybrid Ferrari debut? How about a gas sipping, wind powered, solar rechargeable Lamborghini? Just curious.


Comment by zeusiswatching

The market is already flooded in Europe
for S.U.Vs. They have the Volvo XC90 , BMW X5
VW Touareg , Mercedes ML , Porsche Cayenne and
many others.
Many of the above have Diesel engines as options.

They are not going to build a S.U.V it has
pretty much been shot down , mainly by the
Union there .


Comment by Ron spins

Thanks for the links, Ron Spins. I agree with your assessment entirely. Facts rule over wishful thinking!


Comment by Subsidy Eye

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