Today, Chrysler announced it gave Fiat a 35 percent stake in its company, initiating a partnership that gives both companies access to new markets and technologies. Chrysler has suffered over the past few years because of its model line-up of trucks and SUVs, which haven't been selling well, and its lack of presence in international markets. Fiat wants to reenter the U.S. market, and could benefit from Chrysler's dealer network. We might soon see Dodge Challengers ripping across Europe, and Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealerships in the U.S. adding Fiat and Alfa Romeo to their signs.
The deal also lets Chrysler build cars based on Fiat platforms, opening up the possibility of a new generation of small, economical Dodge and Chrysler-badged cars. In Europe, Fiat has a Microsoft-powered system called Blue and Me, which offers similar features to Ford's Sync system, such as cell phone and MP3 player connectivity. With the new partnership, Chrysler could adopt that technology in its cars, giving Ford some new competition. Of course, we would really like to see Dodge adopt Fiat-owned Ferrari engine technology.
(Via Washington Post)