Ahhh another day with the automakers…

fiat-spider

The Chrysler Fiat deal is having a precarious day as Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and a dual Italian/Canadian citizen insists that the CAW and UAW reduce their labour costs to be in line with those of Japanese and German automakers. Using terms like “historical entitlement” and characterizing labour demands as nonsensical, Mr. Marchionne insists he is willing to walk away from the deal if these demands are not met.  Sergio is clearly in the drivers’ seat. Chrysler is on the verge of bankruptcy and its only way out is to find a partner by the end of the month; once partnered they will receive seven billion dollars in bailout money. Fiat is not on the verge of bankruptcy and with a successful deal will receive a platform from which to penetrate the North American market, though they will have to maintain Chrysler brands like Dodge and Jeep. Sounds pretty good… 

But I can’t think of a single friend (maybe one?) who drives a domestic (GM, Chrysler or Ford) vehicle. I did own one – a Ford Escort… I drove it 86,000KM, put in two clutches and then sold it for $2100. My current vehicle is a 1994 Toyota 4Runner with 290,000 Km’s on it. A trade in on the Toyota will net me $2400. Hmmmmm. Lesson – don’t buy domestic – you will be poorer. Why is it that North American autoworkers are likely the best paid in the world, yet produce cars that don’t hold their value and pollute the environment on a massive scale -Ford Expedition anyone? Gimme a Prius! Fiat on other hand is kind of cute and funky – I have clear memories of a very cute boy who drove a Fiat Spider… I don’t have similar memories of Dodge caravans…   Sergio, bring costs in line and cut the deal… I look forward to “fix it again tony (Fiat)” arriving on these shores… And Sergio, with that dual citizenship I can totally see you in a nice Yaletown condo overlooking the Mini Cooper dealership 🙂

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