• Apr 27, 2009
Fiat Bravo - Click above for a high-res image gallery

For Chrysler, the cornerstone of its proposed alliance with Fiat is for the Italian automaker to supply its domestic partner with smaller, more fuel efficient platforms and drivetrains. It's been assumed that the Fiat 500 would be one of the vehicles Chrysler plans to market in the U.S., but according to a the Wall Street Journal, it may have more than a subcompact up its sleeve.

According to the report, Chrysler showed its (troubled) dealers the automaker's future products today in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and along with the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a revised Chrysler 300, a "sporty little sedan" produced by Fiat was in attendance.

Chrysler's head of design, Ralph Gilles, told dealers that the automaker intends to have its own version of the car, with Fiat providing the chassis and Chrysler designing the exterior.

Although the WSJ's source didn't specify which Fiat was shown, informed speculation says that it was likely the Fiat Bravo, which would make a killer Dodge Caliber replacement and would finally provide Chrysler with a true successor to the Neon after its demise in 2006.



[Source: WSJ]


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  • 80 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now would be a good time for dodge to find a way to make the Demon on one of these fiat platforms.. With Saturn and Pontiac now killed off there's no american two seater convertible except the corvette and that's a different market. . .
      • 5 Years Ago
      From my direct experience as FIAT customer, I can assure that the company has performerd an impressive raise in the general quality of its products. Bravo itself was industrialized by Magna Steir and it offers a quite balanced experience without penalizing design and appeal: engine range is now complete with petrol and diesel engine, all of them, except for the basic one, are turbocharged, electro-hydraulic power steering, full complement of ABS/ESP/ASR/HH, eight airbag and an aggressive look.
      What Bravo lacks is space: it was designed as a sport compact car. thus sacrificing room for baggage in the trunk and some internal space for rear passengers. I'm not so convincend that the diesel engines will be successful in the american market, but they are the best asset FIAT can provide in term of reliability, especially the 120Hp 1.9 Mjet which is really a working horse.
      The Tjet engine are funny, but not so petrol sparing, yet the downsizing may do the deal. The coming multiair system will certainly be applied to them cutting down the problem.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah the T-Jets are a bit wasteful but even if it only does ~7,6l/100km in real world conditions ze amerikaner think thats "good".
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think that leaving the old style 3 liters 6-in-line cylinders with old fashioned distribution for modern alloy plurivalves DOCH turbocharged engine should be a good start. That the multiair advent can only make better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, Chrysler would be doing themselves a favour by ditching the 300 in my opinion, horrible car. I think the American market might be receptive to substitution of an Alfa Romeo instead.
      I hope sk is wrong on the Challenger front though, perhaps not dynamically the best, but exciting nonetheless and certainly the type of car to lead a recovery with.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Isn't it ironic that Chrysler and Ford would come out of all of this with exciting products and Pontiac , which has had some great products lately, would be the one to die?

      Wow.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think that's ironic. What's ironic is that now should be the time Pontiac should die relative to its own lineup (G8, Solstice, maybe G6, maybe Vibe).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well G8 got great reviews, but the rest has been BS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Italian cars have more gremlins than a Spielberg film.
      They look great though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I rented one of these in Portugal for three weeks with the1.4 liter gas engine and a 6 speed manual. It was tightly put together, the quality of the materials was impressive for its class, and it drove and handled sweetly. The engine was a gem, and in the 2,300 km I put on it, no gremlins you speak of popped up, and the car already had the equivalent of 23,000 miles, which is a lot for a rental car. It's easy to understand why the Bravo falls third only to the C class juggernauts Golf and Focus in Europe. Americans have very outdated expectations of Fiats, and this car will surprise them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a hatchback = Won't sell in the U.S. Please try again.

      Fiat hasn't been able to make a car a lot of Americans would want to buy. There is no reason to think that by partnering up with another company that can't make cars Americans want to buy that either company will find success. Add in the fact that this company will be owned by the UAW and the Federal Government and it's pretty safe to say that whatever vehicle this unholy alliance brings to market is going to be D.O.A.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope they don't mess with the styling much.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is exactly the Fiat I want to see here. Hell, you can even keep the Caliber name as long as its offered in a proper sedan as well as hatch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "as long as its offered in a proper sedan as well as hatch"
        That's odd. A dissenter amongst the pro-compact-hatch members of this blog: interesting!
        Anyway, BRING IT (and don't cheapen the interior)!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I prefer a hatchback -- but that's not what sells around here now is it.

        I also own a 2001 Neon. Bought it new, I've done nothing but normal maint. and thats about it. 250,000km and going strong. Fantastic ''inexpensive'' car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe we will finally get a PROPER SRT-4. I own the original, and its a riot, but the new one just doesn't hit the mark. This is exactly the kind of thing that I was hoping would come out of a Fiat-Chrysler partnership.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think i speak for everyone here


      BRING IT


      Just make sure that interior is nice, price is around 15K and automatic tranny is either free or about $500.
        • 5 Years Ago
        While I may agree with polo that the employees/UAW owning a majority of Chrysler may be a good idea, I don't share his level of enthusiasim. There has to be a distinction between hard working middle class who built these companies and the UAW. With the UAW owning the majority, they will now feel the direct ramifications of the actions they they take by sitting in Robert Nardelli and Tom Lasorda's seat - good or bad. If they choose to continue as they have, under the UAW Chrysler will fail. If they choose to change the us vs. them mentally that has plagued the auto industry for years, there's a good chance Chrysler will succeed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ah, Luigiian. You need to work on your language skills. Worker ownership is about as far from communism as it gets. Just ponder this:

        Before an IPO, who owns a company?

        Do you believe *every* non-public company is somehow "communist"?

        Good grief, even state ownership is only *one* tiny part of communism. You, sir, are a big fat failure.
        • 5 Years Ago
        YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CHRYSLER IS GOING TO BE OWNED BY THE HARDWORKING MIDDLE CLASS!!!!!!!!THE GOOD UNION PEOPLE!!!!!!

        I know the rethuglicans and corporate pigs will frown and cry that the people that do the work will actually be the ones making the decisions. This is how it should be in America.
        • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        @bvz:

        Who said that Cerberus is good? Cerberus is just as abhorrent as the UAW ownership plan. But from what I've seen from the UAW so far, letting the union have a controlling stake in the company has uniquely bad traits.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bad news for Chrysler fans

        I just read that "The UAW would eventually own 55% of the stock in a restructured Chrysler under a deal reached by the two."

        • 5 Years Ago
        @SeaUrchin:

        Link please? I refuse to believe that Chryco's going Communist without actually seeing the article in question. And yes the UAW owning 55% of the company is communism, it's literally a situation where the workers own (a controlling stake in) the means of production.

        Assuming that the UAW really is going to own that much of Chrysler: Please cut Jeep off from the rest of Chrysler. Jeep does not deserve to be in the hands of Chrysler in such an arrangement. I'd rather see Hyundai take Jeep than to see Jeep get sucked into something like that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I completely agree that the UAW greatly contributed to the failure of Chrysler. They have maintained for years that the failure of the auto industry was all the fault of management. Now that they are majority owner, they will have no one to blame for future failures but themselves. And when Chrysler does inevitably fail again, the UAW may finally see that they were the problem all along. But more likely it'll somehow be someone else's fault, not the UAW.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chrysler is officially a WHORE!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        A 15k Bravo? Pfff. Has to be made in SA then.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ LiguAN, because the story is brand new WSJ requires a password for this story, but you will most likely be able to read it tomorrow either here or on WSJ.com
        • 5 Years Ago
        Read and cry

        UAW 55%
        Government 10%
        Fiat 35%


        STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. -- The United Auto Workers union would eventually own 55% of the stock in a restructured Chrysler LLC under the deal reached by the union and the auto maker, according to a summary of the agreement that was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

        The summary also says Fiat SpA will "eventually" own 35% of Chrysler, and that the U.S. government and Chrysler's secured lenders together will end up owning 10% of the company, once it is reorganized.

        The summary was distributed Monday afternoon at a gathering of union leaders to discuss the pact. The deal was announced Sunday night. The UAW aims to have Chrysler workers vote to ratify the agreement, which requires changes to the union's current contract with the company, by April 29.

        According to the summary, Chrysler will also pay a $4.587 billion note into the trust fund, or VEBA, that the union will manage and use to take over the cost of providing health care for retired workers. The agreement says Chrysler will pay $300 million in cash into the VEBA in 2010 and 2011, and increasing amounts up to $823 million in the years 2019 to 2023.

        The VEBA will also own a "significant" amount of Chrysler stock and will be allowed to appoint a representative to Chrysler's board, the summary says. In the future the VEBA will be allowed to sell the stock to other parties, it says.

        Among other cost-cutting measures Chrysler and the UAW have agreed to are a suspension of cost-of-living-adjustments, or COLAs, and new limits on overtime pay. Workers will only be paid for overtime after they have worked at least 40 hours in a week. Chrysler workers will also lose their Easter Monday holiday in 2010 and 2011, the summary says.

        Fiat has agreed to produce at least one small car in a Chrysler plant in the U.S., and to allow Chrysler to use a 3.0-liter diesel engine and a 1.4-liter gasoline engine in its vehicles. Fiat's investment, which the summary said Chrysler estimates is worth $8 billion, will "create 4,000 new UAW jobs in the U.S."

        To ensure all Chrysler stakeholders are sacrificing to help the company recover, Chrysler will provide the UAW with quarterly "updates" and the contributions by "executives, CEOs, dealers, suppliers and other constituents." The summary says.

        —Kris Maher contributed to this article.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Union ownership would be a good thing.

        There was a news story last week about a paper mill that went under, it was partially bought out by the employees. Now they all have a real ownership stake. The plant is back in business and profitable, running better than ever. One of the managers was picking up trash because he now felt like it was his company and he should do everything he could.

        Most businesses would function better if the employees had a real ownership stake.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree, bring it, but DON'T let Chrysler restyle the thing. It looks fine the way it is, and a Chrysler badge would fit nicely in place of the Fiat one in the grille.

        As far as the automatic is concerned, I could care less-- so long as they do in fact bring the manual. Too many American cars are not offered with manual transmissions, greatly limiting my potential purchases.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll add that this is indeed a killer idea!

      As neat as the 500 is, it'll never see the volume that this little beast will with breath taking style and a wicked interior. Bring on the Multi Air 1.8 with much BOOST !

      GO MOPAR !!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh good. So Chrysler will take a beautifully designed car and redesign an already excellent interior -- we in America are far more famous and better than the Italians at designing things, naturally. Yes, and let's not forget the automatic transmission, and softer suspension, and cup holders, and wider seats. I'm sure that will be very successful.
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