Mercedes Benz SLS AMG
    amg-sls-black.jpgWill Chrysler benefit from the Fiat merger, or is this another Daimler deal?
    by William Foster

    Since Fiat SpA first joined forces with the Chrysler Group, eventually making the financial and strategic moves to increase their ownership to a majority amount, many have compared this recent merger to the deal between Chrysler and Daimler Benz.  Unfortunately, many Chrysler workers and enthusiasts were glad to see the owners of Mercedes Benz sell off their ownership of the American automotive group, so comparisons between the deals involving Daimler and Fiat are generally not a positive one…but will this merger benefit Chrysler in the long run?

    When Daimler took the reins over Chrysler, the German company was coming
    in to preserve the Chrysler brands, but in the long run, Daimler proved
    to be more of a parasite – absorbing technology and model plans from
    Chrysler for their own projects.  Included in this group is the
    incredible Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, which allegedly uses a great many
    design ideas originally planned for the next generation Dodge Viper. 
    After the AMG engineers got their hands on the various chassis and
    suspension plans that were destined for the next Viper, the plans for
    that new Viper were brought to an abrupt halt, while the existing Viper
    continued kicking ass around the world. 

    The Viper and SLS issue is just
    one of the moves made by Daimler during their reign over Chrysler that
    made it a deal that really only benefitted the Mercedes side of the
    company.  It should also be pointed out that Daimler already had a
    flourishing dealer network in the US, so Daimler had no real reason to
    prioritize the future of the Chrysler brands over their own Mercedes
    Benz brand.

    viper.jpgOn the other hand, Fiat does not have a dealer network in the US, so in
    buying their way into Chrysler, Fiat has far more reason to see the
    Chrysler Group brands boom in America.  Fiat was quick to begin selling
    existing Chrysler products in new markets, badged as Chrysler vehicles
    along with some of the models wearing Fiat or Lancia badges.  This has
    helped those US factories building vehicles for the foreign market and
    it won’t stop there, as the Maserati SUV based on the Dodge Durango will
    be built at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. There are also other
    future vehicles planned for American production and overseas sales. 

    Fiat, the merger with Chrysler was far more than just buying into an
    American company. The Italian group has been quick to use this new
    partnership to help sell new models like the Fiat 500 in North America,
    while also farming American-built vehicles in new markets around the

    Fiat had to do way more than just write a big check to get their hands
    on a majority portion of the Chrysler Group. The amount of effort
    made by the new management shows a dedication to protecting the future
    of the Chrysler Group.  During the brief time that Fiat has been calling
    the shots at Chrysler, we have seen the smallest of the American
    automakers climb out of the grasp of bankruptcy while introducing a huge
    spread of new vehicles that should help Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Jeep,
    Fiat and the new SRT group succeed well into the future – a future that
    very clearly has the Fiat group working hand in hand with their American
    partners for total company growth.

    Is Daimler and Fiat like apples and oranges? Shout off in the Forums!