Auto Bombshell: Fiat Likely Moving Chrysler-Jeep Production to Italy
Fiat has been overseeing production of Jeep and it could now be moving overseas! Bloomberg financial news reported this week that in an effort to stem poor sales in Europe, Fiat may move production of Chrysler vehicles (that it received after the General Motors bailout) including Jeep, to Europe — namely Italy. This is prompted by unrealized sales projections and excessive losses.
European car sales have slumped badly and the move, some experts say, would maximize use of factories to curb losses. How ironic would that be if Chrysler and Jeep — iconic members of America auto history — were built in Europe and imported to America?
The National Legal and Policy Center published a scathing assessment of the idea, saying the bailout was not well thought out. It was done more to preserve the political support and power of the UAW for the Obama administration than for the long-term health of the automotive industry, it said. Initially, the U.S. courts in 2009 had sought to block the sale of Chrysler to the Italian car maker. Maybe they knew something.
What could happen now if Fiat does move Chrysler across the ocean will be more lost American jobs, and fewer opportunities once they are gone.
As the NPLC pointed out:
“Mitt Romney has rightfully criticized the Obama Administration for handing over Chrysler to the Italians and now leaving the fate of American workers in the hands of Fiat management. Fiat is not a healthy company and the auto industry is in as great a risk as ever. The insistence that all is well by those with political motivations does not mask the danger. More jobs are at risk of being lost and more taxpayer money may be lost as well.”
You remember the avalanche of Chrysler ads touting the cars were “imported from Detroit?” If Fiat moves Chrysler, those will become yet another sadly humorous footnote to one of the most controversial, and perhaps disastrous ,moves for the U.S. auto industry.