Sunday, April 17, 2016

Marchionne Says Fiat Could Build A Model 3 Fighter In 12 Months

Sergio Marchionne has never been a fan of electric cars. His company, FCA, has exactly three models with electric motors in its global lineup at present — the soon to be introduced Chrysler Pacific plug-in hybrid van, the $1.3 million dollar, 949 horsepower LaFerrari, and the lowly Fiat 500e. The 500e is the epitome of a so-called “compliance car,” a vehicle specifically created to meet the mandates of the California Air Resources Board.
Sergio MarchionneCompliance cars are seldom offered for sale in any markets where local regulations don’t require manufacturers to sell them. Marchionne once made headline news when he begged people not to buy a 500e because FCA lost $14,000 on every car it sold.
Marchionne is one of those people whose says whatever is on his mind. Speaking about the recent introduction of the Tesla Model 3, he told the meeting, “I am not surprised by the high number of reservations but you have then to build and deliver them and also be profitable.” Clearly, he is skeptical that Tesla will get the car to market on time or that it can make a profit on the Model 3 when it does.
He told Automotive News, if Musk “can show me that the car will be profitable at that price, I will copy the formula, add the Italian design flair, and get it to the market within 12 months.” The idea of Fiat making a car that can compete with the Model 3 and do so in 12 months is clearly preposterous.
Elon Musk has often publicly challenged other manufacturers to build cars that can compete with Tesla products. The idea of a Model 3 cousin with the styling of an Alfa Romeo may be an appealing prospect. Could Fiat ever pull off such a thing and make money doing it? The thought boggles the mind.
His pronouncement seems even more ridiculous when you realize Chrysler is planning to stop build midsize passenger cars in the US and is actively looking to sell the production rights to another manufacturer.
Marchionne isn’t worried about waiting to see whether the Model 3 is profitable before jumping into the game. He told Automotive News, “better late than sorry.”

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