An Old Affair
Most people are, to some degree, aware of the current tie-up between Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat Group, the Italian auto company. Would you believe the relationship–or at least an unsuccessful attempt at one–stems back more than two decades?
According to news reports from February of 1991, after months of talks and amid bad press speculation, the two companies decided to “wait out” the then-worsening global economic situation before moving forward.
The plans had prophetically called not only for joint production of product but also mutual distribution of that product. The latter part of that plan included, believe it or not, Jeeps and minivans for Fiat, and mini- to micro-cars for Chrysler.
Another version of the plan proposed Fiat buying Chrysler outright.
In other Chrysler-related news from those articles, then-President of Chrysler, Mr. Bob Lutz, was dealing with angry Dodge dealers about possibly not getting their own version of the revamped Cherokee (which was referred to by one magazine as “ZD”). Also, Mr. Lutz was dealing with griping Jeep/Eagle dealers because it was beginning to look as if they weren’t going to get a version of the AS platform, that is to say Chrysler’s minivan.