Chrysler's Fiat Plans Will Have To Beat History To Work

In the evolving alliance plans between Chrysler and Fiat, the strategy calls for Chrysler to take existing small cars, car platforms and engines from Fiat to produce Dodge and Chrysler vehicles, and Fiat to utilize Chrysler’s excess manufacturing capacity and dealer network to sell Fiats and Alfa Romeos.

Got that?

Here are some thoughts. First, how many vehicles largely developed by one companay and sold by another have succeeded? Here is a partial Rogues Gallery of vehicles developed under this notion:

Pontiac Vibe, which is really a Toyota Matrix. Both cars are built off the Toyota Corolla. 1980s Chevy Nova and 90’s Geo Prizm, which was really a Toyota Corolla. Mitsubishi Raider pickup, which is really a Dodge Dakota. Saab 9-7, which is really a Chevy Trailblazer. Suzuki Equator, which is really a Nissan Frontier. Geo Metro, which was really a Suzuki Swift Eagle Talon (pictured above), which was really a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Dodge Raider, which was really a Mitsubishi Montero. The Chrysler Cossfire was a Mercedes-Benz SLK under the skin. Geo Tracker was really a Suzuki Sidekick. Ford Festiva was really a Kia Pride. Ford Aspire was really a Kia Avella. Geo Storm and Geo Spectrum was really an Isuzu Impulse.

Shall I go on? None of these cars was worth a bucket of warm spit in the annals of the auto industry, or made any impression on their buyers?…that I am aware of.

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