Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Monday, October 26, 2009

Will Fiat And Chrysler Merge?

I've always perceived the North American media and certain parts of its academia struggle with Italian culture. You hear it in little comments they make* regarding this utterly confusing nation. Italy is a labyrinth so complex it frustrates the heck out of North Americans and Northern Europeans.

This morning I was listening to the Tommy Schnurmacher Show on CJAD 800 (here in Montreal) interview associate professor of economics (at McGill I think) Tom Velk. Mr. Velk said something of interest regarding the possible merger of Fiat and Chrysler.

I loosely quote: hey I was driving. Excuse me if I didn't jot down word for word his comment.

"If the Germans couldn't make it work with Chrysler then, and I'm going to say something politically incorrect, there's little chance the Italians can make it work..."

Not German

Nothing PI in it. In fact, I think it was misguided, that's all. Sure, Italian business has its peculiar models but Italian commerce doesn't always function the way "Northerners" expect business to be run and operated. Then again, Italy produces some of Europe's top CEO's on a consistent basis. Another one of those "Made in Italy" frustrating ironies.

Yet, upon closer inspection, to those who care to examine, there's indeed a method to the madness. It may not always be effective but there's a method. Has there been a country left for dead more times than Italy since not only in the post-war era, but since its unification in the late nineteenth century?

Fiat was part of Italy's "economic miracle" after the war. It has had its ups and downs and its CEO Sergio Marchionne seems set to lead FIAT down a profitable path.

It's appropriate to mention Fiat took over a couple of seminal names in Ferrari and Maserati and helped to reestablish their place in the industry.

I wouldn't dismiss the Fiat/Chrysler merger (if it were to happen) based on cultural stereotypes that no longer apply - especially in the auto industry where Italy has contributed its fair share of great companies and cars over the years.

That the Germans failed doesn't mean the Italians will follow suit. The question is, does Fiat need Chrysler?

*What I mean by positive and negative is positive remarks and comments (some of which are justified) tend to be strictly in the arts domain from food to fashion and design. Its commerce and industry garners negative, on average, thoughts.


  1. Yes, Fiat needs the Chrysler dealer network if it plans to offer Fiats in the USA market

  2. Good point.

    I wonder how badly they want it