Chrysler’s 17-year odyssey is finally over, and Detroit’s No.
3 automaker is 100 percent foreign-owned — again.
Fiat SpA’s total embrace of Chrysler, punctuated Wednesday by a new corporate name and dual share listings in New York and Italy, carries rich symbolism in a town long identified by its hometown auto industry. Most importantly, it means the Auburn Hills-based automaker finally has owners who see real value and cash-generating power in Chrysler’s people, products and brands.
It hasn’t always been that way.
Locals fretting that CEO Sergio Marchionne’s complex recasting of the renamed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is busting up Detroit’s traditional Big Three are forgetting their history. In lamenting yet again the end of an era already gone, they overlook the reality of the global auto industry today and the fact that Chrysler likely would not exist at all but for its rescue five years ago by Fiat at the behest of the U.S. Treasury.