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Old 16-04-2009   #1
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Fiat warning to chrysler

Well I'm not on my computer, actually a PDA so can't provide a link just now. Just been watching BBC World News America and there was something on there about car maker Chrysler and Italian car makers FIAT.

Here's the hyperlink which I wrote on paper to type In on here.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8001179.stm

Hope that works - if not search FIAT on BBC News website. Will discuss this more tommorow, can't really read it on this!!!
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Old 16-04-2009   #2
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Talking Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

The link works,

It's Fiat telling the US & Canadian Unions that they need to change their working practices .

In other words "Wake up and smell the coffee"

My gut feeling is that the US Car Industry needs a bloody great wake up call, it's time to modernise and make smaller cars (and small does not = Jag sized cars) - so well done Fiat


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Old 16-04-2009   #3
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

Back on my computer. Chrysler said in the report last night that the wanted to head towards the European regime, and build smaller, greener cars and reduce the 4x4 range. The BBC also reported that Fiat was planning to reintroduce itself in the American/Canadian market and introduce the Fiat 500, (and possibly a wider range of models such as the GP and Bravo family sized sedan/hatchback vehicles), so all you folks across the pond will be impressed!!!
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Old 16-04-2009   #4
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

From what I have seen over there, in the big cities and the fashionable areas (California etc) the smaller cars (Fiats etc) will sell well, however out in the sticks (Redneck territory) I can see the V8 beasts remain king
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Old 16-04-2009   #5
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

You'll get them doing Top Gear challenges! Putting V8's into the poor lil' 500s
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Old 17-04-2009   #6
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

"The UAW [United Auto Workers union] and the CAW [Canadian Auto Workers union] have a unique opportunity here to change the framework of the discussion," he added.

CAW boss Ken Lewenza said he was "surprised" and "disappointed" by the comments.

"I want to give [Mr Marchionne] a great deal of credit for turning around Fiat Corporation, but he didn't turn around Fiat by attacking workers in Italy," he said."


True enough, but he didn't need to. The USA does not have the same social services and tax levels that exist in Europe. The American manufacturers have to provide this for their workers themselves and these social costs for present and retired workers add up to nearly USD 2000 per vehicle. I'd like to see the unions humbled if not crushed.
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Old 17-04-2009   #7
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

"The UAW [United Auto Workers union] and the CAW [Canadian Auto Workers union] have a unique opportunity here to change the framework of the discussion," he added.

CAW boss Ken Lewenza said he was "surprised" and "disappointed" by the comments.

"I want to give [Mr Marchionne] a great deal of credit for turning around Fiat Corporation, but he didn't turn around Fiat by attacking workers in Italy," he said."


True enough, but he didn't need to. The USA does not have the same social services and tax levels that exist in Europe. The American manufacturers have to provide this for their workers themselves and these social costs for present and retired workers add up to nearly USD 2000 per vehicle. I'd like to see the unions humbled if not crushed.

On a related note, the US govt noticed that Cerebus Capital, the present owner of 80% of Chrysler, was unwilling to invest any of its own money into it. That's why Chrysler was given 30 days to turn around and GM got 60 days.

Reducing labor costs is one thing, but having products that people actually want to buy in large numbers is something else. All three of the US builders have been trying to find a good answer to this since the first large wave of VW Beetles and Renault Dauphines arrived in the late 50's. They seem to still "Not Get IT" all these years later.
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Old 21-04-2009   #8
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

Quote Originally Posted by raton_laveur View Post

True enough, but he didn't need to. The USA does not have the same social services and tax levels that exist in Europe. The American manufacturers have to provide this for their workers themselves and these social costs for present and retired workers add up to nearly USD 2000 per vehicle. I'd like to see the unions humbled if not crushed.
Dunno how much of this is from the quote, how much from you. But unemployment benefits in Italy are not exactly splendid. Probably better in Poland..................
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Old 27-04-2009   #9
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

Quote Originally Posted by fingers99 View Post
Dunno how much of this is from the quote, how much from you. But unemployment benefits in Italy are not exactly splendid. Probably better in Poland..................

I'm primarily talking pensions and healthcare.

Many of the newer "Transplants" (foriegn factories in the USA) are located in the southeastern states, where unions are historicaly weak, and are non-union. They have a huge cost advantage over Ford, GM and Chrysler.
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Old 27-04-2009   #10
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher, Ap Auto Writer Mon Apr 27, 3:50 am ET


DETROIT It looks like scrappy little Chrysler LLC might yet escape the auctioneer's gavel.

The smallest U.S.-based automaker cleared two major hurdles on Sunday in its quest for survival, reaching a concession agreement with the United Auto Workers and winning ratification of its cost-cutting deal with the Canadian Auto Workers.

That leaves only two obstacles standing between Chrysler and up to $6 billion in additional loans from the U.S. government: A partnership deal with Italy's Fiat Group SpA and an agreement to swap equity for debt with banks and hedge funds that hold $6.9 billion in secured Chrysler loans.

Details of the UAW deal weren't disclosed, but the union said it was crafted together with Chrysler, Fiat Group SpA and the U.S. government. That means the cost cuts have been blessed by the Treasury Department, which has been overseeing efforts to restructure Chrysler and its Detroit counterpart, General Motors Corp.

It also means Fiat was heavily involved in negotiations, a sign that the Italian automaker is serious about taking a 20 percent stake in Chrysler in exchange for providing the Auburn Hills, Mich., company with small-car technology.

Chrysler has been living on $4 billion in government loans and may get another $500 million to keep it alive through Thursday's deadline to restructure to the government's satisfaction. If it can't close the final deals, however, no more government money will be made available and the company almost certainly would be auctioned off in pieces under bankruptcy court supervision.

For weeks, it appeared Chrysler might not be able to meet a deadline many in the industry considered impossible. But White House economic adviser Larry Summers said Sunday the Obama administration is holding out hope that Chrysler can avoid bankruptcy court.

And two people briefed on negotiations with Fiat said the companies are close to signing a deal as long as debtholders agree to take equity in the company for a portion of the $6.9 billion they are owed. The people didn't want to be identified because talks have not been made public.

The UAW late Sunday called the concessions painful but said the deal takes advantage of the Obama administration giving Chrysler and its workers a second chance. The administration in February rejected Chrysler's original restructuring plan, saying the company could not stand on its own and had until April 30 to make further cuts and take on Fiat as a partner.

"The provisional agreement provides the framework needed to ensure manufacturing competitiveness and helps to meet the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Treasury Department," Chrysler Vice President of Labor Relations Al Iacobelli said in a statement. "As a result, Chrysler LLC can continue to pursue a partnership with Fiat SpA."

Separately, Canadian Auto Workers President Ken Lewenza said their deal makes labor costs competitive with non-unionized Toyota in Canada. It will save Chrysler about $240 million a year Canadian (US$198 million) even though it doesn't cut base wages or pensions, amounting to the $19 Canadian (US$15) an hour in savings the company was seeking. The agreement eliminates Christmas bonuses, semiprivate hospital room coverage, certain drug fees and a one-time vacation buyout of $3,500 Canadian (US$2,885). It also reduces break times and vacation time.

Meanwhile, debtholders, the company and the Treasury Department remain far apart on terms to swap equity in the company for much of the debt. A counteroffer to the debtholders from the Treasury is expected as early as Monday.

UAW Vice President General Holliefield said in a statement that UAW members and retirees are being asked to make extraordinary sacrifices to help Chrysler become viable.

"In order for the company to have a sustainable future, all stakeholders will have to show the same willingness to contribute to the common good that has been demonstrated repeatedly by our membership," he said.

After rejecting the February plan, the government had said the UAW and Canadian Auto Workers unions must make further concessions, including the UAW taking equity in the company for at least half of a $10.6 billion payment into a union-run trust that will take over retiree health care costs starting next year.

The UAW says its deal "meets the requirements of U.S. Treasury Department loans to the company," and includes changes to the health care trust. Details will be presented to local union officials from across the country on Monday, with voting to wrap up by Wednesday.

"We recognize this has been a long ordeal for active and retired auto workers, and a time of great uncertainty," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said in a statement. "The patience, resolve and determination of UAW members in these difficult times is extraordinary, and has made it possible for us to reach the agreement we will present to our membership."

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne was in the U.S. as talks continued for the automaker to take a 20 percent stake in Chrysler in exchange for its small-car technology. The government has said it would be willing to loan Chrysler up to another $6 billion if it is able to complete its restructuring and ink the deal with Fiat.

Fiat may build the small cars at Chrysler factories in the U.S., but they wouldn't arrive until late 2010 or early 2011, according to industry analysts.

"We're hopeful that the negotiations, which have been proceeding with great energy, are going to conclude successfully," Summers said in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday." "You never know with any negotiation until the very end. There are some issues that have been worked out. There are some issues that remain to be worked out, but it's in everybody's interest to see these negotiations succeed and we're hopeful that they will."

Also Sunday, General Motors Corp., which is living on $15.4 billion in government loans, said it will update its restructuring plan on Monday.

Two people briefed on the plan said GM will scrap its storied Pontiac brand and shutter more factories than the five it said in February it would close. The factories' locations won't be disclosed, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan has not been made public.

The plan will come as the company announces an offer to exchange up to $28 billion in GM bond debt for stock in the company.
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Old 30-04-2009   #11
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

By TOM KRISHER and BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writers Tom Krisher And Ben Feller, Associated Press Writers 2 hrs 1 min ago
DETROIT Talks between Chrysler LLC's lenders and the Treasury Department to reduce the automaker's $6.9 billion in secured debt and keep it out of bankruptcy protection have disintegrated, a person familiar with the talks said early Thursday.

Chrysler's fate was in the hands of about 40 hedge funds that hold about 30 percent of its debt. Although four banks holding 70 percent of the debt had agreed to erase it for $2 billion, the hedge funds were holding out for a better deal.

To entice the hedge funds into going along with the banks, the government on Wednesday afternoon added $250 million to the $2 billion that the banks had settled for and gave the hedge funds a 6 p.m. deadline to work it out, two people briefed on the talks said.

All of the people spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were private.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, speaking in Lansing at a news conference about the swine flu, had urged them to consider Chrysler's 54,000 employees.

"On behalf of Michigan, on behalf of the thousands of people who will be affected if this company is forced into bankruptcy, I am publicly asking these hedge funds to not be greedy but to do what the banks have done and what everyone else around the table has done take the concessions," she said.

But several of the funds came back with their own different counterproposals, leaving the Treasury Department to bargain with 46 funds, the person said. Treasury extended the deadline into the evening, but when it appeared there was no central authority to negotiate with, decided to end talks around midnight.

"This is the one shot when everybody had a chance to say yes or no," the person said. "You had 46 different people here, and they said no."

The collapse of the talks means Chrysler will almost certainly head for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, unless a deal can be salvaged by the government's deadline of 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Others briefed on the negotiations said that in order for Chrysler to get a deal without bankruptcy, it needs to get 100 percent of its creditors to sign on.

But bankruptcy doesn't mean the end of the company. The people said plan B is for Chrysler to file for Chapter 11 with funding help from the government. Under the bankruptcy law that Chrysler would file under, a judge would decide how much creditors would get, but is likely to go with any settlement agreed to by the majority of the creditors, the people said.

If it files for bankruptcy, Chrysler would continue operating and Fiat would still sign on as a partner on Thursday, the people said. The government already has promised to back Chrysler's warranties in an effort to allay customers' fears that the automaker wouldn't be around to honor them.

The government in March rejected Chrysler's restructuring plan and gave it 30 days to make another effort, including a tie-up with Fiat. The company, which has borrowed $4 billion from the federal government and needs billions more, faces a Thursday night deadline to cut labor costs, slash debt and take on a partner if it wants more aid. President Barack Obama said Wednesday night while the lender talks were still ongoing that he was "very hopeful" that deals can be worked out to keep Chrysler LLC a viable automaker, and more hopeful than he was a month ago that the company will stay in business.

On Sunday, the Canadian Auto Workers ratified concessions to the automaker, and the United Auto Workers in the U.S. reached a tentative cost-cutting deal that members overwhelmingly ratified Wednesday night.

The UAW agreement, which will take effect May 4, meets Treasury requirements for continued loans to Chrysler Corp., and includes commitments from Fiat to manufacture a new small car in one of Chrysler's U.S. facilities and to share key technology with Chrysler.

"This has been a challenging time filled with anxiety and uncertainty for our membership," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. "Our members have responded by accepting an agreement that is painful for our active and retired workers, but which helps preserve U.S. manufacturing jobs and gives Chrysler a chance to survive."

Meanwhile, the Fiat partnership means Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli could be out of a job. In an April e-mail to employees, he said that if the deal is finalized, Chrysler would be run by a new board appointed by the government and Fiat. The new board, Nardelli wrote, would pick a CEO "with Fiat's concurrence."

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of the Italian automaker, told reporters earlier this month that he could run Chrysler. Obama said Wednesday that Fiat's management "has actually done a good job transforming their industry."
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Old 30-04-2009   #12
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

raton, may I ask why you feel the need to give the same reply twice?! :P
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Old 01-05-2009   #13
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

Quote Originally Posted by PuntoSS View Post
You'll get them doing Top Gear challenges! Putting V8's into the poor lil' 500s
LOL! I think youre right, them Americans even put V8's in chain saws now days. Thats just crazy
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Old 01-05-2009   #14
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Re: Fiat warning to chrysler

Quote Originally Posted by PuntoSS View Post
raton, may I ask why you feel the need to give the same reply twice?! :P

Because nothing happened when I tried it the first time...


And, as an update...

FIAT now has 20% of Chrysler. The US and Canadian governments have 10%, Daimler has 20% (but for how long?) and the United Auto Workers have the rest. Fiat's share could reach 51% by 2016 if certain performance goals are met and everything borrowed from the US Govt is returned.

Chrysler has entered bankruptcy proceedings. They are expected to be over with in 30 to 60 days. At that time Bob Nardelli, current CEO will step down and be replaced by someone from Fiat.
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