Romiti regrets losing Ford and Chrysler
FIAT PRESIDENT Cesare Romiti says his biggest regrets after 24 years working at the group were the failed accords with Ford and Chrysler. In 1985, Fiat came close to pooling its car manufacturing plants with Ford, and in 1990 Fiat and Chrysler talked about a possible alliance after they signed a distribution deal. An agreement with Ford would have started out with a savings of $1 billion, 'but they started going back and forth,' Romiti told Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera. 'With Chrysler we were the ones who pulled out. There were too many worries. Prudence won out, but it was a mistake.'
It's not really deceit
BOYS WILL BE BOYS, and dealers will be dealers. The second of three phases of Italian scrapping incentives ended 31 January, and dealers for all the volume carmakers stayed open until 10 p.m. on Saturday, 31 January. Naturally, they had advertised heavily that incentives were ending and customers should hurry. Naturally, they didn't mention that incentives of the same scale but figured differently would continue through June. Industry Minister Pier Luigi Bersani issued a bold statement against the carmakers, accusing them of deceit, but only Renault Italia modified its ads.
THE FIRST FRUIT of GM's proposed collaboration with AvtoVAZ has just arrived in the Russian carmaker's Togliatti plant. Opel delivered a specially manufactured prototype Astra T-3000 so that AvtoVAZ can test the car in Russian conditions. If it happens, the GM-AvtoVAZ joint venture will build Astras for Russia.