Will Chrysler Make Fiat a Better Automaker?

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Yes, and Fiat will also inject new passion into Chrysler. It's an ideal match.

There was a time when Fiat was the butt of countless jokes amongst Americans. "Fix It Again Tony" was a common one. While the Italian automaker has drastically improved its image in Europe, its perception in the US is still on the recovery. Fiat 500? Cool car, but the 500L? Not so much. However, with Fiat completing its acquisition of Chrysler last month, the opportunity for greatness is truly there.

For starters, CEO Sergio Marchionne is shifting away from the European mass market with a greater focus on reshaping Italian industry. He’s made major investments to turn Maserati into a fully-fledged German brand fighter with an emotional aspect that’s hard to match. An old and abandoned Fiat plant in Turin will be revamped and soon be churning out a new Maserati crossover, which will be underpinned by the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s platform. So where does Chrysler fit into all of this? Fiat and its sub brands will now have complete access to the latter’s North American supplier and dealer network. Future Fiats will no longer be the modest cars of the 1960s and 70s.

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This time around they’ll actually be competitive because today’s market will accept nothing less. For Fiat, and Chrysler for that matter, this new relationship could very well be the savior both so desperately needed. Need some proof? The photo gallery ahead shows just a few examples, with many more to come.

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