Chrysler Is Gambling and Winning

We are consistently amazed by how well Chrysler/FIAT is doing. And its success demonstrates just what a gamble the auto biz is.

Yes, there have been problems with the FIAT 500‘s U.S. introduction, but they can be fixed. Chrysler needs to get its minivan market share back. Alfa Romeo’s reintroduction to the U.S. (Giulietta above) keeps getting delayed, but CEO Marchionne maintains it will happen. He is supposed to be a “world-class poker player.”

In fact, the biggest problem for the company is not Chrysler but FIAT’s ability to do business in Europe’s dismal economy. It’s likely that the alliance of the two firms, which is going very well, may well end up pulling FIAT out of the doldrums—and maybe to the U.S. if things get worse in Italy. If that happens, the Italians may string up Marchionne like they did Mussolini.

The Jeep brand typifies the group’s success, but new cars are coming from all directions:

The new vehicles coming in 2013 include new midsize sedans to replace the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger and new versions of the Compass and Liberty. They’ll be based on the platform that underpins the Dart and built in Toledo.

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