Fiat and Chrysler: Perception vs. reality

Published On: Jan 29 2014 06:20:01 PM EST
DETROIT -

The reorganized Fiat and Chrysler Group has a new name - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Chrysler will continue to operate out of its current home in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills, Mich., and Fiat will remain in its current Milan headquarters. But change brings anxiety, foreigners are viewed with skepticism and a name change brings fears of a loss of history and identity. But experts and workers say perceptions need to be measured against reality.

Perception: Chrysler has lost its independence. It's no longer an American company. 

Reality:  Fiat has been in charge since 2009.

Independently, neither automaker was in the top 10 globally. Together, they are No. 7, and globally competitive.

Perception:  Daimler cannabalized the company - Fiat and Marchionne will do the same.

Reality: He's re-opened plants, and in four years, he hasn't shown he's interested in stripping, or moving jobs overseas.

Perception: Auburn Hills has lost prestige and importance because it is now not the global headquarters.

Reality: Jobs matter more than titles. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson released this statement regarding Auburn Hills:

It’s still the global presence because the global development of future vehicles is going to happen here. The headquarters position is about taxes and legal registration. On an economic scale, we are still talking about hundreds of millions in activity.”

The success of this automotive marriage is still far from assured. But, already they have melded together better than Daimler. 

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