Can’t Have a Fiat in the States?

Buy an IVECO truck and impress your friends

By Alex Ricciuti

08.02.2007

You could be driving this!

Fiat made an announcement recently that demonstrates how the once-beleaguered Italian car maker has turned its fortunes around. It is coming back to America.

Excited? Well, unless you are abjectly obsessed with the utilitarian design of IVECO commercial trucks and already have worked out a plan to pimp one up, don’t start Googling for local FIAT dealers just yet.

Fiat CEO Executive Sergio Marchionne said last week that the Italian automotive group, which also owns Iveco, a maker of commercial vehicles in Europe, will bring Iveco to the United States .”My expectation is that we will have something done within six to nine months,” Marchionne told analysts during a conference call, as reported by Reuters.

Fiat is doing well across much of its model range in Europe. And like PSA Group, which owns the Peugeot and Citroen brands, it always hints at a return to the North American market and then backs away or puts it off into a future that never comes to pass.

The reason they say they’d like to come is because, in a global economy, you feel the need to be in the world’s largest market, which is the United States. The reason they never actually come to the US is the same. In a global market, they can grow sales and expand into all the emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Asia where they can incrementally invest and produce sales and profits. The US is the big enchilada, but a risky one – tough to sell small cars in, especially with residual impressions by American consumers of the poor-quality French and Italian cars. It would require a huge investment to go nationwide with a dealer network
.
That’s why they go small – like just selling commercial trucks and nothing else. But who can really say what the future will bring?

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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4 Comments

  1. I’d like to see both Fiat Group (Lancia, Fiat, Alfa) and PSA (peugeot and Citroen) back in the United States with their cars. They make some great cars, and their quality is very good now, not like it was in the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, and early Nineties.

  2. Weren’t Iveco trucks previously sold in the US? I seem to remember a local dealer when I was growing up. I’ve definitely heard the name before.

  3. also, you should mention then Fiat is the major shareholder of
    CNH Global who’s a major manufacturer of agricultural equipment and construction equipment, with Case-CE, Case-IH (a combination of Case and the former farm implement division of International Harvester), New Holland, Kobelco

  4. yes, Iverco were sold in the US before and they had used the name Magirus. Alfa Romeo will be returning to the US in 2009 and Marchione (the CEO) is known to have recently mentioned the possibility of marketing the new Fiat 500 in the US sometime in the future. And don’t forget that Ferrari and Maserati also belong to the Fiat group and are both marketed in the US.

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