FIAT REAFFIRMS ITS INTEREST IN PURSUING A TRANSACTION WITH GENERAL MOTORS REGARDING THE POSSIBLE MERGER OF ITS AUTO BUSINESS WITH OPEL
Fiat reaffirms its determination in pursuing its strategic objectives of participating in the consolidation of the auto sector in Europe, and views the potential merger with Opel as an excellent means of creating the second largest car maker in Europe with a global geographic footprint and all the technological, managerial and financial resources required to successfully compete in the current market environment. Fiat’s proposed plan will limit the social costs of the integration process, while delivering at the same time significant synergies derived from the sharing of platforms, related components and power-trains.
"The search for a partner for Opel which has been initiated by General Motors, and which has involved the German government due to the request for financial assistance, has been a complicated and uneven process," said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of Fiat S.p.A. "We have been involved in these activities for a number of weeks now, and have tried to follow in a responsible manner the requests made by the various parties involved in the selection process. The issues that emerged from the last round of negotiations on Tuesday and Wednesday have left us perplexed, since we had not been advised until then of certain key financial factors and data which we consider to be essential to the formulation of a proper merger offer. Given the nature of the process itself and its short duration, Fiat has been unable to have full access to the financial records of Opel to determine its precise financial condition and thus properly frame a merger proposal that would be fair to General Motors as the seller and to Fiat S.p.A."
"The last round of requests which would require Fiat, among other things, to fund Opel on an emergency basis while the German government determines the exact timing and conditions of the interim financing, would expose Fiat to unnecessary and unwarranted risks. It is in fact unreasonable to expect, on the basis of prudent business judgment and proper governance of its affairs, that Fiat would provide funds to an organization whose financial details and position remain unknown to date. The brevity of time between the request and the date that the commitment must be made is such that proper due diligence cannot be performed."
"We remain committed to finding ways to bridge the expectations of both General Motors and the German government," continued Sergio Marchionne, "but the emergency nature of the situation cannot put Fiat in a position to take on extravagant risks. We have already offered to contribute our auto business assets to the merger on a debt-free basis and thus provide substantial, and absolutely necessary equity to the merger, but also the related cash-flow stream which will help stabilize the performance of the combined entities during the integration and restructuring process. More cannot be asked."
On the basis of the above considerations, Fiat S.p.A. has decided not to attend the meeting tentatively scheduled by the German government in Berlin on Friday, May 29th that has as its sole topic the emergency funding of Opel. It remains open and committed to continue discussions with all parties involved with a view to find a stable and lasting solution for the industrial activities of Opel.
TURIN, May 29, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
The New Fiat 500 is based off of the Trepiùno "3+1" show car that made it's debut at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. It was designed under master designer Frank Stephenson leadership at the Fiat Style Centre. A world renown designer who previously worked at BMW and designed many well known cars such as the BMW X5, the New Mini and is credited with the Ferrari F430 and the Maserati MC12.
A car created for the people, with the people’s ideas
In an extraordinary move, Fiat openly sought the active involvement of the public in creating the New Fiat 500. Fiat launched operation "500 wants you" 500 days before the launch of the new car. It started as a huge online laboratory, where users discovered the styling concept of the new car and could express their preferences, propose ideas and contribute, for the first time in motoring history, to its creation. The www.fiat500.com site was open to the public’s contributions and expectations, which were assessed by Fiat during the actual development of the product.
It was an unprecedented response with over 3 million enthusiasts submitting ideas through the Internet site. These ideas helped shape the New Fiat 500. It also marked a change of corporate culture, using an open approach to creating a car and marked a new way of a car company interacting with it's customers, to meet their needs and expectations. ‘The 500, the car of the people, by the people’: this slogan sums up the philosophy behind the development of a project which, in the best Fiat tradition, ‘democratizes’ access to contents and technologies that have never been offered in this segment before.
"For the company, the birth of the 500 represents the start of a new chapter, a declaration of the role that Fiat aims to interpret in the future on the market and in society. The stimulus to a new model of conscious consumption. A model for the exploitation of experience in the automotive field that focuses on quality and emotions, on uniqueness rather than on mass-production, where simplification does not mean doing without. The 500 is the tangible synthesis of these aspirations. With the 500, Fiat smiles at the future."
- What Car? readers' affections 2007
- CAR Magazine: Car of the Year 2007
- EuroCarBody 2007 award
- European Car of the Year for 2008
- The World’s Most Beautiful Automobile (City Car and Small Car category)
- AUTO EUROPA 2008
- Fifth Gear: Best Small Car 2007
- Top Gear: Best 'City Car' 2007
- Auto 1 Europa 2008 - (Auto Bild)
- 2008 ‘What Car?’ Green Car of the Year Award
- Auto Express: "Best City Car" 2008
- evecars.com Best Supermini/City Car Award 2008
- evecars.com readers Sexiest Car of 2008
- Best Compact Car Consumers' Choice Award-Car of the Year in Japan
- 2009 World Car Design of the Year
The Fiat 500 confirms Fiat Automobiles SpA’s undisputed leadership in small car design - a result of its extraordinary heritage of technical, design and human experience accumulated in over a century - and it takes a substantial leap forward in terms of comfort and safety, technology and equipment for this segment.
Keep an eye on Fiat500USA.com as we go for an in depth view of the features of New Fiat 500
Research: Internet and Fiat Press
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Fiat S.p.A. is pleased to announce that it has secured the support of three financial institutions in its current efforts to act as consolidator in the European car sector with the ultimate objective of carving out these operations from the Group as a Newco and eventually list Newco securities in the major European financial markets.
Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit Group and Goldman Sachs have been selected as global coordinators and will assist and guide Fiat in all the required operations in the months to come.
"I am delighted that we are going to be able to rely on the expertise and financial strength of these institutions in such a crucial time for the development of the automotive sector and Fiat in particular. Our long standing relationship with these houses, who have been close and participative in the reshaping of Fiat in the last few years, gives us the required comfort and assurance to undertake these efforts", said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive of Fiat S.p.A. "Their strength and financial expertise will ensure that we will develop and deliver the optimal structures for the Group going forward, for the ultimate benefit of all stakeholders."
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Fiat Group announces that today it submitted an offer for the European businesses of Opel and
Should this transaction be concluded, a new company encompassing the activities of Fiat Group Automobiles (including its stake in Chrysler) and Opel would be created.
Turin, 20 May 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The press and indeed, even the President of the United States, have been talking about the new technology Fiat is offering Chrysler and bringing to the US. One of the new technologies Fiat is bringing to the New Chrysler Corp. is the SGE modular engine. Developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT), it represents the most advanced solution currently available on reducing fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and achieving the same performance as a large engine.
The concept behind this new engine is the downsizing from a conventional 4-cylinder engine to a 2-cylinder turbocharged engine that incorporates the innovative Multiair electronic inlet valve control system. In addition to advantages in terms of fuel consumption, the twin-cylinder engine also results in a 20% reduction in weight and 25% in volume inside the engine bay compared to a 4-cylinder engine with the same power output.
The SGE (Small Gas Engine) is a modular engine system built on the single cylinder displacement of 450cc. In the two cylinder, 900cc version, it can come as naturally aspirated or turbocharged or as a CNG natural gas version. The maximum output achievable by the new twin-cylinder engine, in the turbocharged, Mono Fuel gasoline form is 105 hp (a 65 hp aspirated version, also equipped with the Multiair system, is under development). In addition, there are 80 and 90 horsepower versions available. The SGE engine family adopts a crankshaft balancing system that significantly reduces vibration and noise levels compared to other two and three cylinder engines.
The Multiair system controls the air intake in gasoline engines without the usual throttle valve, and therefore offers a greater degree of flexibility than mechanical timing systems. In stead of a conventional throttle valve, this electro-hydraulic valve activation technology works in conjunction with the camshaft and intake valve to alter the valve lift. This allows the valve lift to be modified in response to the request for air from the engine and to the running speed. Different strategies can be employed (Early inlet valve closing – EIVC, Late inlet valve opening – LIVO, or Multi-Lift) to optimize combustion efficiency, with considerable benefits in terms of power output, torque, consumption and emissions.
Another advantage of this system is the fact that the air pressure upstream of the valves is always constant. This characteristic, combined with the high system activation dynamics (from partial load to full load in one engine cycle) allows the torque response of the engine to be increased (up to 20% more torque at lower rpm compared to conventional systems) without any delay, on both an aspirated and a turbocharged engine, increasing the ‘fun to drive’ factor.
This innovative Fiat SGE, when combined with Fiat's Stop&Start system (that turns the engine off temporarily and starts it again, when the engine is idling and the vehicle is stationary, thus saving 10% reduction in consumption in the urban cycle), promises to offer outstanding fuel economy.
In addition, the intake manifold is also a space saving, integrated design that lends itself well to the Hybrid version that is being developed. This compact Hybrid system consists of an electric motor built into a special transaxle. The hybrid system is set to revolutionize hybrid cars as it is the first compact system that can be fit into smaller A and B segment cars. Previously, hybrid systems tend to be bulky and are usually used in much larger cars and SUV's.
This exciting engine technology is just some of what Fiat is bringing to the US. There are other advancements in the wings such as an update to the common rail diesel technology that Fiat invented in 1997, Fiats hybrid technology and a new dual clutch transmission.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
As been previously discussed, Fiat is interested in merging with GM Europe and becoming the second largest car maker in the world. This would give Fiat economy of scale and help safeguard Fiats viability in these hard economic times. Sergio Marchionne, Fiats CEO, has been on record stating that in the next few years, there will only be maybe 6 car makers left in the world and he wants to make sure Fiat is one of them.
Now Fiat is also interested in GMs Latin American division. GM Europe is losing money but it's Latin American arm is much stronger. Fiat is a best seller in Brazil but not as strong elsewhere in Latin America. By combining with Gm Latin America, Fiat could be in a very profitable position.
This fact is not wasted on GM and now, in a twist, GM proposes to take a 30% stake in Fiat for exchange of giving up both it's European and Latin American divisions. However, it's been reported that Sergio Marchionne is willing to cede just 10% of Fiats equity to GM.
As of now, this is all speculation and not been confirmed by any party, but these merger talks are definitely heating up!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Fiat Panda 4x4
The Fiat Panda 4x4 in action
Panda 4x4 Cross. Strong personality and an appealingly ‘aggressive’ character. The Panda 4x4 Cross stands out for the protective body side moldings and carrier bars for an ‘all-terrain look’, enhanced by the driver’s high seat position, fenders with protective shields, bump strips, and oversize headlights. The under body shield protects the car’s mechanical elements and emphasis's the car’s off-road credentials. Standard 15” alloys complete the ‘strong’ appeal of the Panda Cross.
Fiat Grande Punto
Fiat Panda 4X4
Monday, May 4, 2009
What's it like to own an Alfa Romeo? Well it's difficult to put into words. For a true car enthusiast, it's a feeling and a connection with a glorious heritage that you can feel. A connection with people, some legendary, each sharing the same passion for Alfa Romeo.
In the following, we'll explore the Alfa Romeo European lineup with the help of a Fiat Group press release:
The best spirit of Alfa Romeo is beautifully encapsulated in this statement by Orazio Satta Puliga (1910-1974), one of the brand’s great designers: ‘Alfa Romeo is not just a car factory: its cars are something more than automobiles built in a conventional manner. Enthusiasm for a means of transport is a kind of disease. It is a way of life, a very special way of seeing a motor vehicle. Something that defies definition. Its elements are like those irrational traits of the human spirit that cannot be explained by logic’.
The highly distinctive dashboard and seats ensure that the interior of the Alfa Romeo MiTo represents the ultimate expression of Italian style, welcoming yet sporty, with high material quality and scrupulous attention to detail.
The interiors, created by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, take driving position as their starting point and make the driver the center of attention: excellent distance ratio between pedal, seat, steering wheel and gear lever allow a perception of full control to ensure a typically Alfa Romeo standard of driving satisfaction.
The seats feature a juxtaposition of materials that can be seen and felt upon touch. The outer skins are smooth and silky with a clean, opaque-colored look. The central part is always trimmed with the most opulent materials: carbon fiber has been printed onto the microfiber to create an outstanding contrast of shiny/opaque. The feel is unique, sporty due to the underlying microfiber and silky due to the shiny fiber on the surface.
Last but not least, the car's compact size does not detract in any way from the overall roominess that is at the top of its category as evidenced, for example, by the outstanding amount of room available for rear passengers.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers a number of convenient compartments of various sizes to accommodate small and medium-sized items. The luggage compartment on the new Alfa Romeo is also impressive for its regular shape and 270 liters of capacity.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo was specifically mentioned as one of the cars coming over to the USA.
The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione is all ready sold here in the US through select Maserati dealers.
The Alfa 8C Competizione was designed by Alfa Romeo in co-operation with the Alfa-Maserati Sports Centre. The name recalls the great sporting tradition of Alfa Romeo: the 8C code was used to identify cars equipped with the revolutionary eight cylinder engine produced by the famous designer Vittorio Jano in the 1930s and 1940s.
The "8c Competizione" is not an invented name, but a clear reference to Alfa's racing history. And of course the Alfa Romeo legend was created to a great extent by the victories its cars achieved on race courses all around the world. There were so many of them that alone they represent a long, fascinating chapter, made of men and competitive spirit, engines and cutting edge technical ideas.
The protagonists of the inestimable human and technological heritage that is responsible for today's beautiful cars, full of character and, above all, capable of combining the beauty of the styling with the pleasure of driving them.