Chrysler Fiat Working On Electric Car Executive Topix

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Chrysler Electric Cars

Chrysler, Fiat Working On Electric Car -Executive

Oct 8, 2009

Auto makers Chrysler Group LLC and Fiat SpA (F.MI) are working together on developing an electric car, a Chrysler board member confirmed Thursday.

Alfredo Altavilla said the development process is going very well with Chrysler contributing its electric propulsion technology to the alliance.

Altavilla made the comments at the opening of a gearbox plant in Verrone.

This is the first time a Chrysler or Fiat executive has publicly confirmed Chrysler’s electrification plans since Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne took control of Chrysler’s assets in June after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Marchionne is set to present details of his five-year survival plan for the U.S.-based Chrysler. How the electric car will fit in the plan will likely be explained during the Nov. 4 briefing.

Marchionne will also talk about the realignment of the U.S. car maker’s brands and new product plans.

A Chrysler spokesperson had no comment. Fiat has refrained from talking about the plan ahead of the presentation.

Chrysler Electric Cars

Questions concerning Chrysler’s electric vehicles arose shortly after former CEO Bob Nardelli unveiled a portfolio of vehicles planned to hit North American showrooms in 2010. Nardelli showed off an all-electric-powered Dodge sports car, an electric/gas-powered Town Country minivan and a Jeep Wrangler which all boasted of achieving driving ranges between 200 and 400 miles.

Two months later, the auto maker warned it was burning through cash amid an economic recession. In December, Chrysler and then-General Motors Corp. sought access to low-cost loans from the federal government. Both companies ultimately filed for bankruptcy protection.

Separately, Altavilla, who took part in negotiating the alliance early this year as Fiat’s head of business development, said he did not expect more Fiat managers to take on roles at Chrysler.

In an unexpected move, Chrysler announced Monday it was replacing its recently installed heads of the Chrysler and Dodge brands. Peter Fong, CEO of the Chrysler brand, was replaced by former Fiat executive Olivier Francois bringing the number of former Fiat executives in Chrysler’s top management positions to three.

Pietro Gorlier is CEO of Chrysler’s Mopar parts group and Richard Palmer is Chrysler’s chief financial officer. Both came from Fiat.

Fiat has a 20% stake in Chrysler and Altavilla said the Italian group was working like crazy to be able to increase it. Fiat must reach a series of milestones in helping Chrysler recover from bankruptcy before it can increase its stake in the U.S. car maker

Chrysler Electric Cars
Chrysler Electric Cars
Chrysler Electric Cars
Chrysler Electric Cars

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