Can Fiat Make Trucks? Italy Isn’t Exactly Known For Pickups…
When people think of fine Italian products, the list looks like this:
- Magnificent sports cars
- Men’s suits
- An assortment of wines and cheeses
Please note that “truck” and/or “pickup” don’t appear on that list. Considering that Fiat is going to be a major stakeholder in Chrysler when the company emerges from bankruptcy, it’s time to consider Italy’s contribution to the truck world and what we can expect from a Dodge Ram crafted by Italian engineers.
1. Fiat quality is only OK. Everyone’s heard that FIAT stands for Fix It Again Tony, a joke that was common back when Fiat sold low-quality cars in the USA in the 70’s. According to one Consumer Reports author, the old Fiats “rotted away,” and “fell apart as you drove down the freeway”. The fact is Fiat’s quality and reliability is average at best, so there’s no reason to expect any quality or reliability improvements for the Ram.
2. Fiat has commercial truck credibility. Fiat owns IVECO, a company that builds a solid range of commercial trucks, everything from big rigs to military trucks to U-Haul sized vans. While success in the commercial trucking business doesn’t necessarily translate to success in the consumer truck market, you have to acknowledge that Fiat has some engineers with a good understanding of heavy-duty truck construction and design. That’s a net positive for the Ram.
3. Fiat knows performance. Ferrari. Maserati. Few brands pack the sports and performance punch that Fiat has. To put it bluntly, Fiat knows how to make a F*%$# Fast Car. The question is, will any of this knowledge translate to the Ram? Considering that a Ferrari has about as much in common with a truck as Paris Hilton does with the phrase “classy lady,” we’re thinking that this isn’t going to help make the Ram better. Still, we can’t wait to see what an Fiat SRT Ram might look like.
4. Fiat is a smart international automaker. If Fiat can add anything to Chrysler, it’s the fact that they’re a smart international company. They know how to manage multiple international divisions (Fiat is wildly successful in Brazil, go figure) and they understand that every country is different. That’s good news for Chrysler – at least we hope so.
It says here that we’re wishing the best of luck to Chrysler and their employees during bankruptcy proceedings, and hopefully the new company that emerges will be strong enough to pay back all those loans from the federal government. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Filed Under: Auto News