Will Hyundai actually buy Fiat Chrysler?

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Glorified accountant Sergio Marchionne has been trying to sell off the company for years.
So himself and his buddies can make a bundle  when they leaves the company.
But so far no one was really interested.

Now there are many rumors around about Hyundai actually being very interested in acquiring FCA.
(HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE and many more…)
Which sounds a bit strange to me.

I mean, they already have 2 overlapping companies that pretty much cover everything from super tiny cars to giant luxury models. Including a bunch of SUVs. EVs. With more on the way.
And they just started their Genesis luxury brand.

Sure, they don’t have huge pick up trucks.
But these are only popular in North America. Where most buyers of these buy American stuff.
(While the redesigned Nissan Titan got mostly very positive reviews, it couldn’t even find 53 000 buyers last year in the US. Nothing compared to the “mind blowing” almost 900 000 units of the F-150)

I guess if they bought FCA they would end up with the Ram trucks…
Sure, Jeep is a big money maker right now. They could share their platforms with upcoming Hyundai/Kia SUVs.
What about Dodge and Chrysler? Even Fiat and Alfa Romeo?

I think they could re-invent Fiat into a niche “corky small cars” manufacturer.
Make sure Dodge sells only sports cars and fast SUVs.
Alfa could share RWD platforms with Genesis.

What do you think about Hyundai buying FCA???

Conversation 13 comments

  1. I think it would be awesome. They could improve the quality control and get that company back on the right track.

  2. Jeep and trucks about the only thing useful after three straight abusive owners. Maybe Dodge could remain as a pickup brand and Ram sold off, like Bentley and Rolls–didn't VW think they were getting Rolls when the bought the line? So Ram (or Dodge trucks) get sold off to the Chinese (or Mahindra) or maybe Hyundai gets Ram and Kia gets Dodge trucks. The gradual Hyundaization of Jeep's products would probably result in better quality control.

  3. There is nothing valuable left in Chrysler. All they have right now is various liabilities/debts and overpaid incompetent lazy workers.

  4. Isn’t Dodge/Chrysler going away anyway? Isn’t that why he separated Dodge trucks and made Ram its own company? So Hyundai would be getting Jeep/Ram/Alpha…. truck platforms and rear drive car platforms and a competitive minivan. They could use them all. I think it’s a great move if they can get it cheep enough.

  5. Chrysler and Dodge are an awful lot like the loads of mediocre family belongings at a middle class estate sale.

    Take a time machine back to the last time Chrysler Corp was anywhere near the right track and consider this alternate present… Hyundai as a brand, with its increasing reliability and consistent quality for entry to mid-level cars is an is a sort of ideal that Dodge should have progressed and matured into. Genesis is introducing concepts and cars that Chrysler should be making.

    I dunno…seems like a great plan, but only if a younger demographic actually cares about the brand names.

    (for bonus points: in this alternate present, with Plymouth still alive as part of the equation, is that Kia or Hyundai? I'm thinking Hyundai would be great plymouths, with Kia's as what Dodges should be…)

  6. Hyundai already has RWD platform with one of the world's top ten engine called, the Tau engine. Hyundai is also literally months away from announcing the all new RWD 10-speed transmission. What does Chrysler have that Hyundai doesn't?

  7. If Hyundai does acquire FCA, I think the following will occur:
    1) Lancia will finally be put out of its misery.
    2) The Fiat and Chrysler brands will be discontinued. Kia and Hyundai can cover the same territory on a global scale. There’s no need to try to support two damaged regional brands.
    3) Jeep moves slightly upmarket and is combined in a sales channel with Genesis. All future Jeep products, except the Wrangler and its spinoffs, will be developed on Genesis platforms. Jeep would focus on its rugged go anywhere image while Genesis would focus on comfortable luxury.
    4) Alfa Romeo and Maserati will be combined in a two tier Euro sport luxury sales channel. Dedicated efforts would be made to get these two brands on par with their established German competition.
    5) The RAM pickup will be moved back under the Dodge brand and Dodge will become a truck/truck based SUV brand. The next gen Durango will be developed on the RAM truck platform and will become a competitor for the Expedition, Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon. A new midsize Dakota pickup will be developed and a midsize SUV will be spun off the Dakota platform. Dodge will be paired with Hyundai or Kia dealerships.
    6) A luxury SUV will be spun off the RAM platform for the Genesis brand. It would compete with the Navigator and Escalade in the US market.
    7) The Pacifica minivan would be moved over to the Hyundai brand. It would be marketed as the “Chrysler Pacifica by Hyundai” to maintain its market recognition. After the current generation’s life cycle is over, the next gen would be simply badged as a Hyundai. Chrysler would be discontinued at this point.
    8) This is all speculation on my part, but this is how I think Hyundai could possibly integrate FCA into its organization. Hyundai would discontinue the parts it doesn’t need (Fiat, Chrysler, Lancia) while using the remaining resources (Jeep, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, dealership networks, manufacturing facilities) to expand its market share and enter into segments and classes where it currently doesn’t exist (trucks, SUVs, established luxury).

    The best bet for the survival of the Chrysler brand would be for FCA to be purchased by a vehicle manufacturer who currently isn’t present in the US market. With an established dealership network and the brand reduced to two vehicles (one of which is very old), Chrysler would be a very attractive proposition for a vehicle manufacturer who wishes to bring its products to the US market. Top candidates would be French or Chinese manufacturers. My top picks would be Renault (French) or Geely (Chinese), both of which currently have attractive vehicles that would make good additions to Chrysler’s lineup. There is no evidence of this happening, so it is very unlikely.

  8. If Hyundai is indeed interested in FCA, it is probably to acquire the things that they are currently missing:

    A competitive minivan: the Kia Sedona is a definite also ran in the segment.

    An established full-size truck: it would be much more difficult for Hyundai to try to break into the full-size truck segment with its own offering. US buyers are very loyal to their truck brands and RAM is definitely an established player. RAM has also already proven that it can thrive despite a shift in ownership (the truck has already survived German and Italian ownership).

    Established luxury marquees: Maserati and Alfa Romeo. The two brands have two major things in their favor; recognition (even if it’s damaged) and their European (which gives them some unexplainable old world cache). Just imagine the accolades Hyundai would receive if it could turn these two historic brands around and make them successful. Of course, there’s always a chance that Alfa and Maserati could be spun off separate from the rest of FCA and withheld from being sold.

    Jeep: sure, Hyundai and Kia sell crossovers, but they don’t have the mystique and go anywhere image associated with the Jeep brand. Like Alfa and Maserati, Jeep is a historic brand that would gain admiration for Hyundai if Hyundai could make a positive impact on the brand’s quality and reliability issues. Fixing a popular and beloved brand such as Jeep would definitely enhance Hyundai’s image in the US market, as well as increasing market share.

    Of course, Hyundai would have access to more manufacturing facilities and a larger dealership network.

    I don’t think Hyundai would have any use or interest in the Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, or Lancia brands. Hyundai and Kia pretty much cover the same territory as Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat. Lancia is on life support and needs to be put out to pasture.

  9. This may have been a good move about 8 years ago, but now it would just set them back. They just shed the cheap/junk car image and buying Chrysler would be a step back. The only thing of value is Jeep, but it is not worth ruining their reputation by buying Chrysler to get it. Hyundai should just start their own truck division and build them here in the states like Toyota and Nissan.

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