The UAW has helped settle two product and fiscal issues with Chrysler, Volkswagen and Fiat.
New Year’s week brought strengthening by automaker Fiat of its ownership of Chrysler Group. The UAW in a sale of $4.35 billion managed to shift to the union’s employee healthcare trust fund the remaining 41% of Chrysler stock, making Chrysler the worlds 7th largest automaker. This gives the automaker enough stock to control Chrysler decisions, says the automaker’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, who has been in charge at Fiat and Chrysler since 2004.
The reclusive CEO called the lusty payment purchase power to pursue joint platforms and materials with Fiat. It will also speed up programs affecting Chrysler-Dodge dealers and spur sales globally of Dodge Ram trucks, Dodge Dart cars and Fiat’s nifty 500L subcompact cars.
In acquiring total control of Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is expected to pursue increased global sales for both Chrysler and Fiat Vehicles, starting with the Alfa Romeo luxury brand in May.
Marchionne noted that as equal partners Fiat and Chrysler, now can exchange platforms and reduce materials costs more readily. On a marketing level, Chrysler-Dodge dealers now will be expanded to accommodate the Fiat franchise and vice versa.
The Dodge Ram truck franchise now will be offered as a global franchise in more markets in accord with the unionized VW and Audi plants in Europe and Puebla, Mex.
Whoever succeeds VW V-P Jonathan Browning will need to exercise marketing expertise and advertising ingenuity for superior products like Mexican-built Golfs and European Audis, and push for Scirocco’s return to the U.S. market.
“Scirocco is a car too good for the global market, particularly the Golden State. Its California waiting list is too good to keep off limits,” say VW dealers in California.
It was decided Christmas week to establish the for creation of “works councils” at the Passat plant in Chattanooga, TN like automakers have in Europe, including Fiat plants in Italy, GM plants in France and Belgium and a Chrysler plant in Austria.