Wed, 22 May 2013 14:14:00 EST
Automotive News reports Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has issued a written apology for his comments regarding his decision to stick with an Italian engine for the upcoming Alfa Romeo 4C. As you may recall, back in January, Marchionne was quoted as saying, "I cannot come up with a schlock product, I just won't. I won't put an American engine into that car. With all due respect to my American friends, it has to be a wop engine." The CEO penned an apology to the Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition for using the racial epithet, saying that he made the comment in jest. Marchionne also said he realizes his remarks were unacceptable.
Thu, 28 Mar 2013 19:00:00 EST
ONE VOICE, an organization aimed at fighting discrimination and stereotyping of Italian Americans, thanked Marchionne, Chrysler and Fiat for the apology. Marchionne is an Italian-born Canadian citizen, and he's gotten in trouble for other comments in the past. In 2011, he called high interest rates Chrysler was paying to the Canadian government "shyster rates." He apologized a day later.
For more than two years, Volkswagen has been making public statements about its willingness to buy Alfa Romeo and quadruple the Italian brand's sales, and for just as long, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has replied with some version of "Mr. Piëch, drop it." According to a report in Ward's Auto, all that jousting might be over: it claims that sources close to both Marchionne and Audi CEO Rupert Stadler admit that the two are in talks for Audi to buy not just Alfa Romeo, but a production plant in Italy. In fact, a final deal could possibly include partsmaker Magnetti Marelli.
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:01:00 EST
Against that backdrop, a report by German news weekly Stern quotes a Fiat spokesmen as saying it doesn't comment on rumors and an Audi rep has said flatly that "There is no substance in the news." If a sale is being arranged, the timing would seem to point to how eager Fiat is to raise cash to complete its major initiatives. Even though Alfa Romeo continues to delay its return to the US, it just showed off the production version of the 4C at the Geneva Motor Show (shown above) and said that preferred Fiat dealerships here would get them. Then there's Alfa's recently concluded deal with Mazda to develop a roadster based on the next generation MX-5 Miata - a deal that would seem to help both the Italian and Japanese brands.
The monetary issues are troublesome, though. Fiat is taking a beating in the European market and its weak-kneed balance sheet is delaying gotta-have-it products like the Jeep Cherokee. Fiat has been talking to banks about getting money to buy the rest of Chrysler and those financial institutions have also raised issues about debt and cash reserves, and the nasty game of chess Fiat is playing with the United Auto Workers (and now the court system about the portion of Chrysler it doesn't own) could end up blowing another hole in Marchionne's plans. It is possible that this could finally have convinced Fiat to at least see how serious Audi's parent company, Volkswagen, is about buying Alfa Romeo. Or it could be just another rumor.
We love Motor Trend's annual World's Greatest Drag Race video. Now back for its fourth appearance, the idea of lining some of the world's fastest cars up for a ten-wide, straight-line, full-throttle run is, well... it's pretty freaking badass.
The lineup this year boasts some impressively fast cars to be sure. The group of ten includes the following darlings: Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW i8, BMW M4, Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Ford Fiesta ST, Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, Nissan GT-R Nismo, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Subaru WRX STI and, last but not least, the Volkswagen GTI. Give us any one of those for the weekend, and we're happy to take the keys.
It must be said though, that for a publication that draws as much water as Motor Trend does, there are some big cars that we might expect to be here instead. The Lamborghini Huracán or Ferrari 458 Speciale would have added some exotic flare to the list, and the omissions of the Chevy Corvette Stingray (for the second year in a row) and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat are real head-scratchers.