Fiat and Chrysler suppliers to benefit from US launch of Fiat-based models

Article by Anita Panait, on March 26, 2012

Fiat suppliers will likely benefit from Chrysler Group’s launching of Fiat-based vehicles in the United States, according to Dan Knott, Chrysler's head of purchasing. Chrysler’s suppliers, however, does not have to worry about not getting a piece of the action, as they will get a fair share of the work, Knott said, remarking that they should have added to pick up Fiat work in Europe. 

Starting April 2012, the Chrysler Group will commence building vehicles using Fiat’s platforms; starting with the 2013 Dodge Dart compact that will be launched at the company’s Belvidere factory in Illinois. Chrysler will then kick off production for the replacement for its Jeep Liberty sports utility vehicle in the first half of 2013 at its Toledo North plant. The company is currently renovating the Toledo North plant at a cost of $500 million just to prepare for the production of Fiat-based vehicles.

With regards to the company’s suppliers, Knott said there will be an increase in the number of suppliers who will accommodate both Chrysler and Fiat in the next two or three years, says Autonews.

According to the company’s 2009 product plan, at least eight compact and mid-sized vehicles will share Fiat's CUS-Wide platform, including the Dart and the Liberty replacement. Fiat had used a slightly slimmer version of the CUS-Wide platform for its Alfa Romeo Giulietta model.

Knott said Chrysler tapped some suppliers who had experienced working with the platform with Fiat’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta in Europe. One of the suppliers that seemed to have benefited from the alliance is Magneti Marelli S.p.A., an Italian supplier that is part of Fiat Group. Magneti Marelli builds lighting, instrument clusters, infotainment modules, shock absorbers and powertrain components, and currently supplies parts for the Dodge Dart.

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