In Europe, Fiat S.p.A. and Chrysler Group are one step closer to having their distributing activities integrated. Beginning in April, Fiat will take over sales and service for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brand vehicles in 11 European countries. This process will start in Italy and will take almost two years to complete.
Support services such as vehicle logistics and parts distribution will soon be handled entirely by Fiat, as Chrysler's former partner, Daimler AG relinquishes control in this area. Financial services for Chrysler's European activities are already in the hands of Fiat's financial arm.
Over the next 18 months, the activities and employees of the Chrysler's national sales companies in Germany, Italy, the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland will be gradually moved to the corresponding Fiat national sales companies.
In an interview with Automotive News Europe, a Chrysler spokesman said that about 400 Chrysler European employees will be gradually transferring to Fiat.
Meanwhile, a Fiat spokesman revealed that distribution contracts with Chrysler importers in the other European countries will progressively shift to Fiat, which will soon be the sole distributor of Chrysler brands in Europe.
It is believed that Fiat will be unveiling its plan to integrate Chrysler's European dealers into its own distribution network on April 21.
According to ACEA, the European automakers association, the Chrysler Group last year sold 54,334 vehicles in Europe, a 41.6% drop from the prior year. On the other hand, European sales of Fiat group vehicles, including Fiat brand, Alfa Romeo and Lancia cars, rose by 6.3% to 1.25 million last year.