The automobile industry has a social responsibility to
improve fuel economy, according to Chrysler/Fiat chief executive officer
"The fuel efficiency
challenge is one of the biggest issues facing the industry, and not just
because of daunting government regulations. As an industry, we need to look beyond the
narrow interests of our industry and embrac ecological responsibility because we
owe it to future generations," he said.
"I believe in our
industry’s ability to find solutions. Even with traditional combustion engines,
we have only skimmed the surface of the ability to squeeze out higher fuel
efficiency levels, allowing us to extract much more power out of smaller
displacements," he said.
"I believe that
if we unleash our engineering talent, we can find solutions that are both in
line with sustainable mobility while also meeting the desires of our customers
for vehicles that are a pleasure to drive. As an industry, we can choose to
reject the notion that we can’t do it," he said.
Marchionne confirmed Chrysler will begin
building the diesel-powered version of
the Jeep Grand Cherokee at the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit early
in 2013. But Fiat/Chrysler chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said he
doesn't expect diesel engines to move from large trucks and SUS into smaller passenger cars in the US . The necessary
emission controls make the engines too expensive, Marchionne said during an
appearance at the Automotive News World Congress. Marchionne also said Chrysler won't begin
preparing the Jefferson North plant to build a new Maserati SUV with a Ferrari
engine until 2013 and dismissed speculation Fiat could be lining up to make a
bid for the German carmaker Opel.
Marchionne also emphasized Chrysler has no intention of resting on its
laurels after a successful 2011 in which it succeed in selling more than 2
million vehicles and gaining market share. "This is a story of
revitalization in a company that was regarded as irrelevant, set in a city that
has been disparaged as a failure.
"It is just one
example of how impossible feats of recovery can be achieved if we work together
in good faith, realizing that we have a stake in each other’s success," he
"Fiat and Chrysler come from two
different pasts, but they have something very strong in common.
Both have been to hell and back," he said.
current situation doesn't favor a business like ours – an industry that is
extremely capital intensive, requires thorough medium- and long-term planning,
and is highly sensitive to economic downturns.
Today there are two significant threats fuelling fears on either
side of the Atlantic: the specter of a faltering recovery in North America and
the sovereign debt situation in Europe.
Marchionne added the the current uncertainty
is a by-product of the improper, or at best incomplete, execution of two large
"The first, clearly
driven by the United States, had as a clear objective the liberalization and
deregulation of financial markets," he said.
"The second, concocted in Europe,
proposed the Single Market and Single Currency as the solution to the political
instability that had characterized Europe for hundreds of years," he
added. "The first experiment brought us close to Armageddon. The second has the potential to finish the
job," he said. By Joseph Szczesny