USA Today

Possible Chrysler savior Fiat has low reliability scores
USA Today

Fiat cars are unreliable and unsatisfying, according to two respected independent surveys of European-market vehicles.

What’s more, parent company Fiat Group appears not to have enough money to pay debt that matures in the next 12 months, Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday as it downgraded Fiat’s ratings.

Those are chilling reports at a time the Italian automaker is viewed as the only savior for Chrysler, via a proposed partnership.

Chrysler on Tuesday had no comment on meetings with Fiat or progress of the proposed deal. Still, such ratings cast doubt on whether a Fiat partnership would boost Chrysler scores. « You’re putting together two companies that historically have had issues with quality, » notes Stephanie Brinley at consultant AutoPacific’s Detroit office.

President Obama’s auto task force on Monday judged « Chrysler is not viable as a stand-alone company, » and Obama said it won’t get more bailout loans (it got $4 billion last year) unless it partners with Fiat — or somebody — by the end of April.

P.-S. Soyez sans crainte, Barack Obama veut aussi devenir le mécanicien en chef des États-Unis.