Thursday, April 28, 2016

Chinese GAG group to enter US market? (The Marchionne Connection)

 The GAG group in China has been making cars for Fiat for years.
(But also for Honda and Toyota)
Now, with the Chinese market not growing as fast as it once was, they want to expand in the US. (Or so they claim)
And they need help. Who do they call? Their old buddy Sergio Marchionne of course!

Through Fiat/Chrysler dealers, GAG could sell quite a few cars.
And since Marchionne was looking for someone to build the Chrysler 200 and the Dodge Dart, they could start by doing just that.
Chinese built Chryslers and Dodge sedans. (If Dodge lasts long enough)

GAG claims they have already been testing a couple of their models to meet US standards.
So let's see what they have so far.

They mostly sell their own cars under the Trumpchi brand, in China.
( I don't think a Chinese car brand name with the word "Trump" in it would fly over here...)

The one above is the new GA6.
It is just about an inch shorter than the Chrysler 200 and is powered by a 1.6 or 1.8 Liter engine.And And it already looks a bit like the Chrysler 200.
Which would be perfect for Mr.Marchionne who is always looking to save a buck.
Imagine, a Chinese made and designed fake Chrysler with a larger profit margin!

They also have this larger sedan coming up. 
The GA8.
Which actually looks quite nice. ( Do I hear Chrysler 300?)

This will be available with a 2.0 Liter Turbo engine (Like everything else these days)

And of course, they also have a brand new compact SUV coming up. The GS4.
Which also looks just fine.
It could be the next RAV4, or Rogue. Or anything else from anyone else.

So slap a Chrysler or a Dodge grille on it and it would work...(What a cheap way to keep Dodge alive for a few more years)

Of course these guys want to enter the US market and are asking Sergio for help.
Who wouldn't.

I wonder if this is the future of Chrysler.
80% Jeeps. And the rest is Chinese made sedans and small SUVs.

Maybe it is the only natural course of evolution for a small brand that has been lucky to survive so far.
Being tossed around from one owner to another for decades.
It's actually amazing it is still around. 

So maybe that's it. Marchionne would make that deal with GAG.
Which ends up selling tons of cars over here under the Chrysler brand.
The become so big they end up buying Fiat/Chrysler. (With Sergio making tons of money for himself on the deal)

Am I being too dark?
What do you think???


Anonymous said...

I think there will be the initial media coverage of a Chinese company taking over one of America's oldest and largest automobile companies, but eventually people won't care. If it has the right gimmicks, is cheap, and isn't noticeably terrible, people will still buy it. Cases in point: Mercedes-Benz CLA and BMW's 1-series hatchback (which most buyers don't know is RWD). It kind of makes sense for Buick to sell a Chinese made vehicle here because Buick is weirdly popular in China, but this would be a Chinese company supplanting American-designed and -built vehicles with totally Chinese vehicles. Maybe the Hellcat is FCA's way of giving the brand a rockstar send off?

Speaking of the Envision, maybe it's GM cashing in on the crossover craze or selling at a higher price to "elevate" the brand, but Chinese cars don't seem to be all that cheap. Labour costs are only going to ride as China's per capita GDP grows, and who knows what could happen if the economic climate changes and makes the cars even less profitable. Not to be political, but how ironic would it be if Trump trumped Trumpchi?

Anonymous said...

I'd rather Dodge and Chrysler just fade away. I will never buy a vehicle manufactured in China and there are many like me. It would be a shame to turn a once proud automotive name into a Chinese car company!

Vince Burlapp said...

I basically agree with all the comments so far.
Most people don't care. the comment is right about BMW's FWD cars.
(They are even coming up soon with the 1 series sedan! FWD looking like a small 3 series.)

We live in our small bubble of car lovers. Most people have no clue what's going on in the car business.

In the 60's Japanese cars were considered pretty crappy in the US.
Things change. A lot.
China makes most Apple computers. And these are considered among the most reliable ones.
iPhones are top of the line phones. So China is already making reliable high end products.

The next generation won't care at all if cars are made in China or not.

I am really glad I posted this. This is really interesting to see people's point of view....

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that these cars would live up to N/A QC standards; FCA is just beginning to turn the corner on QC - this would likely be a step backwards. The CUV here looks like a cheap Forester rip off. The mid-sized sedan looks ok at best.

FCA would have a much better go of things if they started releasing products within their own brands AND MARKETED THEM.

Chrysler right now is a 3 car show; NEW minivan (awesome product!) - in a declining market (minivans ARE declining), 300 (which is VERY long in the tooth) and the tragically underloved 200 (also a declining market). Where is the compact? Where is the compact CUV? Mid-sized CUV? How come the 300 hasn't seen a meaningful upgrade since the transition from gen 1 to gen 2??

On that note, Dodge is basically the Dart (poorly marketed - with an overly complex vehicle selection and medicore real world fuel economy. The Charger / Challenger (great - but time for an update) and the Journey - which has officially asked for old age security at this point (in the ONE category that requires a meaningful player.

It's simple FCA; come out with great products, market them and keep them fresh. Case in point, Jeep.

Anonymous said...

More stuff from China, yes, they are acceptable designs, but do we really want to see our auto industry die just like every other US industry has? And by the way, the company name is GAG, how appropriate!

William said...

Your assessment is pretty good as I see it. I think it could happen. There's not much left for Sergio at this point. I think both Fiat and Chrysler will continue to struggle in the US until they fade away or they get rescued (again) by the Chinese. I don't think anyone else want to be connected with them.

Anonymous said...

These cars look comparable or better than Chrysler's current products so they could integrate pretty seamlessly. People buy based on product not on where it's made. Most Chrysler products are currently made in Mexico so a shift to China is really a non-starter. Buick has the Envision SUV made there and other cars made in Korea so it's not a really big deal anymore.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Vince, when the Japanese entered the US market they were considered crappy cars, when they launched their luxury brands people laughed. Then the Koreans entered the market and we laughed again... Now look at Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai/Kia.... We just don't learn. Yes, I believe people will be reluctant to buy Chinese cars for a couple of years but then nobody will care...

Anonymous said...

Chrysler desperately needs (1) ONE thing: CONSISTENT QUALITY over many consecutive years. This is not the answer. In fact, as a long-time Chrysler fan; it makes me GAG.

Anonymous said...

Chinese crapola right mr meunière

Anonymous said...

Don't waste my time. Pure and utter garbage. Just like Christian Meunière

Anonymous said...

Perfect deal. We will be summerged by crappy Chinese fake cars... Tons and Tons of shit metal ready to junkyard. And the rich Chinese People will buy luxury German and italian luxury Car to put it in offroad and then in a junkyard. Thats the beauty of the globalization

Anonymous said...

The sedans look okay (I'm not overly impressed with them, however), but that SUV/crossover is hideous.

Anonymous said...

If FCA wants a partner to supply vehicles for the Chrysler brand, I would love to see them hook up with Renault. Renault's current and upcoming lineup would supply Chrysler with some really nice looking vehicles.

Chrysler's lineup could look like this:
* Chrysler Java: Rebadged Renault Clio (
* Chrysler Chronos: Rebadged Renault Megane 5-door and sedan (assuming a sedan will eventually materialize to replace the current Fluence) (
* Chrysler Talisman: Rebadged Renault Talisman sedan (
* Chrysler Summit: Rebadged Renault Captur (
* Chrysler Nassau: Rebadged Renault Kadjar (
* Chrysler Aspen: Rebadged Renault Koleos (
* Chrysler Scenic: Rebadged Renault Scenic (
* Chrysler Voyager: Rebadged Renault Espace (

All the vehicles listed above would augment the new Pacifica minivan in Chrysler's lineup.

The main obstacle would be Nissan. Would Nissan want what would essentially be internal competition in the US market?

I'm not sure what to do with Dodge. The brand is supposed to be affordable performance, but I'm not sure Sergio will continue to support it in house. He seems convinced that FCA should primarily develop utility vehicles for the US market and outsource cars from other manufacturers. Will he reserve FCA's RWD platforms for brands that command higher profits (Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Maserati)? Can he find partners to outsource affordable RWD cars for Dodge? The one opportunity he already had to give Dodge an outsourced RWD performance product he ended up giving to Fiat (the 124 Spider). I really don't see much of a future for Dodge. The best option I see is to fold RAM back into Dodge and designate Dodge as the truck/commercial vehicle brand in the US market. The Fiat Toro might be a good addition to Dodge's lineup to slot under the RAM pickup (

Or...FCA could simply strike a deal with its Chinese partner to support Chrysler (and possibly Dodge) in the US market. The Chinese are probably chomping at the bit to expand into this market and it would provide a path of least resistance for Sergio and FCA. I'm assuming Sergio is only interested in spending FCA's vehicle development dollars to mainly support Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati. Chrysler and (especially) Dodge look to have been left out in the cold.

Carl Sandstedt said...

Nissan dealers would go nuts if Renault competed with them via Chrysler, remember when Saturns were going to be rebranded Samsungs? The Chinese alliance is much more likely to happen. That CUV interior doesn't look bad, the sedans... not any better than the present 200.

Anonymous said...

I'm GAGging on the ELEGANZA! ;)