Yesterday, Bloomberg News reported that Fiat “is considering building Chrysler models in Italy, including Jeeps, for export to North America.” Today, that news became real when company CEO Sergio Marchnionne announced, in Bloomberg’s words (in paragraph 6, subtitled “Italy’s Jeep”), that it will “build a small Jeep in Italy for export beginning in 2014 … a new model for Europe and the U.S. that isn’t currently in production.”
Of course, today’s Bloomberg report led with Marchionne’s clever denial about the company’s plans for manufacturing in China: “Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China.” No, he has instead set the stage for newer Jeep models exported to the U.S. to gradually supplant older models made in the U.S. over several years. This should be an embarrassment to those who engineered the Obama administration’s bailout of Chrysler in 2009, ripping off secured creditors in the bankruptcy process and thereby giving Fiat a larger initial share of the company than it deserved. But don’t worry, Colleen Barry at the Associated Press is there with vague language to ensure that this news doesn’t become general knowledge (bold is mine):
FIAT PLANS TO LAUNCH 17 NEW CARS IN EUROPE BY 2016
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says he will ramp up production of the Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Jeep brands in Europe by 2016 to put idled Italian plants back to work.
A new industrial plan for Fiat, which controls Chrysler, announced Tuesday foresees the launch of 17 new car models from Italy from 2013 to 2016.
Marchionne told analysts that the focus is on luxury brands Maserati and Alfa Romeo because they have high enough margins to generate profits as exports. The plan includes a smaller Jeep aimed primarily at Europe.
It’s also “aimed” at North America, but Colleen chose not to inform readers of that inconvenient fact.
The reelection campaign of Barack Obama is beating up on Mitt Romney over China, while the beneficiary of administration’s 2009 largesse is quietly moving production of Chrysler’s new generation of its signature vehicle overseas. The AP’s Barry is shamefully helping to keep it quiet.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.