The company that Americans refer to as Chrysler is actually called Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCAU). Fiat Chrysler is one of “the Big Three,” the name given to the three major American car companies. The other two are General Motors (GM) and Ford (F). Chrysler itself was partially acquired by Italian automaker Fiat in 2009 as part of a government stimulus plan after the 2008 recession. By 2011, however, Fiat had acquired enough shares of Chrysler to become the company’s majority owner. Three years later in 2014, Fiat moved to purchase the remaining 41% of Chrysler’s shares to become the sole owner. In doing so, Fiat acquired some of the world’s most recognizable car brands, including Jeep, Dodge, and Ram.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 6, 2018 that Fiat Chrysler would be opening a new factory in Detroit, Michigan. The assembly plant, which will be used to make a sport-utility vehicle, is the first new U.S. car factory to be opened by a major domestic automaker in the last decade. The proposed factory is one of the first significant company moves made under chief executive Mike Manley, who took over for the late Sergio Marchionne on Jul. 25, 2018.
Comau S.p.A. specializes in manufacturing production systems. The company has three main divisions: body assembly, powertrain systems, and robotics. Besides automotive work done for FCA, Comau also works with aerospace and alternative energy companies. It is expanding its robotic technology systems into all areas of manufacturing, including food and beverage, electronics, consumer goods, and logistics.
Magnetti Marelli S.p.A. has been part of Fiat since 1919. The company began as a manufacturer of magnetos and car parts but now focuses on automotive lighting, electronic controls, suspensions, exhausts, telematics and entertainment systems. The company’s business in higher technology automotive systems has attracted the attention of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (005930.KS). The electronics company nearly acquired Magneti Marelli in 2017 but decided against it in November.
Teksid S.p.A. started in 1917 as a foundry for making engine blocks for Fiat. Today, Teksid makes automotive components from iron and aluminum for FCA units and other automobile companies worldwide. Its strength is in engine blocks, cylinder heads, transmissions, and suspension assemblies.
Mopar is the original equipment manufacturer and supplier of parts for the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicle lines. The company has a full line of parts for repairs, plus a catalog of high-performance parts for people desiring to increase performance or build cars for racing. It is also the U.S. distributor for Fiat parts. Mopar is frequently used as a term to describe any car designed and manufactured by Chrysler or its divisions since 1920.
FCA US LLC is the holding company responsible for all of the company’s U.S.-manufactured brands. FCA US makes and distributes Chrysler, Dodge, Ram Truck and Jeep vehicles. While once a member of the “Big Three,” FCA’s U.S. operations are one of the automobile sector’s weaker players.
FCA Italy S.p.A. handles all of the traditional Italian automotive brands. These brands are Fiat, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, and Lancia. Fiat offers sub-compact cars for sales worldwide. The brand was reintroduced into the United States in 2011. Abarth makes sport and performance versions of Fiat models. The only Abarth sold in the United States is co-branded with Fiat. Alfa Romeo is known for its history of making sports and racing cars. Alfa started selling a new model in the United States in 2014, ending a 20-year absence from the American market. Plans are to expand the Alfa Romeo line with new models to compete with German manufacturers. Lancia only makes one super-mini compact model. Lancia has no U.S. distribution. It is doubtful that Lancia can remain a separate brand for much longer.
Maserati S.p.A. is a well-known Italian maker of exotic sports cars and sedans with a shaky financial history. Fiat has been an owner since 1989 and had full control since 1993. Fiat has used partnerships with Ferrari and Alfa Romeo to evolve Maserati into a seller of super-luxury high-performance sedans.