After taking up a whole day last week spinning fairy tales about Chrysler’s vacuous five-year plans, canceling his U.S. arm’s non-existent electric-vehicle was a fresh piece of down-to-Earth decision-making.
But does this decision say more about Fiat's plans for Chrysler than the 7-hour PowerPoint presentation we received last week?It’s one thing for Fiat/Chrysler head Marchionne to spin us on the doubling of global sales (including a 33 per cent increase here in Canada.)
With aging, unattractive and market-inappropriate products, bottom-of-the-barrel dismal quality ratings, a bare product development cupboard, and few North American resources on hand, I’d bet on the Leafs winning the Cup before any of The Don’s bold predictions comes true.
But what about the canning of Chrysler’s ENVI program?
On one hand, it makes a bunch of business sense.
If you remember, the quickee concepts (like the Dodge Circuit above) were little more than vapourware
—with engineering specs cut-and-paste from GM’s Volt program.
But the EVs did serve the purpose of nailing down billions in Canadian and U.S. taxpayer bailout money. The Don’s argument is that the Fiat 500 will replace the EVs as Chrysler’s high-mileage vehicle that the government funds were directed towards the EVs.
But is that enough?
Is the canceling of the EVs just another sign in the lack of Fiat’s long-term commitment?
Or is The Don only admitting what no one wants to hear: That EVs are a waste of time?