Beginning next month in Italy, Fiat will begin a two-year process aimed at taking over vehicle logistics and parts distribution in Europe for Chrysler as part of a wider sales and service integration between the two carmakers. Fiat took a controlling 20% stake in Chrysler Group last June when the US carmaker emerged from bankruptcy.
The Italian carmaker will begin with sales and service operations for the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands in 11 European countries: Germany, Italy, the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.
In April Fiat is expected to announce its intention to integrate Chrysler’s European dealers into its own distribution network, while distribution contracts with Chrysler importers in other European countries will also gradually move across.
As reported last November, Chrysler will gain access to Fiat's distribution network in "key growth markets" outside the US and its global supplier base.
Key to Chrysler’s new procurement strategy is supply base optimisation “driven through an aligned Chrysler-Fiat Group Purchasing Organization, as well as component sharing”. Shared supply will increase from 52% this year to more than 65% by 2014 (read more here).
Chrysler is also building Chrysler and Dodge vehicles in the US and Canada for sale in Europe as rebadged Fiats and Lancias. The vehicles will be built at Sterling Heights, Michgan and Toledo, Ohio in the US, as well as in Brampton and Windsor, Ontario. Four rebadged Chrysler models will go on sale in Italy rebadged as Lancias, including the 300C sedan, Sebring sedan and cabrio, and Voyager minivan.
In addition, Chrysler will build Alfa Romeos in North America for sale there and in Europe.
Chrysler is also currently implementing a new aftermarket warehouse logistics system across 20 of its warehouses in the US based on a model derived from Fiat. The system is for the storage and movement of aftermarket parts at Chrysler’s Mopar division.