Marchionne brings rivalry with VW to U.S.
Fiat CEO will use special rebates to lure current VW owners
By Mathieu Rosemain | Bloomberg News
December 8, 2012
Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, who was re-elected Friday to head Europe's main carmaking lobby group, is taking his rivalry with Volkswagen AG to their home region overseas.
Marchionne, who also runs Michigan-based Chrysler Group LLC, is offering $1,000 rebates to current VW owners in the U.S., where VW is much smaller, if the customers to buy a Fiat or Chrysler vehicle.
Marchionne has been in a war of words with VW over auto pricing in Europe, where VW commands 25 percent of the market, suggesting in July that the German automaker was creating a "bloodbath" in the region. Stephan Gruehsem, VW's chief spokesman, responded that Marchionne wasn't qualified to lead the ACEA lobby group.
The dispute, which included VW and Turin, Italy-based Fiat each threatening to quit the ACEA, highlighted a growing financial gap between German manufacturers with premium brands and their unprofitable, volume-oriented French and Italian counterparts, which are losing sales with low-margin, mid-range models.CONTINUE AT: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...12080319/1148/The U.S. rebate offer is only for buyers who currently own or lease a VW vehicle, according to Chrysler's website. Customers don't even have to give up their VW to qualify.