My tribute is for Sergio Marchionne, who died last July, who with his acumen turned around the financial destiny of Fiat and Chrysler.
I recall when he first took up the Fiat economic problems; few would have bet on a successful outcome.
Then it was announced that they would remake the old lovely Fiat 500. I owned one too back in the days.
I wasn’t sure about it. That little car for the USA market? It seemed really far-fetched to me.
After a while I started to see them in Washington DC. Well, I thought DC is very cosmopolitan, but how about the rest?
Then I saw them in NYC, in Colombia, SC, in the west Coast, and pretty much everywhere.
What’s not to like? They come in an ample palette, from an aggressive black, to a sweet pale blue. A color for every personality.
Marchionne was much criticized in Italy. This was the rhetoric:
- He ruined an excellent Italian company: Not really Fiat was practically bankrupt.
- He gave Fiat to the banks: Given the situation at the time of the settlement, Sergio Marchionne decides to convert the debts to the banks in stocks, hence settling the debts.
- He Shut down almost all the factories in Italy: In fact, it has only shut down some and it was already a matter of establishment in a serious crisis.
Marchionne has done what many thought impossible, most notably his huge gamble just over a decade ago when he set in motion the marriage between the then-ailing Fiat with bankrupt U.S. rival Chrysler. It is now the world’s seventh-largest carmaker and is debt-free.
Also made famous by a popular cartoon of the ’80s
Sergio Marchionne (June 17, 1952 – July 25, 2018) was an Italian-Canadian businessman, widely known for his turnarounds of the automakers Fiat and Chrysler, his business acumen and his outspoken and often frank approach, especially when dealing with unpalatable issues related to his companies and the automotive industry