What's In A Name? For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Plenty Of Clues

Jan 29 2014, 3:08pm CST | by

What's In A Name? For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Plenty Of Clues

Chrysler can be forgiven if sometimes feels like a re-gifted car company. In the past two decades, it’s bounced from independence, to a “merger of equals” with German’s Daimler, to private ownership under Cerberus, to the oversight of Fiat.

Now, Chrysler has been packaged up once again, and its name is part of the new company. On Wednesday, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne announced the formation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA for short. The new company will be initially be based in London, not Milan, Italy, the long-time home of Fiat, or Auburn Hills, Mich., where Chrysler has been headquartered the past quarter century, although there have been some hints that FCA might end up in the United States.

Forbes Detroit Bureau Chief Joann Muller writes that the company has a new logo, which the company says represents “an organization that is much more than the sum of its two component parts, based on strong core values that represents a unique corporate culture, a common vision and a Group with an international reach.”

Instead of the 1930s looking streamlined Fiat lettering, or Chrysler’s traditional pentastar, the new company has chosen blue lettering, almost the color of President Obama’s tie at Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address. As with international architecture, which can’t be traced to any nationality but looks the same everywhere, the FCA logo is a fresh start for the Italian and American automakers.

According to Mlive.com, Marchionne said the company’s leadership team, as the logo represents, is “working in unison.”

“The three letters in the new logo, according to officials, are grouped in a geometric configuration inspired by the essential shapes used in automobile design: the F, derived from a square, symbolizes concreteness and solidity; the C, derived from a circle, representing wheels and movement, symbolizes harmony and continuity; and finally, the A, derived from a triangle, indicates energy and a perennial state of evolution,” wrote Mlive reporter Michael Wayland.

But look past the blue letters and there are some clues of what lies ahead for FCA.

Fiat Comes First. Fiat gained management control of Chrysler in 2009, when it took charge of the company after its U.S. government-sponsored bankruptcy. Since then, it has gradually be increasing its stake in Chrysler, as allowed by law. Now, Fiat unquestionably owns Chrysler, and that’s reflected in the pairing and the order of the company names. It’s no longer two companies, with one shepherding the other. It’s one big family, as Muller wrote in her story.

Of course, it’s a family with a very visible, and outspoken patriarch in Marchionne, who has committed to staying at FCA for at least three years, and a storied history through the involvement of the Agnellis, the Italian industrialists.

Chrysler Is On Display. When Daimler joined forces with Chrysler in 1998, there was a question about how to pronounce the name of the German-American company. “Daimler,” so the joke went. “The Chrysler is silent.” It doesn’t look like there’s going to be a silent Chrysler here. If Fiat wanted to overshadow Chrysler, it could have just folded it in under a Fiat company umbrella, or called it a subsidiary or a division. In this case, Fiat is breaking with its long tradition to link the Chrysler name with its own, much as Queen Elizabeth II hyphenated her children’s family name in 1960 to Mountbatten-Windsor as a nod to her husband, Prince Phillip.

It makes complete sense, given the success that Chrysler has enjoyed since it emerged from its quick-wash bankruptcy. And it ought to reassure the Americans who might wonder where they would rank with their Italian overseers. They get a seat at the table, and their own placecard.

Automobiles Are Our Game. Seasoned automobile industry watchers remember plenty of times when car companies pretended they did more than their primarily job. General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler all once had vast supply networks, making everything from steel and glass to plastics. They’ve owned companies making everything from buses and locomotives to refrigerators. And, in more recent times, they declared that they would be high tech companies, and of course they have had financial services networks.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is a declaration that the company is going to make vehicles. It’s bold, when you think about it, and it’s also clear. Of course, if FCA decides someday that it wants to shift away from cars and trucks, it will have to change its name. And that might keep the company on course, rather than wade into businesses that have nothing to do with its core mission.

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Shuttlers Pawar, Saili in Scottish Open quarters
Glasgow, Nov 21 (IANS) Indian shuttlers Anand Pawar and Saili Rane reached the quarterfinals of their respective categories at the $50,000 Scottish Open Grand Prix here Friday. Men's singles seventh seed Pawar...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
India complete hat-trick of SAFF Women's Championship titles
ISlamabad, Nov 21 (IANS) The Indian national football team won the SAFF Women's Championship for the third straight time, defeating Nepal 6-0 in the final here Friday, triumphing for the first time on Pakistani soil....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Morocco, US organisation sign MoU on 'Enterprise City' project
Marrakech, Nov 21 (IANS) The Moroccan government and US institution Babson Global have signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of an "Enterprise City", a city dedicated...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Zambia's interim leader suspended as party head
Lusaka, Nov 21 (IANS) Zambia's ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Friday suspended President Guy Scott as the party's interim leader for "unconstitutional acts". Twenty-five members of the governing party central committee's...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Srikanth wins, Saina ousted from Hong Kong Open
Hong Kong, Nov 21 (IANS) Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth continued his impressive run by entering the men's singles semifinals of the $350,000 Hong Kong Open Super Series as compatriot Saina Nehwal had to bite the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Nicole Scherzinger's Candy Crush
Nicole Scherzinger is ''obsessed'' with 'Candy Crush'. The 36-year-old singer has confessed she cannot get enough of the puzzle mobile phone game 'Candy Crush Saga' and its newly-released sequel 'Candy Crush Soda Saga...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Margot Robbie ate her dinner underwater
Margot Robbie used to eat dinner while standing in a swimming pool. The 24-year-old actress has admitted to having some quirky eating habits which drove her mother to serving up her tea time meal underwater during her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Andy Serkis' Planet of the Apes 'agony'
Andy Serkis was left ''screaming in agony'' from playing Caesar in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'. The 50-year-old actor portrayed the chimpanzee in the 2011 sci-fi movie and its sequel, 2013's 'Dawn of the Planet of...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ryan Gosling wins restraining order
Ryan Gosling has won a restraining order against a stalker claiming to be his twin. The 34-year-old actor obtained the order on Wednesday (19.11.14) for a woman who has allegedly been scaring the 'Only God Forgives'...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Obama shows benevolence to illegal immigrants
Washington, Nov 21 (IANS) Asserting his authority, a defiant President Barack Obama resorted to unilateral executive action to fix America's broken immigration system and protect five million illegal immigrants,...
Read more on Politics Balla