Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne gave a speech today at the 2011 CAR Management Briefing Seminars. He quoted philosopher Albert Camus, talked about the reason geese fly in a V formation (they create uplift for those that follow, thus extending their range by 70%) and even used an excerpt from Alice in Wonderland, specifically a dialogue between Alice and the Queen in “Through the Looking Glass”.

Marchionne did all this to convey the message that he feels vindicated. For effectively taking over Chrysler, for receiving the bailout money when most were skeptical or openly opposed it (and paying them back six years before schedule) and for wanting to merge the American group with Fiat.
The Group's CEO explicitly stated that the US administration’s proposed 54.5 mpg by 2025 is “very doable”. He cited the example of the new Chrysler 300 full-size sedan, which is rated at 31 mpg on the highway. Although it is a far cry from the proposed targets, he said that the automotive industry has 14 years to utilize current and future technology and thus should have no trouble conforming to the 54.5 mpg target.
Marchionne believes that Chrysler is on the right track, having presented “16 all-new or significantly refreshed products” and that the integration of the two management teams was inevitable.
He also warned his audience about the rise of China “which cannot be ignored. It is the largest car producer in the world. If it exported even 10% of this production, the risk we face at our home markets is enormous”. He also hinted at his own retirement, saying that Chrysler’s future “is up to guys after me… after 2015 or maybe a year later”.
Last, but not least, Marchionne revealed later, at a radio show, that his everyday car is a “black on black” Dodge Charger SRT8. Not a “green” car, but not a bad choice at all. After all signore Marchionne and his team have 14 years ahead of them to make even the SRT comply with the new rules.

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