Fiat Goes Big

Fiat had its earnings call today. We've got more details on its plan to buy a 20% stake in Chrysler, with an option to increase that to a majority stake if Chrysler gets its act together.  Meanwhile, the company is in talks to possibly buy a stake in Opel, GM's European car manufacturer.  The company aims to triple its car production in order to make itself more competitive in the global marketplace.

It's not clear to me that Fiat has the managerial capacity to make that happen--that's a big move to be making in a collapsing market (and moreover, one which isn't likely to improve any time soon--if the global economy recovers, that will just push oil prices higher.  A stake in Chrysler will not be helped by such a movement.)  But this is how global automaking overcapacity will be reduced--one dubious merger at a time.