Fiat/Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has had some tough times lately trying to launch production in China while hoping to revive a faltering deal in Russia. Then there’s the challenge of a crumbling European car market that has hammered the Italian side of the trans-Atlantic automaker – so it’s good to be getting a lift from one corner of the globe.
Chrysler is now the sales leader in Canada, nudging its way in the relatively small market past traditional industry leader General Motors, as well as rival Ford Motor Co. and Japanese giant Toyota. With its strong network of rural dealers, Chrysler’s unexpected dominance “North of the Border” serves to provide some credibility to Marchionne’s ongong efforts to build Chrysler/Fiat into a global power house.
(It also comes as a point of personal celebration for the Fiat/Chrysler CEO who grew up in Canada.)
Up until now, Marchionne’s efforts, while scoring some impressive results in the U.S., have still been greeted by a large measure of skepticism by analysts who don’t believe the American-Italian company can compete long-term.