The New, New, New Chrysler: Half Time In A Dutch-based UK Tax Domicile

Go ahead... make my tax year.

Go ahead… make my tax year.

Immediately after the US government funded and brokered marriage of Fiat and Chrysler, the company’s advertising took an unmistakable turn towards themes of national identity and patriotism. From the over-saturated sincerity of Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” ads, Ram’s “So God Made A Farmer” sermon and Jeep’s  “The Things We Make Make Us” manifesto, to the dripping irony of Dodge’s “Freedom” spot, every brand in the new “Chrysler LLC” played up its American-ness in a different way. And when Fiat’s 500 was introduced to the US market it was marketed almost exclusively in ways that highlighted its Italian-ness, despite the fact that the car has never actually been built outside Poland and Mexico. Clearly Fiat-Chrysler’s Canadian-born CEO Fiat Marchionne and French-born marketing boss Olivier Francois believe quite strongly in the power of national identity as a marketing tool.

This was already a provocative choice, given that these US-based brands had come under the control of an Italian firm, at some cost to the US taxpayer. But with news breaking that the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA henceforth) will be based in The Netherlands with a UK tax domicile and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, this patriotic marketing strategy becomes even more of a liability. FCA would love to have its cake and eat it too: benefit from national bailouts and nationalist marketing while enjoying every tax and banking advantage of new transnational corporate structures. The question is: can it?

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Autocar: Back off, Yanks, Nissan has British DNA


Austin A40 Somerset by Nissan

Austin A40 Somerset by Nissan

Did we tell you that no British paper would call the (so far nonexistent) fight between the current, China-built London taxi and the new one from Nissan a battle of the Asians? Because “Nissan has been adopted as a British company, and credited with the revival of the auto industry in the UK?” We sure did. England’s Autocar (that’s the world’s oldest buff-book for you) takes it much further. They say Nissan is as British as Austin. [Continue Reading]

UK market up again, but ingrate FT can’t get enough

London Traffic Jam - Picture courtesy

New car sales in the UK rose again in October, bucking a bad trend on The Continent. While the overall EU auto market has its worst year in written history, car sales on the island are up for the 20th consecutive month. Nonetheless, the Financial Times is deeply displeased. [Continue Reading]