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Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

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  • Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

    I've been reading about FIAT taking an equity stake in Chrysler. One article had an interesting perspective. It said that FIAT wouldn't put much money into Chrysler but would have access to it's distribution network so it could begin selling the FIAT and Alfa-Romeo brands in Chrysler dealerships. The article didn't mention that the FIAT conglomerate also owns Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia.

    FIAT is the largest producer of CNG vehicles in Europe. I heard they produced about 80,000 last year. I would love to see some of their CNG vehicles (like the 500 or the Panda Panda) sold here. Maybe it could help jumpstart the entire segment.
    2004 Toyota Avalon bi-fuel
    2013 Tesla Model S 85

  • #2
    Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

    That being said, isn't GM Opel the 2nd largest producer of CNG vehicles? That has had little/no effect on getting GM America to produce any CNG cars, so this relationship alone, I would say, is not enough to change anything.
    1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
    2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--

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    • #3
      Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

      I thought Opel might get some US traction by having several cars rebadged and sold through Saturn but GM is now talking about dropping the whole Saturn division along with Hummer and Saab.
      It's too bad. The GM dual-fuel vehicles I've had have been much more reliable than the Ford dual fuels.
      2004 Toyota Avalon bi-fuel
      2013 Tesla Model S 85

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      • #4
        Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

        I'd guess that the Opel/Fiat cars have problems meeting the EPA rules, otherwise they would be sold in the US already...

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        • #5
          Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

          Remember, EPA is not an agency for good!! EPA is division of Big Oil and whatever else good ole Pres Bush Jr (ie W - - Worst President EVER!!) wanted it to be in last 8 years. Might take a year for Obama to weed out all the damage that Halliburton VP Cheney and W did!!

          Also, all the big 3 automakers is US don't sell CNG here in USA because they do NOT want to!!! They COULD start selling them within a month, if . . . and that's a BIG IF they wanted to.

          I say let them ALL GO BANKRUPT . . . lying that they can't do cng, lying that they can't do electric, lying that they can't do small cars . . . come on, that's bull and we all know it!!

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          • #6
            Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

            Originally posted by cngacrossusa View Post
            Remember, EPA is not an agency for good!! EPA is division of Big Oil
            Not hardly. The refinery engineers I know (5 or 6, at last count) consider the EPA and its people to be pretty much a satanic socialist conspiracy.

            Back on topic, however: Fiat might be small enough to be approachable involving group buys through the Chrysler dealership network, and I would personally consider a Fiat 500 on CNG to be an excellent runabout for my local needs. At that size and displacement, it might be possible to import it under the same rules as the ZENN...

            Anybody out there with knowledge in that direction?

            andy-paul

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            • #7
              Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

              I've done research previously on this, and it can be done (the importing). It requires going through a DOT RI (Registered Importer) to make any safety alterations to bring it up to current US DOT Safety standards. It then also requires going through an EPA ICI (Independent Commercial Importer) to do the necessary emissions alterations to get THAT up to EPA standards. There are companies that make a living just on this, though they are mostly for rarer imports. The example near me is G & K Auto in Santa Ana. gnkauto.com . They mostly work with rare supercars and such, but have been importing smart cars for quite some time. If chrysler isn't interested in bringing the CNG Fiats here, they might be able to determine what alterations would be required. There would be the initial cost of the Fiat in the origin country, then the 2.5% Import Duty, and then whatever cost the RI/ICI would need to make the necessary alterations.

              Most likely, what this would accomplish, is chrysler seeing us buying their foreign cars, and paying a premium to import them in, instead of buying the ones made right here. It might actually convince them to just start making them available here.
              1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
              2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--

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              • #8
                Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

                Chrysler could alleviate alot of those hurdles by returning to their pre-Daimler business model, when they were importing, rebadging then eventually building Mitsubishi product.

                My favorite car I ever owned was a Dodge Turbo Conquest TSI "IROC Eater" (an advanced rebadged Mitsubishi Starion). Black with black leather interior and really dark tint on the windows. After I had some intense engine "massaging" done and cranked the boost up into the 20s, I was eating Corvettes for lunch and the thing drove like it was on rails. I often wonder what it would have been like running 130 octane CNG.

                The Feds have already set aside the money for retooling, they could have a 2010 US product line up if they wanted to. Just import the parts, assemble and certify them here. That would give the US suppliers time to retool. It would be fantastic to have a US supplier of NG fuel injectors at a resonable price.
                Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator

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                • #9
                  Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

                  Originally posted by cnghal View Post
                  Chrysler could alleviate alot of those hurdles by returning to their pre-Daimler business model, when they were importing, rebadging then eventually building Mitsubishi product.

                  My favorite car I ever owned was a Dodge Turbo Conquest TSI "IROC Eater" (an advanced rebadged Mitsubishi Starion). Black with black leather interior and really dark tint on the windows. After I had some intense engine "massaging" done and cranked the boost up into the 20s, I was eating Corvettes for lunch and the thing drove like it was on rails. I often wonder what it would have been like running 130 octane CNG.

                  The Feds have already set aside the money for retooling, they could have a 2010 US product line up if they wanted to. Just import the parts, assemble and certify them here. That would give the US suppliers time to retool. It would be fantastic to have a US supplier of NG fuel injectors at a resonable price.
                  Know what you mean- I still have an older "DSM" (love that motor), an all wheel drive turbocharged Eclipse GTX hatchback that can smoke all 4. It would be a great CNG conversion.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

                    I thought the AWD turbo Eclipse was the GSX? Was there another GTX trim I didn't know about? Either way, I always liked those cars.
                    www.CNGUtah.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

                      Originally posted by cnghal View Post

                      My favorite car I ever owned was a Dodge Turbo Conquest TSI "IROC Eater" (an advanced rebadged Mitsubishi Starion). Black with black leather interior and really dark tint on the windows. After I had some intense engine "massaging" done and cranked the boost up into the 20s, I was eating Corvettes for lunch and the thing drove like it was on rails. I often wonder what it would have been like running 130 octane CNG.

                      .
                      Way back in the day (1988), I put a '87 TSI engine and trans in a '86 Dodge ram 50. Ahh the good old days.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

                        Originally posted by CNG Utah View Post
                        I thought the AWD turbo Eclipse was the GSX? Was there another GTX trim I didn't know about? Either way, I always liked those cars.
                        You're correct- one and the same.

                        While Im more into hot Mustangs, I figured this might be a good winter car with the awd. I bought the car for next to nothing, through kids acquaintances (they were all into the dsm racing thing and these cars impressed me with their technology- 4 cyl w/ 16v, ohd cam, inter cooled turbo, awd).

                        Some non-mechanically inclined kid broke a balance shaft belt that took out the timing belt and bent a few valves; I swapped heads, an easy fix. I also removed the balance shaft, upgraded the motor mounts, and port/polished the intake, turbo, and exhaust manifold.

                        The car had lots of extras (aftermarket exhaust, new tranny and clutch, brake upgrade, etc. Fun "hobby" car with a great design, it was ahead of its time- one of the first ~300hp overboosted four bangers. The AWD handles great and these cars have performed great at the drags (though its not my interest).

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                        • #13
                          Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

                          Originally posted by rtry9a View Post
                          You're correct- one and the same.

                          While Im more into hot Mustangs, I figured this might be a good winter car with the awd. I bought the car for next to nothing, through kids acquaintances (they were all into the dsm racing thing and these cars impressed me with their technology- 4 cyl w/ 16v, ohd cam, inter cooled turbo, awd).
                          .
                          I had one of those mitsu engines..the chrome on the chain for the silent shaft began to flake off, where it dropped into the oilpan, where the pump sucked the fragments in, whereby the oilpump clearances were destroyed, causing total loss of pressure, killing motor. This all happened on 1 drive to work. Where are all of the older Eclipses'? I know where all the older Mustangs are, on the road, I drove my FOX for 20 years! ('79 cobra)

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                          • #14
                            Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

                            Those old Fox bodies were great cars to build up- I have one of the last ones, a '95 Cobra with the 5.0l engine. It is heavily modified (twin turbos w/intercooler, dropped w/front and rear adjustable shocks, subrails, panhard bar, 3" dual exhaust, Tremec tranny and hp clutch, 3.55 gears, wide wheels and tires, sunroof, Tweecer chip, etc.). ~450hp w/500+ft lbs torque at 8psi boost at a modest 4000rpm, street legal (easily passes emissions) and probably NOT EPA CERTIFIED as if I care...! Gets abt 25mpg normal driving.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Chrysler / FIAT deal good for CNG users?

                              Originally posted by rtry9a View Post
                              Those old Fox bodies were great cars to build up- I have one of the last ones, a '95 Cobra with the 5.0l engine. Gets abt 25mpg normal driving.
                              Wow. I love the Tremec trans., what a success story those guys have.
                              25 MPG is another great success, congrats!

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