2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody
Sergio Marchionne's death Wednesday left a hole in the automotive industry that may last for decades.
The plainspoken, sweatered CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pulled few punches in public—and fewer in private. Longtime interior designer at FCA, Klaus Busse, tweeted Wednesday that design reviews with Marchionne "weren't easy."
"If he did not like what he saw he made sure you knew...When he liked it, it came with a cliffhanger 'what the f... is this? - it looks amazing!'" Busse wrote.
Marchionne's famously abrasive attitude shows in the cars that helped define his tenure atop one of the world's largest automakers. From high horsepower and seductive shapes, to furious flame outs and an SUV "unfit for human consumption," the cars that Marchionne left behind are almost as memorable as the man.
Here's a short list of the cars we'll remember from a CEO we're not likely to forget:
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia
Alfa Romeo Giulia
It read like a love letter to drivers and car fans around the world, even though Marchionne may not have been a bred-in-the-bone car guy. (He was a trained tax accountant and lawyer, after all.) The Alfa Romeo Giulia brought back the Italian automaker to the U.S. mainstream, even if it largely flopped. “Giving a voice to the real Alfa Romeo was a moral imperative," he said when the Giulia was unveiled. Especially with a Ferrari-derived V-6, the Giulia's voice spoke loudly to us all.
2016 Dodge Dart
Even if another car on our list strictly qualified as a "compliance car," the Dodge Dart (and related Chrysler 200) certainly fit the bill, too. The Dodge Dart helped fulfill the terms laid out by the U.S. government for the brokered merger between Fiat and Chrysler in 2009 and the subsequent government loans. A high-mileage Eco version of the Dart was harder to spot than a suit on Sergio, but the Dart's relatively short run helped bring the company back from financial ruin. Just as quickly as it was developed and launched, it was unceremoniously killed—another Marchionne hallmark—but its modular platform underpins other vehicles still very much alive in the FCA portfolio including the Jeep Cherokee.