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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Chrysler lines up suppliers for Fiat 500

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Chrysler lines up suppliers for Fiat 500

145 firms will provide parts for subcompact, which goes on sale in U.S. at end of the year

Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News

Detroit -- Chrysler Group LLC has finished sourcing the parts it needs for the North American version of the Fiat 500 car that goes on sale at the end of the year.

The subcompact from Fiat SpA has been on sale in Europe for years, where it has been a success.

Plans to build and sell a version in North America grew out of the Chrysler-Fiat partnership formed last June.

The car will be built in Chrysler's Toluca, Mexico, plant and parts sourcing is now done, Dan Knott, senior vice president in charge of purchasing, said Thursday at the Society of Automotive Engineers conference at Cobo Center.

There are 145 suppliers for the tiny car, of which 35 are NAFTA-based companies that did not already supply parts for the European Fiat 500, Knott said. Sixty-six percent of the business for the car went to companies outside the chain of Fiat 500 suppliers, Knott said.

Many are current Chrysler suppliers, including Android Industries, which is part of Chrysler's supplier park in Toluca.

Android Industries makes suspension modules for the Dodge Journey crossover. Android has added the 500 to its portfolio.

The criteria to choose new suppliers over existing Fiat ones was a combination of cost and quality, Knott said.

For example, sourcing for the radio went to Troy-based Delphi Corp. because its satellite radio in the U.S. was deemed better quality than using the supplier to the European car, Knott said.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100416/AUTO01/4160354/1148/auto01/Chrysler-lines-up-suppliers-for-Fiat-500#ixzz0lGd4OztE

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