What to call FCA cars

The other day, I saw someone refer to their cars as “FCA’s” in a forum.

I see two problems with that. First, FCA is probably not the favored acronym for Fiat Chrysler products outside the executive suits of FCA itself; and second, for heaven’s sake, it’s not a possessive, it’s a plural, and there’s nothing being left out, so what’s with the apostrophe?

It’s a conundrum, because right now there really is no good way to refer to FCA cars. The former Chrysler is supposed to be called FCA US LLC, “though it is acceptable to drop the LLC after the first use,” but to help readers, we tend to call it, well, the former Chrysler. It’s definitely longer and I wish they had kept the local names — Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA — the same when they created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. If they really wanted it to be one big happy company, choosing a completely new name (preferably a catchier one) probably would have been in order.

dealership-signs

I believe the solution for cars made by former Chrysler Corporation brands (and Ram) is simple — call them Mopars, as people have for decades. From my earliest auto memories to today, Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto, and Imperial were “Mopars,” and while some curmudgeons think that label should only apply to muscle cars, most people don’t bother with that restriction.

Now, it seems to me that most people are willing to toss in Jeep (and of course Ram) as Mopars, and the attitude towards other adopted cars — AMCs, Hudsons, Nashes, Maxwells, etc — is mixed. I think few are unwilling to including AMCs, frankly, and the situation almost never comes up with regard to the older, and long-dead, brands. I am fine with the idea that all traditional Chryslers, including “backdated” brands of Rootes Group, SIMCA, AMC, and their predecessors, should be called Mopars.

dave with another Valiant

I don’t think anyone would lump Fiats, Maseratis, Alfa Romeos, or Ferraris into that group. I certainly would not. So if you own a Dodge and a Fiat, how do you refer to them? As FCAs? As Sergios? Outsiders refer to pretty much any Ford brand as “blue oval” and any GM brand, somewhat derisively, as “Brand X.” I don’t have a solution, and maybe you do. Or maybe you consider this a very trivial problem, and I’d find it hard to argue.

I still wish that Daimler had sold Chrysler to Magna, though. Then we would still have a Chrysler in North America, independent and fairly free. Whether Magna could have engineered the turnaround Fiat (and of course Chrysler) did, we will never know.

Names are important symbols, and I keep thinking FCA leaders have not recognized that — or are only now recognizing it, but only with regard to Alfa Romeo and Maserati.