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Mondo Agnelli: Fiat, Chrysler, and the Power of a Dynasty

Mondo Agnelli: Fiat, Chrysler, and the Power of a Dynasty

Jennifer Clark

ISBN: 978-1-118-23611-6

Nov 2011

384 pages

$19.99

Description

The fascinating story of a century-old automobile dynasty

Fiat is one of the world's largest automakers,  but when it made headlines by grabbing control of a bankrupt Chrysler in 2009 it was unknown in the U.S. Fiat’s against-all-odds swoop on Chrysler---masterminded by Sergio Marchionne, the Houdini-like manager who saved Fiat from its own near-collapse in 2005 – has made the automaker one of the most unlikely winners of the financial crisis. Mondo Agnelli is a new book that looks at the chain of unpredictable events triggered by the death of Gianni Agnelli in 2003. Gianni, the charismatic, silver-haired power broker and style icon, was the patriarch who had lead the company founded by his grandfather in 1899. But Gianni's own son had committed suicide. Without a mature heir, the dynasty and Fiat were rudderless. Backed by Gianni's closest advisors, his serious, shy, and determined grandson John plucked Marchionne from obscurity. Together, they saved the family company and, inadvertently, positioned Fiat as a global trailblazer when the global storm hit.

  • A classic story of ingenuity and hard work, the book portrays a business dynasty that triumphed over adversity and family tragedy because of its own smarts, sweat, and ability to bend the rules
  • A an engaging tale for those interested in the stories behind the economic crash, the book contains never-before reported material about how Fiat succeeded in making Chrysler profitable where both Daimler AG and Cerberus, its previous owners, had failed.

A story for a wide audience, from car buffs, business readers, lovers of Italy, and anyone fascinated by the lifestyle of Europe's most glamorous industrial dynasty, this book tells the tale of how Fiat achieved the seemingly impossible -- turning around an American automotive icon everyone else had given up for dead.

Agnelli Family Tree x

Timeline xiii

Prologue 1

Part I The Power of a Family 11

Chapter 1 The Scattered Pieces 13

Chapter 2 A Dynasty Is Born 31

Chapter 3 From Salad to Skinny-Dipping 55

Chapter 4 Gianni Agnelli, King of a Republic 73

Chapter 5 A Lament like a River 97

Chapter 6 Only One Person Rules at a Time 115

Chapter 7 The Wedding of the Year 127

Part II The Power of an Individual 137

Chapter 8 Unfi xable Fiat 139

Chapter 9 Running on Empty 161

Chapter 10 You Deal with It, and You Move On 181

Chapter 11 Sergio Marchionne’s Two-Billion-Dollar Bet 205

Chapter 12 A Completely Different Beast 215

Part III The Power of a Government 231

Chapter 13 Skin in the Game 233

Chapter 14 The Spirit of Ubuntu: I See You 263

Chapter 15 Sixteen Models in 14 Months 285

Epilogue 309

Notes 315

Acknowledgments 339

About the Author 345

Index 347

"But the soul of the book is the 113-year story of feisty Fiat and the larger-than-life Agnelli family. That's when it's time to click your seat belt for a yarn that's rich with affairs, suicides, drugs, family lawsuits, secrecy, hidden assets, offshore accounts, Benito Mussolini, princes and princesses, Jackie Kennedy, palaces and yachts, spectacular weddings, stately funerals and deep family loyalty." (USA TODAY.com, February 2012)