Archive for the ‘Chrysler’ Category

FCA Lays Out Plan for “Transformative Merger” with Groupe Renault

Move would create 3rd-largest global automaker; 1st if factoring in Alliance partners Nissan, Mitsubishi.

by on May.27, 2019

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley originally approached Renault over much more limited plans, such as platform sharing.

After extensive, secret negotiations, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has laid out a plan to merge with the largest of France’s two automakers, Groupe Renault, a move that would create the world’s third-largest motor vehicle manufacturer, with annual sales of 8.7 million vehicles – and a clear number one if factoring in the volumes of Renault’s current Alliance partners, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Both FCA and Renault have openly sought new partnerships over the past decade to both expand their geographic bases and fill in gaps in their product and technology portfolios. If, as expected, the proposed deal is completed, the new organization will have a more well-rounded global presence, with FCA bringing to the table its Jeep SUV and Ram pickup brands. Renault, among other things, provides a growing range of electric vehicles and an aggressive autonomous vehicle develop program.

Breaking News!

Over the past decade, FCA has repeatedly said it was looking for a partner, with names like General Motors and Volkswagen on its list. But while those were seen as unsolicited proposals, talks between the Italian-American automaker and Renault have been underway since early this year. And though the French automaker early Monday said that its “Board of Directors will meet this morning to discuss this proposal,” it is expected that this is largely a formality.

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Fiat Chrysler and Renault Poised to Form New Alliance

Pairing would form third-largest automaker.

by on May.26, 2019

Could another sign change be in Fiat Chrysler's future?

What appeared to be a two-horse race to partner up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. is now just down to one – Renault SA – with a deal potentially announced as early as Monday.

The deal, which was reported first by Bloomberg News, not only provides some each company with a strong ally to shore weak areas, it also opens the door to a potential deal with the Renault Nissan Alliance.

Global News!

In late March, FCA was linked to talks with Renault as well as another French automaker, Peugeot, about a tie-up of some sort. While a deal was never consummated with either automaker at the, it appears discussions with Renault have been fruitful. (more…)

Product Launches Hammer FCA’s Q1 Earnings

But Ram pickup sales provide a cushion.

by on May.03, 2019

CEO Mike Manley needs to prove he can maintain the pace set by his former boss, Sergio Marchionne.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported profits dropped 41% in the first quarter as a slump in sales in key markets cut the company’s revenues by 5 percent.

The automaker attributed the decline to the normal production challenges related to an array of new product launches in North America, as well as pricing pressure in China and South America.

Financial News!

FCA CEO Mike Manley, however, reaffirmed the company’s guidance for the full year. “We expect earnings to grow in the following quarters,” he said as FCA completes the launch of the new Jeep Gladiator and the Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck.

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Nissan Adds Another Nail to Convertible Coffin with Plans to Kill 370Z Roadster

Choice of ragtops growing increasingly thin.

by on May.02, 2019

Nissan will still offer the Z Roadster overseas, but it's dropping the ragtop in the U.S. due to slow sales.

Nissan is pulling the plug on its 370Z Roadster at the end of the 2019 model-year, the Japanese automaker has confirmed, marking the end of one of the brand’s most iconic offerings.

The good news for roadster fans is that the coupe version of the sports car will remain in production indefinitely – which doesn’t mean it will last forever, just that there are no current plans to once again remove it from the line-up.

Product News!

The 370Z Roadster joined the Z Coupe after it was returned to the Nissan family in 2009, part of the automaker’s turnaround program. Its demise comes as automakers rethink their passenger car strategies and, in particular, cull their slow-selling convertible offerings.

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FCA Partnering With Google, Samsung on Connected Car Tech

System will include over-the-air updates and support future autonomous vehicle efforts.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Fiat Chrysler is partnering with Google and Samsung to upgrade its in-car infotainment, including Uconnect.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will team up with Google and Samsung in a push to put connected car technology in all of its vehicles by 2022, the automaker announced on Tuesday.

The new system being developed by the three partners will use and update FCA’s current Uconnect system and rely on the Google Android operating system. It will allow the automaker to offer a common system worldwide, rather than an infotainment system that is currently tailored to individual markets.

Business News!

“The modern, in-vehicle experience must be designed for seamless connectivity and digital content, and provide an integrated, but familiar experience for the on-the-go consumer,” said Patrick Brady, vice president of Engineering at Google. (more…)

Waymo to Re-Use Old Detroit Plant to Build New Autonomous Vehicles

Google spin-off to partner with supplier American Axle.

by on Apr.23, 2019

Waymo plans to use a facility on the north side of Detroit to convert Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids and other vehicles for its Waymo One fleet.

A major Silicon Valley tech firm is setting up a base in Detroit, Google spinoff Waymo taking over a plant in the Motor City where it plans to convert vehicles to operate as part of its autonomous ride-sharing service.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik first announced in a blog post Tuesday that the company will lease an unused factory owned by American Axle & Manufacturing on Detroit’s north side. It will be used to convert such vehicles as the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan that will be a mainstay of the expanding Waymo One ride-sharing service.

Business News!

“There has been a real risk that the shift of the automotive industry could move from Detroit to Silicon Valley, and we’ve been fighting that every step of the way,” Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan said after learning about Waymo’s plans. “I think a major statement was made today in the battle of Detroit and Silicon Valley that a major Silicon Valley company has said the future of vehicles in the city of Detroit.” (more…)

Big Three Group Supports Trump Report on USMCA Benefits

Support comes despite conflicting study from IMF.

by on Apr.19, 2019

A new report from the U.S. Trade Representative says the new USMCA will bring substantial benefits; however, an IMF study suggests otherwise.

Detroit’s automakers are rushing to defend a report from the Trump administration that touts the benefits of the new North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Trump administration report, produced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), was released Thursday in advance of less than an underwhelming independent government estimate of the economic impact of proposed U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

Trade News!

Trump has portrayed the new agreement he negotiated as a replacement for NAFTA as likely to lead to a rush of new investment and jobs in the U.S. and an end to the outsourcing he and others have blamed for a hollowing out of American manufacturing. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Confidently Pays First-Ever Dividend

Payout marks optimism about rest of 2019 performance.

by on Apr.15, 2019

Fiat Chairman John Elkann told shareholders at the FCA annual meeting that he expected strong results in 2019.

The top executives of Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. delivered an upbeat assessment of the company’s future prospects during the company annual shareholder meeting in Amsterdam, agreeing to pay a dividend to shareholders for the first time since Fiat took effective control of the Chrysler Group in 2009 and brought it out of bankruptcy.

In the first shareholders gathering since the death of Sergio Marchionne, FCA’s longtime chief executive, it fell to John Elkann, Fiat’s chairman, to deliver an optimistic forecast for 2019 despite the drop in the company’s business in North America and the slowdown in the sales of Jeep, which has emerged as the company’s principal brand.

Global News!

Elkann, the representative of the founding Agnelli family, which has run Fiat for more than 100 years, told investors the Italo-American group was ready to play a part in the “new and exciting” era for the auto industry. (more…)

UAW Leaders Meet as Prelude to Bargaining With Automakers

Expect tough talks with auto companies.

by on Mar.11, 2019

UAW President Gary Jones will be looking to get back from union locals across the country.

The United Auto Workers heads into its bargaining convention this week against tumultuous backdrop that includes suddent plant closing, a grinding federal investigation of the union’s handling of training funds and grumbling among union members, who have made it plain this winter the expect some gains  when the UAW goes to the bargaining table this summer with Detroit’s three automakers.

The resolutions adpted during the meeting will be broad so as not to encumber union bargainers in future negotiations but specific enough to shape the tenor of upcoming  talks not only in the auto industry but also other sectors where the union has members.

News You Can Trust!

“It is an ideal way to get members from a variety of workplaces and backgrounds together and discuss what is important to their fellow workers, their families and their communities,” UAW President Gary Joines said in a new issue of Solidarity, the union’s magazine. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV is a Near Production-Ready Electric Minivan

Production version to follow during autumn's Frankfurt Motor Show.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Mercedes Concept EQV combines elements of the V-Class van and the new EQ series.

The Chrysler Pacifica has shown there’s a market for electrified people-movers. Now, Mercedes-Benz is taking things a step further with its Concept EQV.

The all-electric version of its V-Class  is making its debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, but a production version of what’s also known as the Mercedes Viano is set to follow next autumn at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the automaker confirmed on Tuesday.

Auto Show News!

“Mercedes-Benz Vans is consistently advancing the electrification of its product portfolio,” said Wilfried Porth, a board member with Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG. “With the Concept EQV, we are now taking the next step. From a daily driver for the family, a leisure-time adventurer or a shuttle vehicle with lounge ambience, the combination of these characteristics with a battery-electric drive mean the Concept EQV is a concept car with a future.”

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