Archive for the ‘FCA’ Category

FCA Arguing About Viability of Midsize Pickup

Ford joins GM, Toyota and Nissan in booming segment.

by on Jan.19, 2018

CEO Sergio Marchionne said there has been a lot of pushback on the idea of building a midsize pickup truck.

Executives inside what is now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. have been arguing about building a midsize pickup truck for nearly a decade, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne told the media this week during a meeting at the North American International Auto Show.

Marchionne told reporters that FCA had not made any decisions on a future midsize pickup even as Ford Motor Co. revealed its new Ford Ranger during the press previews for the NAIAS.

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“We’re still studying it,” said Marchionne, who acknowledge that the midsize segment where the new Ranger will compete with the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier have has come alive in the last couple of years.  (more…)

Jeep Cherokee Gets a More Conventional Look for 2019

Less “polarizing” headlights, but still some “weirdness” in the design.

by on Jan.16, 2018

The Trackhawk and Limited versions of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee finally break cover.

SUVs and crossover-utility vehicles are the hottest things on the market right now, accounting for half of U.S. new vehicle sales last year, and few brands have done a better job riding that wave than Jeep.

The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brand is looking to hit record global sales of 2 million this year. That’d be double what Jeep  delivered as recently as 2014 and more than triple its volume when Chrysler was taken over by Italy’s Fiat at the beginning of the decade.

Auto Show News!

Give credit to several factors, including not only the surge in overall demand for utility vehicles but the rapid expansion of the Jeep line-up and the race to keep existing models fresh. That includes the 2019 Jeep Cherokee that’s making its debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show.

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No Sale: FCA Not Negotiating with Chinese Nor Willing to Sell Off Jeep, Says Marchionne

Exec plans to release his final 5-year plan this quarter and then name his successor.

by on Jan.15, 2018

Marchionne plans to reveal his successor a few months from now but confides no women are in the running.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn’t open to selling off its Jeep brand nor has it fielded any offers for a complete takeover by a Chinese company, FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said during a media roundtable at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.

Marchionne said he wanted to clear up reports that have, in recent months, suggested Fiat Chrysler was up for sale – or that it was willing to let go of some key assets, such as the Jeep or Ram brands. But the executive did not rule out a closer relations with GAC, the Guangzhou-based automaker that serves as its partner in the Chinese market.

Breaking News!

“Without them we could not have gone as far as we have in China,” said Marchionne, who stressed “We are not going to break up (the company and) we are having no discussions with anyone in China interested in acquiring us.”

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Fiat Chrysler Goes All-In on New Ram 1500 Pickup

The new Ram gets a new-look grille for 2019.

by on Jan.15, 2018

Fiat Chrysler redesigned the grille on its signature pickup truck.

There is an overwhelming change on the 2019 Ram 1500: Fiat Chrysler altered one of the most recognizable grilles in the industry for its signature pickup truck in the search for a more aerodynamic shape.

The move shows that FCA engineers are committed building the best truck possible, officials claim.

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“The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers a no-compromise approach to the full-size truck segment with strength, durability, technology and efficiency,” said Mike Manley, head of Ram Brand. (more…)

FCA Investing $1b, as Ram HD Pickup Moved From Mexico to Michigan

Move to create 2,500 new jobs.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Like its competitors, FCA has been pushing rapidly up-market with its pickups, the 2018 Ram 2500 Tungsten model shown here.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to invest $1 billion in a suburban Detroit assembly plant that will take over production of the Ram heavy-duty pickup in 2020. The truck currently is assembled in a Mexican factory that will be “repurposed” for another global product, FCA said.

The shift to the Warren Truck Assembly Plant will result in the creation of 2,500 new U.S. jobs, according to FCA. Separately, the Euro-American automaker announced plans to pay $2,000 bonuses to 60,000 U.S. hourly and salaried employees this coming spring.

Industry News!

“These announcements reflect our ongoing commitment to our U.S. manufacturing footprint and the dedicated employees who have contributed to FCA’s success,” said FCA Chief Executive Office Sergio Marchionne. “It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the U.S. business environment by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly.”

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New Ford F-150 Diesel Aims to Crack the 30 MPG Barrier

Ford sees an opportunity to grow the F-Series’ lead.

by on Jan.08, 2018

Ford aimes to get best-in-class fuel economy with the addition of the F-150's first diesel.

There was a time when full-size pickups could barely manage to get into double-digits when it came to fuel economy. But with the addition of the new Power Stroke diesel, Ford is hoping to deliver the sort of numbers that, not all that, long ago, would have been impressive coming from a compact sedan.

While the 2018 F-150 Diesel’s EPA rating hasn’t been finalized, Ford anticipates the big truck will deliver as much as 30 mpg on the highway. It will also make a solid 440 pound-feet of torque and 240 horsepower, the sort of numbers that translate into solid towing and payload capacity.

Power to the People!

“We see a lot of opportunities to conquest buyers” from competing truck brands, Todd Eckert, Ford’s Truck Group Marketing Manager, said during a background briefing on the 2018 F-150 Power Stroke Diesel, which will make its formal debut at the North American International Auto Show next week.

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Buh-Bye Camry; Pickups, SUVs Now Own Top Sales Spots

Toyota's mainstay sedan didn't even crack the Top 5.

by on Jan.05, 2018

Despite giving the Camry a stylish makeover the sedan continued to lose momentum last year.

If anyone still questions the way light trucks have come to dominate the U.S. automotive market you only need look at the 2017 sales charts to see how passenger cars are on virtual life support these days.

Perhaps the most significant development finds that the Toyota RAV4 last year outsold the Camry for the first time ever. And so did the Nissan Rogue.

The Last Word!

The overall numbers for 2017 weren’t good, the U.S. market posting its first decline since the end of the Great Recession. And demand likely would have dipped more than the modest 5% if it weren’t for the strong, late-year surge as motorists in Florida and Texas raced to replace vehicles destroyed during the summer’s devastating hurricanes.

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NHTSA May Order Recall of Another 1.4M Ford Pickups, SUVs

Transmissions could slip into gear, cause loss of control.

by on Jan.02, 2018

Ford may see a recall of more than 1.4 million F-150s, as well as large Ford and Lincoln SUVs, the Ford Mustang.

Federal investigators are taking a close look at the automatic transmissions used in older Ford F-150s and two SUV models and could order the recall of more than 1.4 million of the vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is following up on an earlier recall involving about 153,000 Ford products because their transmissions could inadvertently downshift into first gear, causing a driver to lose control.

Safety News!

Transmission problems have become an increasingly serious issue in the auto industry, especially with the advent of electronic gearboxes that don’t necessarily follow the same shift patterns as classic, mechanical shifters. (more…)

Nissan Hints a Revival of Xterra May Be in the Works

Could it be based off the same platform as next-gen Frontier pickup?

by on Dec.29, 2017

The Nissan Xterra drove off into the sunset in 2015.

All things go in cycles, even when it comes to booming demand for utility vehicles. Make that CUVs, or crossover-utility vehicle, which have all but bumped traditional sport-utes off the market.

But there are signs a revival of classic, body-on-frame SUVs just might be a-coming, with Ford readying a reborn Bronco, Toyota promising to follow the FT-AC Concept with a production model, and Jeep betting big on the all-new remake of the classic Wrangler – currently one of the few true SUVs left on the market.

Market Trends!

Could Nissan be ready to toss its own hat back in the ring, however, with an all-new version of the Xterra, which it pulled from the U.S. market in 2015? Apparently yes, according to a senior Nissan executive.

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Fiat Chrysler Recalling 1.8M Ram Pickups

Automaker is working on a fix for the problem.

by on Dec.26, 2017

FCA is recalling 1.8 million Ram pickups due to a problem with the shift interlock.

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 1.8 million Ram pickups. The trucks can shift out of park due to a problem with the shift interlock and roll away without pressing the brake pedal.

The company said the problem is potentially related to seven injuries and a “small number” of accidents. According to FCA, testing show the interlock is exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time. The interlock is designed to keep the transmission from shifting out of park when the brake pedal isn’t depressed and there is no key in the ignition.

Safety News!

The recall is limited to trucks with shifters on the steering column. Rotary-dial shifters or floor-mounted shifters are not impacted by the recall. Model year 2017 trucks build after Dec. 31, 2016, are also exempt. (more…)