Archive for the ‘FCA’ Category

FCA Shuffling Top Execs as Marchionne’s Retirement Looms

Changes in top posts has some wondering who will take CEO's post.

by on Feb.06, 2018

Dodge passenger car boss Tim Kuniskis with the Dodge Demon during a background briefing.

With the choice of a new CEO to replace the soon-to-retire Sergio Marchionne looming ahead for the company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. made a series of executive changes aimed at filling key changes.

Tim Kuniskis was named Head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands globally. Kuniskis, a 26-year veteran of FCA, most recently served as head of passenger car brands in North America, which includes Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat and SRT.

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Prior to that role, he held a series of positions in U.S. sales business centers as well as in the Dodge and Fiat brands.  (more…)

Justice Dept. Offers FCA Settlement – With “Substantial” Fines for Diesel Scam

Prosecutors in Germany expand their own probe of FCA and Bosch.

by on Feb.05, 2018

1 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

The Justice Department wants to settle its probe accusing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of rigging more than 100,000 diesel-powered vehicles to illegally pass emissions tests – but its offer would require “substantial” penalties.

Regulators have accused FCA of using a defeat device, software similar to what was used by Volkswagen, to bring down emissions of exhaust gases like smog-causing oxides of nitrogen while undergoing tests. Under real-world operation, however, the vehicles reportedly would produce substantially more of the emissions than legally permissible.

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The alleged scheme has gotten FCA into trouble on both sides of the Atlantic. In German, prosecutors are ramping up their own investigation into apparent collusion between Fiat Chrysler and mega-supplier Robert Bosch. The company, which has supplied engine control technology to FCA, as well as VW and other automakers, claims it did not attempt to held the Italian-American automaker sidestep regulatory mandates.

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Ram Panned: MLK Super Bowl Spot Sounds Sour Note

Toyota scores, however, with a tug on the heartstrings.

by on Feb.05, 2018

Getting muddied up: Ram's 60-second commercial was hit for its use of a Rev. King speech.

Trying to select the winners among the ad fest also known as Super Bowl is, at best, an inexact science, but one thing virtually every Monday morning commercial quarterback seems to agree on is the spectacular fail of the spot by Fiat Chrysler’s Ram division.

It’s not that the truck brand didn’t follow FCA’s formula proven out over much of the past decade, a longer-form spot pairing dramatic words and images aimed at building to a higher calling than crass commercialism. Since the Italian-American automaker’s first spot, featuring rapper Eminem twinning the themes of Detroit’s and Chrysler’s comeback, its ads have frequently been the Super Bowl’s most eagerly awaited and subsequently talked-about commercials.

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The Ram ad on Super Bowl LII is also generating a lot of buzz, but most of it is not what the truck brand’s marketing team aimed for. In both social and mainstream media , the decision to use a 50-year-old speech by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. drew comments like “tasteless” and “cheesy,” one Facebook user suggesting it inadvertently “mock(ed) every FCA manifesto ad that came before it.”

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Waymo Buying “Thousands” of Chrysler Minivans for New Driverless Ride-Hailing Service

Project will target “multiple U.S. cities.”

by on Jan.30, 2018

Waymo has been testing its ride-sharing program in Phoenix but plans to launch in other markets as it goes fully driverless.

Waymo plans to buy “thousands” of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to be used as Google’s autonomous vehicle spin-off sets up a driverless ride-hailing service in “multiple U.S. cities,” Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Tuesday.

The announcement marks a significant step forward for both companies. While considered a leader in the field, it had not been clear how Waymo was planning to commercialize its development of self-driving vehicle technology. For its part, FCA has been reluctant to invest in autonomous vehicle research but could now make a big leap by expanding its nascent alliance with Waymo.

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“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders,” Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology.”

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UAW Disputes Iacobelli’s Chrysler Stock Sale Claim

Former FCA VP claims to have scripted UAW leader's response to stock sale.

by on Jan.30, 2018

General Holiefield, left, UAW vice president, and Alphons Iacobelli, right, former FCA union negotiator.

The United Auto Workers has flatly rejected the claims by a former Fiat Chrysler Automobile executive, who has plead guilty federal felony charges, that he influenced a critical decision about FCA’s restructuring.

As part of the plea agreement, Alphons Iacobelli, former FCA vice president of labor relations had to admit to his crimes, including the making illicit payments to officials of the United Auto Workers to influence union negotiations.

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UAW President Dennis Williams flatly denied the illicit payments to the late General Holiefield, the former head of the union’s Chrysler Department, and union’s top negotiator with FCA, had any influence on the 2011 contract negotiations, which were restrained by a “no-strike” clause that was imposed as part of the government bailout of the automaker. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Doubles Profit in 2017

CEO Marchionne says company will be debt-free by end of Q2.

by on Jan.25, 2018

Sergio Marchionne said FCA will be debt-free by the end of the second quarter of this year.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. profits nearly doubled in 2017 as a more profitable model mix helped overcome a sales decline in North America.

“We were the only leveraged automaker in the world. We no longer are leveraged,” said FCA Sergio Marchionne, who said the company plans to outline new four-year plant on June 1. FCA will not only be debt-free this year, it will also have 4 billion euros in cash reserves.

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“I’m really looking forward to 2018,” he said. “FCA is well positioned to be a top performer.” (more…)

What Does New China-Only Jeep Grand Commandeer Reveal About Upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer?

Official debut set for Beijing Motor Show in April.

by on Jan.23, 2018

The Jeep Grand Commander will debut in China before it hits U.S. dealerships in 2020.

Jeep expects to reach a critical milestone this year, topping 2 million sales worldwide, or more than triple its volume when the old Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy and was transformed into FiatChrysler early in the decade.

To get there, Jeep has taken a two-pronged approach: entering into new markets and both expanding and updating its line-up. Nowhere is that strategy paying off like China, a market that has only belatedly been caught up in the SUV craze. To take advantage of that trend, the automaker is launching an all-new model specifically targeting the Chinese market, the Jeep Grand Commander.

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According to Jeep, the three-row, seven-seat model has been designed specifically for China. But it just happens to be coming online not long before the company plans to launch another three-row model, the Grand Wagoneer. And that raises the question: how much of what we’re seeing in China will carry over into the American seven-seat SUV? (more…)

Former FCA Executive Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

Iacobelli takes plea deal; likely to serve 96 months.

by on Jan.23, 2018

FCA's former top negotiator, Alfonse Iacobelli, right, pleaded guilty in the federal investigation of corruption at FCA and the UAW.

One of the key figures in the corruption charges that have damaged the United Auto Workers and raised questions about the management of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges.

Alphonse Iacobelli, Former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles labor relations chief, pleaded guilty to two charges related to a conspiracy to siphon millions from an employee training fund operated jointly by the company and the union. Sentencing was delayed to May 29, but Iacobelli could face up to 96 months in prison, according to the plea deal with federal prosecutors.

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Iacobelli pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Labor Management Relations Act and for subscribing a false tax return before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman in Detroit. (more…)

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.

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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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