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Archive for the ‘FCA’ Category

Former UAW VP Jewell Expected to Plead Guilty

Six others have already been found guilty.

by on Mar.22, 2019

Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell is expected to plead guilty in federal court next month.

Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell is expected to U.S. District Court early next month to plead guilty on charges of violating federal labor law and could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

Jewell, who abruptly quit his UAW post in December 2017, months before he was scheduled to leave office, is the second top union official implicated in the ongoing investigation. He accepted more than $40,000 in travel and gifts.

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Federal prosecutors are investigating a scam in which the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executive responsible for relations with the UAW used money designated for training UAW workers for lavish parties and gifts.  (more…)

One of Nine Pickups Earns Top Rating in IIHS Crash Tests

Nearly half of the trucks rated marginal or poor.

by on Mar.21, 2019

Ford's F-150 was one of the best performers in the latest IIHS pickup crash tests.

Pickup buyers concerned about safety might be surprised by the results of the latest IIHS crash results that found over half of the nine models scored poorly in at least one of the key tests,  four earning marginal or poor ratings overall.

Of the trucks the IIHS examined, only two earned good ratings, the Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan. And just one 2019 model, the Honda Ridgeline, earned the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick award – but only when equipped with optional headlights and forward collision prevention technology.

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“As a group,” said David Zuby, the chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “the pickup class still has a lot of work to do.”

(more…)

Fiat Chrysler Without Fiat?

Brand’s future in U.S. market increasingly uncertain.

by on Mar.19, 2019

Could FCA be ready to pull the Fiat brand out of the U.S.? There are indications it could happen.

When the Fiat brand made its return to the U.S. market after a quarter-century absence it seemed a no-brainer; after all, a weak economy and soaring oil prices had Americans trading in their big sedans and SUVs for small, fuel-efficient products like the Fiat 500.

After some initial launch problems that led to the complete shake-up of the brand’s management team, Fiat started to gain traction, sales jumping to nearly 44,000 in 2012 and growing another 5% by 2014, just as the brand began to roll out additional product. But that bubble quickly burst and, last year, Fiat brand sales fell to barely a third of their peak just four years earlier, raising questions about whether it has any staying power in a market that is largely snubbing it.

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“Fiat has certainly struggled,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst at IHS Markit. “Their current products are not in line with what people want. They have to do something.” (more…)

A New Partner for Fiat Chrysler? Peugeot Says Maybe

Peugeot family suggest FCA is a possible mate.

by on Mar.19, 2019

Could Fiat Chrysler be a good fit with PSA Groupe? A member of the Peugeot family says yes.

The late Sergio Marchionne spent much of his tenure searching for a partner for Fiat Chrysler, and now it appears a new mate for FCA is in the picture and creating buzz that Marchionne likely would have enjoyed: Peugeot.

Robert Peugeot, president of Peugeot family holding company FFP, told French daily Les Echos he would support a new deal, suggesting Fiat Chrysler would be among the potential partners.

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“With them, as with others, the planets could be aligned,” he was reported as saying about a potential merger. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT AWD

Brand produces a modern-day classic.

by on Mar.19, 2019

The 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT is part of the group of muscle cars that have led to the renaissance of the segment.

Muscle cars have a durable appeal that survived the shift to Asian and European imports despite the reputation for quality problems that seemed to hover over American-made cars for years and even the ongoing shift away from passenger cars generally to utility vehicles and light trucks.

Moreover, in an era when electric and autonomous vehicles are threatening to remake the automotive landscape, American muscle cars have gone through something of a renaissance with the re-emergence of cars such as the Chevrolet Camaro, huge upgrades to the Ford Mustang and the splashy revival of Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger.

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Even with its lonely two doors, the Challenger, with its eye-catching exterior design and powerful V8 engine, could well be the epitome of the muscle-car revival. But the rebirth not only includes a sleek, sophisticated remake of the of the exterior sheet metal and a more efficient version of the traditional V8 but also a complete overhaul of the running gear that makes the ride and handling much better.   (more…)

Former UAW VP Jewell Charged by Feds in FCA-UAW Scandal

He's the highest ranking UAW official charged.

by on Mar.18, 2019

Norwood Jewell, left, is the highest ranking UAW official to be charged in the ongoing investigation into the theft of UAW-FCA training funds.

Just days after rallying the troops in Detroit for the upcoming contract negotiations, the UAW received another black eye as former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell was charged Monday by federal prosecutors for violating the Labor Management Relations Act.

Jewell, according to court documents, allegedly received more than $40,000 in travel, lodging and meals between 2014 and 2016 from people working for Fiat Chrysler.

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He is the latest in a string of FCA and UAW executives and family members who have been indicted or convicted in the FBI investigation. Representatives from the FBI and the UAW have been available for comment. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Eyes Extending Diesel Run in Europe

CEO Manley says consumer demand will determine final decision.

by on Mar.13, 2019

FCA CEO Mike Manley said the company may rethink its diesel plans in Europe if demand is strong.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. could wind up backtracking on the company’s earlier pledge to eliminate diesel from its passenger cars in Europe by 2022.

In a conversation on the sidelines of the Geneva Motor Show, FCA CEO Mike Manley indicated that the company could reconsider its decision to eliminate diesel engines from its passenger car models if public demand for the vehicles remains strong.

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“We don’t want to say we got rid of diesel, and by the way, it also came with a 15%, 20%, 30% drop in our sales,” Manley said. (more…)

UAW Raising Strike Pay Ahead of Big Three Negotiations

Workers get $250 a week now, up $50 a week.

by on Mar.11, 2019

UAW President Gary Jones said striking workers will get $50 more in their check effective immediately.

In a warning that it was preparing for a fight during contract talks with Detroit’s automakers this coming summer, the United Auto Workers raised the amount it will pay workers, who walk off the job from $767-million strike fund.

UAW President Gary Jones told opening day attendees of the union’s Special Convention on Collective Bargaining said the union’s executive board approved raising the weekly strike pay, effectively immediately to $250 per week from the current level of $200 per week.

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The strike pay will be raised to $275 per week effective Jan. 1, 2020, said Jones, adding the union’s strike benefits also include health insurance for union members and their families during the duration of any contract dispute that leads to a strike. (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 feedback 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.

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“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…)

Fiat Concept Centoventi Offers Ultimate in Customization

New model debuted in Geneva hopes to curry favor like the 500.

by on Mar.06, 2019

The Fiat Concept Centoventi offers the ultimate in customization, right down to how far you can travel on a charge.

Fiat’s new concept, the Centoventi, looks to set a new standard for customization and simplicity for buyers, while hoping to capture the imagination of buyers the same way the Fiat 500 did starting in the 1950s.

The Centoventi, which is Italian for “one hundred and twenty,” is an electric vehicle designed more like a gizmo than a car. It comes in only one color, but can be personalized using the “4U” program which gives buyers a choice of four roofs, four bumpers, four wheel covers and four external wraps.

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Additionally, the interior can be customized with different configurations, infotainment systems and the even the size of the battery can be selected to determine how much range each Centoventi will have. (more…)