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Archive for the ‘FCA’ Category

In Final Move as FCA CEO, Marchionne Expected to Order Massive Shift in Product, Manufacturing Plans

Small Fiat models likely to be dropped, brand may leave U.S.

by on May.18, 2018

Could FCA pull the Fiat brand out of the U.S.?

As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles prepares for life beyond its founding chief executive, CEO Sergio Marchionne is expected to announce major shifts in the automaker’s product and manufacturing strategy, according to several reports.

During a June 1 meeting meant to reveal FCA’s next five-year plan, the 65-year-old executive reportedly will announce that the Fiat brand will abandon two of its base models, the Punto and Mito, while shifting emphasis to more up-market models. The automaker also will put more emphasis on its Jeep brand which, Marchionne said during the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, could help Fiat Chrysler double its earnings during the next five years.

The Last Word!

One of the key questions hanging over the Euro-American automaker may not be resolved during a meeting bringing together analysts and journalists from around the world: who will replace Marchionne as CEO? He has dropped hints that his successor will come from FCA’s current top management ranks, which means no women or outsiders are in the running.

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Fiat Chrysler Backs Off Proposed CAFE Rollbacks

Automaker changes tone about move to stifle tougher fuel economy rules.

by on May.15, 2018

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne amended his position on the rollback of CAFE standards after meeting with President Trump.

This story has been updated with new information.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is now adding to the remarks he made after a meeting with President Donald Trump in which he appeared to endorse the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back fuel economy standard and revoke the state of California’s ability to enforce tighter standards.

“I appreciated the opportunity to talk to the President today about our shared commitment to the automotive industry,” Marchionne said in a statement after the White House meeting at which Trump reportedly described Marchionne as his favorite person in the room.

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“Consumer preferences and technological advancements in our business are constantly evolving. Therefore, revisiting and assessing EPA standards, as was originally intended, is the right thing to do. With this process just beginning, it would be a mistake to jump to conclusions and pre-judge the outcome.  (more…)

Trump Meets With Automakers About CAFE, Blasts NAFTA Instead

President pushes companies to build more cars in U.S.

by on May.11, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett looks on as President Donald Trump makes a point during a meeting with automakers.

The much-anticipated meeting between a 10 automakers and Trump administration officials to discuss rolling back Obama-era fuel economy standards resulted in smoke, but no fire.

President Trump and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt met with the heads dozen automakers, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

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A proposal from the U.S. Transportation Department would freeze Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE,requirements at 2020 levels through 2026, rather than allowing them to increase as previously planned. Trump’s administration is expected to formally unveil the proposal later this month or in June. (more…)

Mazda’s Head of N.American Ops Will Be its Next CEO

Promotion of Akira Marumoto comes at critical time of change for #5 Japanese automaker.

by on May.11, 2018

Akira Marumoto, a 38-year Mazda veteran, will become the company's new president and CEO.

Mazda Motor Corp.’s president and CEO will step down next month and will be replaced by the executive currently overseeing its biggest market, the Americas, and North America, in particular.

The transition, which will see current Vice President Akira Marumoto take the helm, comes at a critical time for Japan’s fifth-largest automaker. After having its long-time partner, Ford Motor Co., sever ties, Mazda has been searching for new allies and over the last 12 months has announced several projects with industry giant Toyota that will see it share in a new, U.S. assembly plant. Mazda is also pushing to develop costly new powertrain technologies at a time when most markets are demanding significant improvements in fuel economy and emissions.

Industry News!

“Given the rapid changes occurring in the auto industry at the moment it’s often asked whether a small company like us will be OK,” the 60-year-old Marumoto told reporters in Japan on Friday, cautioning that, “before we even consider this we need to show our strengths, and what makes us different if we want to grow our brand.”

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Ford Shuts Down Half of Production of F-150 Due to Supplier Fire

GM halts van production while FCA adjusts minivan line.

by on May.09, 2018

Ford shut down the F-150 line at the Kansas City assembly plant due to a parts shortage.

Ford Motor Co. is staring a complete shutdown of production of the company’s best-selling product, the F-150, in the face due to a fire at a supplier facility.

A major fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, on May 2 created a shortage of die-cast parts for the F-150 since the incident. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler facilities have also been impacted by the fire and subsequent parts shortages.

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Ford produces the trucks at plants in Missouri and Michigan. Currently the truck production half of Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant is shut down for the week, sending 3,600 workers home due to the parts shortage. (more…)

Car Thieves Nab Eight Ram 1500s from Michigan Plant

Police have recovered one of the stolen trucks.

by on May.04, 2018

Police recovered one of the eight Ram 1500 pickups stolen from the Warren Truck Plant. (Photo credit: Warren Police Dept.)

It’s not unusual for new truck buyers to want to get their hands on their new purchase as soon as possible, however, it was thieves, not overzealous truck aficionados, that snuck into Fiat Chrysler’s plant in Warren, Michigan, took eight trucks right off the end of the assembly line.

The group stole a 2003 Ram from a home in Warren and rolled into the facility through a hole cut in the fence before dawn, to grab the trucks, roar out of the site crashing through the gate like something straight out of a movie.

The Last Word!

Since the theft, which took place at 3:55 a.m., one of the trucks has been recovered, but the Warren Police Department and surrounding cities, including Detroit, are on the lookout for these full-size pickups. The truck that was recovered was found in Detroit. (more…)

FCA Halts Production in Brampton Due to Supplier Strike

Dodge Challenger, Charger on hold for now.

by on May.04, 2018

Fiat Chrysler was forced to shut down its plant in Brampton, Ontario, due to a strike at its seat supplier, Lear.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. has been forced to close its assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, due to a strike at a plant in Ajax, Ontario, that feeds seats to the FCA factory.

A contract dispute between Unifor, the union representing some 320 hourly workers at the Ajax plant, and Lear Corp., led to a walkout last weekend. Workers rejected Lear’s latest contract offer and Lear responded by announcing that it planned to shut the Ajax plant permanently.

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The dispute mainly over wages, according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. (more…)

UAW Leaders Struggling With Credibility Issues in Wake of Scandal

UAW-GM leader sends letter explaining outsourcing moves.

by on May.03, 2018

UAW's Cindy Estrada was part of an investigation by federal officials about the potential misuse of union funds.

This story has been updated with new information.

With their credibility damaged by the worst scandal to ever rock the United Auto Workers’ top executive board, union leaders are scrambling to explain changes in the union’s contract with General Motors that will allow the outsourcing of job at GM assembly plants in Lordstown, Ohio, and Orion Township, Michigan.

“You deserve to know the facts about recent outsourcing at Local 5960 Lake Orion and Local 1112 Lordstown,” Cynthia Estrada, the UAW vice president in charge of union’s GM Department, said in a letter to a union members.

Union News!

“This was a decision agreed to by the involved local, regional and national leadership. Everyone agrees that this situation sucks. But what would suck even more would be to have GM shut down any of our plants and devastate hundreds of our members’ lives and the communities where those plants exist,” said Estrada, who noted GM car production has slashed by 20%. (more…)

Last Wrangler JK Rolls Off Line; Jeep Truck Starts in 2019

FCA readying Toledo plant to build the Jeep pickup.

by on Apr.27, 2018

Employees celebrate the last Jeep Wrangler JK rolling off the line in Toledo.

Another piece of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. transformation plan fell into place as the last Jeep Wrangler JK rolled off the assembly line in Toledo, Ohio.

The Wrangler JK had been in production for more than 12 years with more than 2.1 million vehicles built. The new version of the Wrangler is already in production in a newer and larger assembly plant nearby that up until last year was used to build the Jeep Liberty and Jeep Cherokee.

Product News!

The assembly line in the FCA US Toledo Supplier Park where the Wrangler was built will now be used for the all-new Jeep pickup truck, which will launch in the first half of 2019. Sergio Marchionne, FCA CEO, told analysts this week that production of the Jeep pickup will start by the end of 2018. (more…)

FCA Enjoys Record Q1 Results as Plans Fall into Place

Company earns 1 billion euros and paying down debt.

by on Apr.26, 2018

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the company was on track to meet its goal of paying off its debt by the end of 2018.

Despite production delays for the new 2019 Ram pickup truck, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. reported record profits of 1 billion euros for the first quarter of 2018 thanks to stronger sales in North and South America and a drop in capital spending as the company completed the launch of three new vehicles.

“Overall the business is in good shape,” said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne during a conference call with analysts, noting the company had eliminated 1.3 billion euros worth of debt out of the company’s cash flow.

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“Obviously I’m pleased by the debt reduction,” Marchionne said. (more…)