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Archive for the ‘Maserati’ Category

What’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Without Fiat and Chrysler?

Two namesake brands will survive – barely, for now.

by on Jun.04, 2018

The Chrysler Pacifica may soon go it solo as the brand continues to shrink.

It’s been nearly a decade since struggling European automaker Fiat combined with the post-Chapter 11 Chrysler, and if the 5-year plan unveiled during a day-long meeting in Milan last week comes close to being accurate, the carmaker could be in for a “brighter future” than ever, according to John Elkann, the chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and the heir to the Italian side of the company’s founders.

There’s just one problem: neither the Fiat nor Chrysler brands seem poised to share in the spoils. The Fiat Capital Day briefing focused all but exclusively on just four brands – Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Maserati – expected to dominate FCA’s future. For now, Fiat and Chrysler will survive, but in greatly diminished form, and observers question whether they’ll be around for the long-term.

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“There was enough doubt…about their future because they barely showed up in the presentations,” said Joe Phillippi, chief analyst with AutoTrends Consulting, after attending the day-long session at Alfa’ proving grounds near Milan. Fca’s management team “took pains to say (Fiat and Chrysler will have a future, at least in the near-term. But it will be up to the next management team to determine whether they will remain in the portfolio for the long-term.”

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FCA Maps Out a Self-Driving Strategy

Automaker teams up with Waymo, BMW and Aptiv, but carves out its own path.

by on Jun.01, 2018

A Waymo-modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

While there are a growing number of autonomous vehicle prototypes on the road these days, Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made headlines when they announced, earlier this week, plans to direct as many as 62,000 Pacifica Hybrid minivans into the self-driving ride-sharing service the Google spin-off will launch later this year.

By some estimates, 20% or more of the miles Americans clock on the road will be in driverless vehicles operated by ride-sharing services like Waymo, Uber and Lyft by the end of the coming decade. Millions of motorists may opt to give up their personal vehicles and switch to those services. Millions more are expected to own their own autonomous vehicles.

The Last Word!

Until recently considered a laggard in the self-driving field, FCA has jumped in big, relying on partnerships with not only Waymo, but BMW and mega-supplier Aptiv. And that approach will not only help it to make up for lost time but give FCA several alternative paths to follow.

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FCA Planning to Plug In

After slow start, automaker reveals big plans for electrification.

by on Jun.01, 2018

The production version of this Maserati Alfieri concept will use an electrified drivetrain to launch from 0 to 60 in barely 2 seconds.

Sergio Marchionne isn’t much of a fan of battery power, or at least he hasn’t been until recently. When Fiat Chrysler Automobiles launched its first all-electric model, five years ago, the CEO actually urged motorists not to buy it, admitting FCA lost about $25,000 on every one of them.

But at the automaker’s “Capital Day,” in Milan on Friday, Marchionne and his management team were far more upbeat, announcing plans to add dozens of electrified vehicles – everything from mild hybrids to pure battery-electric vehicles – into the FCA line-up over the next give years.

Electrifying!

The economics still aren’t great, noted Mark Chernoby, the automaker’s head of technology compliance, but in an era of increasingly stringent emissions and mileage regulations, it’s the only real day to meet targets being set in markets as diverse as the U.S., Europe, China and Brazil. That’s all the more so as FCA continues to migrate from traditional sedans and coupes to the less efficient SUVs and CUVs that will overwhelmingly dominate its global line-up.

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More Products, More Volume, Bigger Margins: FCA Lays Out Aggressive, 5-Year Growth Plan

Morning presentation outlines plans for Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands.

by on Jun.01, 2018

The Ram TRX will be among the new models FCA will bring out over the coming five years.

(This story has been revised to update plans for Jeep’s pickup and a midsize pickup from Ram that, CEO Marchionne now says will come to the U.S. market.)

In a sweeping presentation designed to give analysts, investors, media and potential buyers a good look at its future, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executives are spending a day detailing their plans for the company and its various brands.

At the midway mark, as they break for lunch, they’ve already lifted the kimono far enough to show what’s coming for the Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands and, in a nutshell, it can be summed up as more products targeting lots more volume and much bigger margins.

Breaking News!

The new five-year plan will be the last crafted under the guidance of Sergio Marchionne, the 65-year-old executive who helped pull off the pairing of two struggling manufacturers to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. His third five-year plan, Marchionne stressed that “The true finish line is the one always yet to come.”

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Fiat Chrysler Said to be Exiting Diesel Business on Car Side

Plan reportedly set to be announced in June.

by on Feb.26, 2018

FCA appears ready phase out diesels in all but pickups and Jeeps.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to end production of diesel-powered passenger cars by 2022, according to a newly published report, though it left open the possibility the automaker will continue offering the high-mileage technology in some of its trucks.

The plan is set to be announced in June as part of the broader five-year strategy the carmaker will unveil – about the same time it is expected to outline plans to replace the soon-to-retire CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Global News!

A phase-out of diesel production by FCA would not be entirely unexpected in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal sales of the technology has slumped in many markets, especially in Europe. And regulators in many places, including the city of Paris, are now considering diesel bans. Porsche last week announced its own plan to phase-out the technology. (more…)

It’s Official: Rolls-Royce SUV Will be Named Cullinan

A diamond in the rough?

by on Feb.13, 2018

Project Cullinan is about to make its debut as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

Surprise: Rolls-Royce plans to call its first-ever SUV the Cullinan. Oh, wait, you already knew? Well, the reality is that folks inside the British maker have been referring to the ultra-luxurious  ute for some time as “Project Cullinan,” but the company only now is making that the official choice for the production model.

So, with a little less than shock value to the name, Rolls has also released an assortment of pictures of what it prefers to call a “high-bodied vehicle.”  And, if you’re wondering, it’s an appropriate moniker for something targeting the world’s most affluent motorists, making reference to the largest diamond ever discovered.

Product News!

“The name Cullinan has been hiding in plain sight since we revealed it as the project name some years ago,” explained Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce. “It is the most fitting name for our extraordinary new product. Just like the Cullinan Diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found, it emerges when it is perfect and exists above all others.”

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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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Ford Hopes Alibaba’s Online Sales Plan is Purrfect

Vending machine approach expected to increase online sales.

by on Dec.19, 2017

Ford is looking to expand its online sales in China through its partnership with Alibaba and its cat-shaped vending machines for cars.

Ford Motor Co.’s new three-year deal with Alibaba, considered China’s version of Amazon, offers the automaker a new outlet for selling its vehicles in the country.

The idea of buying a new car on the internet isn’t exactly novel, but Alibaba offers Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford more options than simply “click to proceed to checkout” on its Tmall online store.

Global Auto News!

Ford, which has seen its sales in China stagnate this year, and when signed it deal last month with Alibaba, the automaker was looking to expand its capability of selling vehicles online. The company’s year-to-date sales in China total more than 1,056,000 units, a 6% decrease year over year. (more…)

Alcantara Gaining Ground on Inside of Autos

Luxury material making gains on leather in vehicle interiors.

by on Dec.19, 2017

Inside the new Panamera is covered in Alcantara, one of many high-end vehicle's using the material.

Alcantara, the Italian maker of material finding its way into more and more luxury vehicles, has tripled its sales since the recession and is adding more capacity at its home base in Italy, according to the company’s chairman and chief executive Andrea Boragno.

Boragno said Alcantara’s Italian manufacturing base is a vital part of its character and its broad appeal to a growing list of carmakers such as Alfa Romeo, Lexus, Lincoln, Nissan and Volkswagen.

Product News!

“The growing appeal of Alcantara is one of the reasons why we have announced a five-year investment program totaling 300 Euros million in order to double the company’s overall production capacity,” Boragno said. (more…)

Ferrari Doubling Production a Year Early

If maker hits mark, profits soar past $2 billion.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Portofino is Ferrari's latest model. CEO Sergio Marchionne is pushing for production levels to double, perhaps next year.

It would appear that CEO Sergio Marchionne is finally getting his wish to bulk up the production of Ferraris as the Italian sports carmaker plans to produce 9,000 vehicles next year.

Marchionne has long wanted to produce more vehicles to squeeze more profits out of the company. It led to a dispute with the former chief, Luca di Montezemolo, which led to his departure from Ferrari. Montezemolo was concerned that building too many vehicles would cut the exclusivity of the brand and lower its value.

Product News!

Clearly, Marchionne disagreed but the new production numbers are a full year ahead of even his projections, according to Automotive News. (more…)