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Alphabet Soup as Chrysler Becomes FCA US LLC

Familiar name to remain only on Chrysler brand products.

by on Dec.16, 2014

More changes for the newly merged Fiat Chrysler.

After nearly 90 years, it’s the end of the road for the familiar Chrysler corporate name.

Just two months after the maker completed its merger with Italy’s Fiat, the U.S. side of the company will abandon the familiar Chrysler Group LLC to become FCA US LLC.

What's in a Name!

The name is meant to better reflect that of the new parent company, the global Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

“FCA US continues to build upon the solid foundations first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925 as well as a rich Fiat heritage that dates from 1899,” the company said in a prepared statement.

(more…)

Fiat Profits Plunge 55%

CEO Marchionne points to runaway incentives costs.

by on Jul.30, 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the automaker needed to have great results in the next two quarters.

Fiat says its second-quarter profits plunged 55% as the maker’s U.S. partner Chrysler struggled to move old product with new incentives, while the Fiat side of the company dealt with a slowdown in South America.

Fiat, which expects to complete its takeover of the U.S. maker in October, earned a net profit of 197 million Euros, or $264 million, for the three-month period ending on June 30, compared with 435 million Euros a year before. On an EBIT – or earnings before interest and taxes – basis, the numbers dipped to 961 million Euros, or $1.3 billion, from 1.1 billion Euros a year earlier.

Insight!

“We had a crappy first quarter, a halfway decent second, and we need to have outstanding quarters in the third and fourth,” Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler, said bluntly during a conference call. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Takes Next Step toward Completing Merger

Italian maker’s board approves new framework.

by on Jun.16, 2014

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. took one step closer to being a reality with the approval the Fiat SpA board of directors for the merger.

One of the final steps of making Fiat and Chrysler one complete company was taken over the weekend when the Fiat SpA board approved the cross-border merger terms that will allow the Italian automaker to become a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

The terms are essentially the blueprint for new company’s structure, including being organized in Netherlands, as well as being listed on the New York Stock Exchange and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario in Milan, Italy.

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Part of that includes Fiat shareholders receiving one share of Fiat Chrysler stock for each share of stock they own in the Milan-based maker. The plan must be approved by the Fiat shareholders, who will get the opportunity to do so at meeting in the third quarter, according to media reports. (more…)

Feds Investigating Chrysler for Possible Faulty Recall Repairs

Recall for 2012 SUVs for airbag issue at center of query.

by on Jun.02, 2014

The 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of several models subjected to a recall in 2012 that is under investigation again.

The spotlight of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now being shone on Chrysler and its 2012 recall of more than 740,000 SUVs due to an issue with airbags and the repairs made to them.

Six owners of the vehicles repaired for the problem have had airbags deploy without explanation. According to the safety agency, no deaths have resulted from the deployments, but some burns and other injuries have been reported.

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In November 2012 the automaker recalled 744,000 2002-03 Jeep Liberty and 2002-04 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs after a NHTSA investigation in 2011. The recall also included another 175,000 vehicles outside the United States. (more…)

Marchionne Hires Consultants to Review FCA Recalls

CEO wants to open UAW contract talks next month.

by on May.22, 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne (r), with outgoing UAW Pres. Bob King at the Sterling Heights, Michigan, plant recently. Marchionne said he wants to open UAW contract talks next month: a year early.

The ongoing saga of recalls from General Motors is having a spillover effect on the competition: FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said he’s bringing in outside consultants to examine the company’s recall practices.

Speaking to reporters after an event at the Brookings Institution, Marchionne said that he’s beginning to see a new level of attentiveness by Chrysler executives when it comes to safety.

Beyond the Headlines!

“It can’t be that all of a sudden we woke up and we realized we had these issues, so there must be a change in attitude,” he said, according to the Detroit News. “We’re beginning to see people getting truly, truly cautious.” (more…)

Detroit Makers Mull $50 Million Donation to Save Museum

Detroit Institute of Arts asks companies to help meet goal.

by on May.13, 2014

The Detroit Institute of Arts has asked Ford, GM and Chrysler to donate as much as $50 million.

Without committing to actual dollar figures, Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. appear to be warming to the idea of donating as much as $50 million to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) to ensure the museum’s art collection isn’t sold off as part of the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy.

The donations would be part of a bigger pool of money – $816 million – that will be put into the city’s pension funds over 20 years. As a result, the museum’s collection would not be sold.

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Thus far, 12 local and national foundations have committed $366 million, while the State of Michigan has pledged $350 million. The museum is required to come up with $100 million. The companies are at least open to the possibility. (more…)

Marchionne Not Surprised by Drop in Fiat Stock

CEO says FCA’s new headquarters will be in London.

by on May.09, 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said he wasn't surprised to see "people take money off the table" after revealing the maker's five-year plan.

Just two days after FCA’s marathon session where the company laid out its plans for the next five years, CEO Sergio Marchionne dropped a bombshell that was left out of the meeting: FCA’s headquarters will be in London.

“My office will be in London. It has to be,” Marchionne told reporters at Chrysler Group office outside Detroit. “My office and my functions need to operate out of London. The board will meet there. That doesn’t mean I’m going to give up my operation responsibilities (in North America).”

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The operating headquarters for Fiat and Chrysler will remain in Turin and suburban Detroit respectively and the company’s key officers will be scattered around the globe and work from offices in Detroit, Turin and Brazil. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Lays Out Broad Growth Plan

All-encompassing blueprint shows the way to 2018.

by on May.06, 2014

A worker puts the finishing touch on the new FCA sign at the company's North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, this morning.

With a veiled reference to the disastrous, failed alliance that nearly destroyed Chrysler during the recent recession, CEO Sergio Marchionne and his management team laid out a broad and ambitious plan for the U.S. maker and its Italian partner, Fiat, that will see the newly merged company roll out a flood of new products during the next five years.

Following up on a day-long session in late 2009, after Fiat first came to Chrysler’s rescue, the new Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) detailed its next five-year plan, outlining a strategy that will see it try to sharpen the focus of each of its many brands. In most cases, that will mean adding a number of new products, though in some cases, key brands like Dodge will actually reduce their line-ups to eliminate models that don’t fit their image.

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With several hundred investment analysts and an equal number of journalists in the audience, Marchionne’s clear intent was to show that Fiat Chrysler, currently the world’s seventh-largest automotive manufacturer, is well-positioned to challenge rivals ranging from Toyota to Ford, General Motors to Volkswagen, in an increasingly competitive market. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Hopes to Redefine, Sharpen Image as it Outlines Global Strategy

Tuesday session could deliver some surprises, sources say.

by on May.05, 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne completed his long-sought merger - but must now show he can do something with the company.

Almost exactly five years after taking control of the bankrupt automaker, CEO Sergio Marchionne will outline his global strategy for both Detroit-based Chrysler and its Italian partner Fiat during a day-long strategy session this week.

The marathon meeting will be a follow-up to one that Marchionne and his management team staged shortly after Chrysler emerged from Chapter 11 protection in 2009 – a session that saw skeptics question whether the U.S. maker could survive, never mind flourish under Italian control. But five years later, that’s exactly what is happening, Chrysler last week reporting its 49th consecutive monthly sales gain as it continued to outpace the industry’s overall recovery.

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But the smallest of Detroit’s so-called Big Three has plenty of challenges to deal with – as does partner Fiat. Together, the newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will need to sharpen and, in some cases, redefine the identity of its various brands, roll out a wave of new products, and expand its presence in key emerging markets. That’s especially true for Chrysler which was pushed out of China after the collapse of its previous marriage to Germany’s Daimler AG.

(more…)

Chrysler Next-Gen Minivan May Get Hybrid Option

Marchionne says Jeep Cherokee line might get third shift.

by on Mar.14, 2014

The Windsor, Ontario, plant that builds the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan will also be home to then next-generation minivan coming in 2016.

When the next generation Chrysler minivan hits the road in 2016, buyers may be able to get it with a hybrid powertrain, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters after officially launching production of the 2015 Chrysler 200 at the FCA plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., outside Detroit.

“You have to look at a hybrid,” considering where the fuel-economy standards are headed, added Marchionne, who emphasized the next minivan will be built in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit.

The Last Word!

Marchionne also said Chrysler is reviewing the design of the next generation Jeep Wrangler to make it lighter to help meet fuel economy standards. “It has to look like a Wrangler but it has to be lighter and more efficient,” he said. (more…)