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Ten Automakers Earn Perfect Scores LGBTQ Equality

No automakers made the list in 2002.

by on Nov.10, 2017

Fiat Chrysler earned high LGBTQ scores from the Human Rights Campaign.

Carmakers face challenges in recruiting talent in today’s tight market and Detroit has a daunting reputation to live down in many parts of the world.

But the Human Rights Campaign, which monitors how employers treat LGBTQ employees, has given nine automakers a 100% rating on HRC’s 2018 Corporate Equality Index.

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Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen all made this year’s list with perfect scores. (more…)

Marchionne Spoke With Feds in FCA/UAW Training Center Probe

FCA CEO brought criminal defense lawyer with him.

by on Nov.07, 2017

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne was interviewed by federal officials last year in the probe of criminal activity of a FCA/UAW training fund.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., apparently met with the U.S. attorney in Detroit to discuss the federal government’s ongoing investigation into criminal activity involving a joint training fund maintained by FCA and the United Auto Workers.

During the interview last year, Marchionne was accompanied by a prominent criminal attorney, according to press reports that emerged this week.

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General Motors and Ford officials have recently confirmed that they are also cooperating with the federal probe into the joint training centers they operate with the UAW with money from the so-called “nickel fund,” which was created in the 1980s to help pay for training of autoworkers. The fund collects what amounts to a small tax for every hour of overtime worked by UAW members. (more…)

First Look: All-New 2018 Jeep Wrangler

All-new yet completely familiar.

by on Nov.01, 2017

The first Wrangler debuted in 1986 but its roots date back to the original Jeep of World War II.

Few new models have been the subject of more speculation, especially after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles put up a new version of the Jeep Wrangler outside its plant in Toledo, Ohio, albeit carefully covered up.

The waiting is finally over and, barely a month before the iconic sport-utility vehicle makes its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, FCA is giving us a first look at the 2018 Jeep Wrangler. Unfortunately, it isn’t saying much then than confirming what our eyes already reveal: that the new Wrangler will retain plenty of cues from the outgoing model, including its keystone, seven-slat grille, round headlamps and square taillights. And, of course, the classic, fold-down windshield.

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That said, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler also features big improvements in aerodynamics which should mean major improvements in both wind noise and fuel economy. Jeep engineers also were promising to shave off plenty of mass and make other improvements to Wrangler powertrain line-up to further improve its efficiency.

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FCA Begins Exporting Jeeps from India

Plant sending new Compass utes to Australia, Japan.

by on Nov.01, 2017

Fiat Chrysler is now exporting Jeep Compass sport-utes to Australia and Japan from India.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V.’s venture in India is now exporting Jeep Compass utes to Japan and Australia where car making ended for good last month.

Sergio Marchionne said recently that the transformation of Jeep to a truly global brand is continuing to pick up momentum. Jeep sales in South America, where FCA opened a plant last year, and in Europe where Jeeps are now built on the continent for the first time, have continued to expand, Marchionne noted during a conference call last month.

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Jeep sales in China are also growing. Marchionne also said the Jeep plant in India is also off to a promising start.  (more…)

Maserati Set to Launch 2nd SUV in 2020

Critical to business plan, says CEO Marchionne.

by on Oct.26, 2017

The Maserati Levante has quickly become the Italian brand's best-selling model.

With the Levante already the most popular model in its history, Maserati is readying a second SUV, CEO Sergio Marchionne has revealed, a critical step in meeting the luxury brand’s business plan.

The new model, Marchionne hinted during this week’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earnings conference call, will be smaller than the midsize five-seat Levante. That would position the Italian luxury brand in one of the world’s fastest-growing market segments and target competitors ranging from the Jaguar E-Pace to the Porsche Macan.

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Maserati sold about 40,000 vehicles last year, the Levante largely responsible for a 27% year-over-year increase. But the maker’s target is somewhere closer to 80,000, and EBIT earnings of 1 billion euros. “We should be able to get there” with the addition of a second ute, Marchionne said during the call with investors and journalists.

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FCA Boosts Third Quarter Income 52 Percent

CEO Marchionne says company closing in on financial goals.

by on Oct.24, 2017

Fiat Chrysler reported net income of $1.1 billion for the third quarter — a 52% increase.

Despite speculation about a possible sale and future prospects looking shakey, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. posted strong third quarter net income results, increasing 52% to $1.1 billion.

FCA reported pretax profits of $2.1 billion beat analysts’ expectations of $1.02 billion, according to MarketWatch. Earnings per share of 70 cents jumped compared with 56 cents during the same period in 2016.

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Sergio Marchionne, FCA chief executive officer, said the company is closing in on its ambitious goals, including becoming debt free and banking cash reserves of between $4 billion and $5 billion in cash, despite its ambitious plan to re-align factories across North America. (more…)

Secrets Are Out! 2018 Jeep Wrangler User Guide Leaked

Guide shed light on what to expect with new model.

by on Oct.16, 2017

The user's guide for the next-gen Jeep Wrangler was leaked by fan forum, revealing many details about the new model.

In today’s ever-shrinking, internet-based world, no secret goes unshared, especially when it’s the user’s guide for the next-generation Jeep Wrangler, which has been leaked, and reveals the new 4x4’s equipment including push-button start and a power sliding top among others.

The new Wrangler, who’s goodies were revealed by a fan site called JL Wrangler Forum, is set to roll down Fiat Chrysler’s revamped assembly line in Toledo, Ohio, beginning next month. Perhaps the most identifiable Jeep on the planet, the Wrangler boasts off-roading fans as well as open-air mavens around the world.

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The go-anywhere ute used to be a bare-boned beast, but over the years, more and more convenience features crept into the truck. The push-button start and power top are new for this iteration, but other niceties will include keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors and a backup camera, according to the newly — albeit unceremoniously — debuted user’s guide. (more…)

FCA Recalling 700K Utes for Brake Problem

FCA making second attempt to resolve problem.

by on Oct.03, 2017

The 2011 Dodge Durango is part of the recall of FCA SUVs due to a brake problem.

Fiat Chrysler announced it is recalling more than 700,000 Jeep and Dodge sport-utility vehicles to resolve a potential problem with the vehicles’ brakes that can make it difficult to stop.

The action affects Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos from model years 2011–14 with about 646,000 of those vehicles in the U.S. The remainder are in Canada and Mexico.

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The company said a mistake installing the brake-booster shields may allow water intrusion, which can cause corrosion and freezing, impacting the functionality of the brakes. Signs of a problem include excessive brake-pedal firmness, activations of the anti-lock brakes and illumination of a warning light. (more…)

FCA’s Marchionne Prefers Magneti Marelli Spin Off

Officials have bene mulling possibilities and prefer spin off.

by on Oct.02, 2017

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is looking for ways to bring the company to profitability.

The multitude of possibilities lower debt and improve the company’s financial standing that Fiat Chrysler officials, led by CEO Sergio Marchionne, are considering appears to be have been whittled down to just one.

One preference anyway: a spinoff of Magneti Marelli, the company’s unit that produces lighting and electronics as well as suspension and exhaust components.

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Marchionne told reporters over the weekend that a spinoff of Magneti Marelli would likely follow the pattern set by Ferrari. FCA initially listed a small stake in the sports car company on the market then later spun it off, with the remaining shares distributed to FCA’s existing shareholders. (more…)

Alfa Romeo Claims Stelvio Quadrifoglio Fastest Sport-Ute

Did they forget about the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk?

by on Sep.29, 2017

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio set a new SUV record at Germany's famous Nürburgring.

Fiat Chrysler produces the fastest sport-utility on the planet, the question is how do you quantify fastest?

Earlier this year, the company rolled out the 707-horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Using the same 6.2-liter supercharged V8 powerplant as the newly minted Hellcat model. Jeep has never been shy about offering performance versions of the Grand Cherokee, but the Trackhawk is about 50% more powerful than any SUV it previously offered.

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However, another member of the FCA family is now boasting it has the fastest SUV in the world: Alfa Romeo and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. (more…)