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Posts Tagged ‘FCA news’

Feds Haul Fiat Chrysler into Court Over Diesel Emission Testing

FCA offered software solution hoping to avoid a trial.

by on May.23, 2017

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this year that the automaker wasn't attempting to cheat on its diesel emissions tests.

Looks like Fiat Chrysler’s best efforts weren’t enough as the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit accusing the automaker of illegally using software to bypass emission controls in 104,000 diesel-equipped Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks sold since 2014.

Filed in U.S. District court in Detroit, the suit is a procedural step designed to turn up the pressure on Fiat Chrysler, according to Reuters. While Volkswagen AG has been dealing with its diesel emissions problem for some time — and at a cost in excess of $25 billion — this suit may be a signal that more makers should be concerned in the U.S. and abroad.

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The automaker has been working with federal regulators to resolve the issue and just yesterday appeared to believe it was on the path to avoiding a lawsuit from the Justice Dept. and potentially $6 billion in fines. (more…)

Detroit’s Big Three Struggle to Adapt to Rapidly Changing Global Auto Market

Management shake-up at Ford not likely to be the last big announcement from the Motor City this year.

by on May.22, 2017

Ford CEO Fields won't be the last Detroit exec trying to figure out how to address changes coming.

The unexpected ouster of Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields comes as one of the biggest shake-ups Detroit’s Big Three have experienced since they emerged from the Great Recession – and it highlights the challenges they face trying to adapt to a global transformation in what automakers build and how they market those products.

The appointment of Jim Hackett to replace Fields is, however, just the latest in a series of big announcements from Detroit that last week saw Ford announce plans to cut 1,400 salaried workers in North America and Europe, while General Motors said it would stop selling cars in the huge Indian market and sell off operations in South Africa.

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“As the (Detroit) Big Three look out at the landscape, they see dramatic changes coming in the concept of mobility,” says Joe Phillippi, a veteran Wall Street auto analyst and now the lead at AutoTrends Consulting. “They are desperately trying to figure out the future business model and how they will fit in.”

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Settle or Sue: U.S. Ready to Take on FCA Over Diesel Rigging Allegations

Automaker accused of using “defeat device” to meet emissions mandates.

by on May.18, 2017

The Ram 1500 turbodiesel has won a number of awards - but the EPA claims it was rigged to pass emissions tests.

The U.S. Justice Department has reportedly given Fiat Chrysler Automobiles an ultimatum: either settle allegations it rigged its diesel models to illegally pass U.S. emissions tests or be hit with a lawsuit.

With the Euro-American automaker so far fiercely challenging those claims by the government, a civil suit could be filed as early as this week, according to a report by the Reuters news service.

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Breaking News!

The automaker says it sees the threat of litigation as “counterproductive,” adding that it “will defend itself vigorously” in court, if necessary. But whether it will now back down is uncertain considering FCA management will need to weigh the potential damages – both in terms of legal costs and possible fines and penalties, as well as the hit to its image the automaker could face.

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Unwrapping the 2018 Jeep Wrangler

Back to basics...but some modern touches.

by on May.12, 2017

A thinly camo'd 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

The new Jeep Wrangler is one of the most eagerly awaited models due to debut for the 2018 model-year, but the automaker isn’t saying much about the first complete makeover of the iconic SUV in more than a decade.

It’s not quite a red cape, but Jeep has been teasing Wrangler fans by placing what appears to be the next-generation SUV out front of its Toledo, Ohio assembly plant. The problem? It’s covered in a big white sheet. So, we asked our spy photographer Jim Dunne to try to capture images of what’s underneath.

The Last Word!

While these three shots of what is internally codenamed JL still leave some details covered up by camouflage, they offer the best look we’ve had, to date, of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, and while the basic shape carries over some of the boxy cues that fans have long loved, there are some key updates that appear to bring the next Wrangler into the modern era.

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FCA, Vin Diesel Partner to Sell Hellcat Muscle Fast & Furious

Action star centerpiece of three new commercials: The Brotherhood of Muscle.

by on May.01, 2017

Vin Diesel is touting Fiat Chrysler's muscle car line-up in a three-commercial campaign called "The Brotherhood of Muscle."

Fiat Chrysler is partnering with action movies star Vin Diesel for three television ads, a series entitled “The Brotherhood of Muscle” that the automaker hopes will move metal fast and furiously.

FCA is hoping some of Diesel’s success will cascade over to their cars after the latest installment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise set all types of box office records. “The Fate of the Furious” currently headlines the No. 1 film on the planet, which just took the spot of the world’s biggest global opening of all time.

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“Dodge and SRT vehicles have an attitude and presence that provide their owners with much more than just transportation,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat, FCA-North America. (more…)

Is FCA Ready to Sell Off Jeep and Ram?

Marchionne's casual comment raises questions about carmaker’s future.

by on Apr.27, 2017

The most powerful SUV on the market, the 707 hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

It was the sort of casual comment that many of those listening in on the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earnings conference call just might have missed, but a single word from FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne could signal some massive changes to come.

For several years, the CEO has made no effort to hide his interest in finding a partner for the smallest of the Detroit-based automakers. During a call with analysts and reporters to discuss FCA’s strong first-quarter earnings Marchionne was asked if his strategy might even include the idea of selling off the company’s crown jewels, the Jeep and Ram brands.

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The Big Picture!

“Yes,” Marchionne said, before moving on to other topics. And, curiously, those on the call let the subject drop without a single follow-up query.

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FCA Beats Quarterly Earnings Expectations

Company overcomes slow start in North America

by on Apr.26, 2017

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne touted the company's improved margins. He also suggested the company may add more autonomous tech suppliers.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. delivered better-than-expected financials results for the first quarter of the year, including an 11% jump in adjusted earnings to 1.54 billion euros, slightly higher than the predicted 1.4 billion euros.

The company beat expectations despite a slow start to the year in North America where FCA has pulled back on sales to rental fleets and started remodeling manufacturing plants to build more trucks and sport utility vehicles.

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Sergio Marchionne, FCA chief executive, noted the entire company’s margins were up 30 basis points to 5.5% and despite the ongoing changes in North America, the NAFTA region climbed to 7.3% thanks to strong sales of Jeeps and sport-utility vehicles.   (more…)

Waymo Invites Public to Join Autonomous Test Program

First public test for Google’s self-driving vehicle spin-off is good news for FCA, as well.

by on Apr.25, 2017

One of the first Phoenix families to join the Waymo pilot climbs into an autonomous Chrysler Pacifica.

After eight years of testing Waymo is ready to go public, Google’s autonomous vehicle spin-off offering families in the Phoenix area the chance to try out its self-driving cars as part of a new pilot ride-sharing program.

The move brings the technology a step closer to becoming a day-to-day reality and coincides with efforts by other entrants into the fast-emerging field who are rapidly expanding the number of autonomous vehicles now on public roads. The pilot program could cement Waymo’s position as a leader in the technology while also giving a big boost to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the automaker that will now provide another 500 Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans for use in the Arizona project.

We'll Do the Driving!

Waymo quietly began offering rides to a “handful of Phoenix, AZ residents…over the last month,” the Alphabet subsidiary’s CEO John Krafcik revealed in a statement issued overnight. “Now residents in the Phoenix area can apply” to join the trial, Waymo planning on “accepting hundreds of people with diverse backgrounds and transportation needs who want to ride and give feedback about Waymo’s self-driving cars.”

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Jeep’s 707-hp Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Revealed

Set to debut in NY alongside Dodge Demon.

by on Apr.10, 2017

The most powerful SUV on the market, the 707 hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is planning a high-powered preview at the New York International Auto Show later week, the Euro-American automaker set to debut two of the most powerful vehicles ever to roll off an American assembly line.

While FCA is waiting for its Wednesday news conference to provide complete details about the Dodge Demon, the muscle car it has been teasing in recent weeks, the maker did pull the covers back on the new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Performance News!

In what might actually seem something of an understatement, Jeep chief Mike Manley suggested that with its 707-horsepower V-8, the Trackhawk delivers “astounding performance numbers.” But Manley also stressed that the new Jeep is more than just the SUV equivalent of a classic muscle car, promising it also offers “luxury, refinement and an array of innovative advanced technology.”

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France Investigating FCA for Diesel Emission Violations

Automaker joins Volkswagen, PSA Group and Renault in group of potential violators.

by on Mar.21, 2017

FCA is under investigation by French prosecutors for diesel emissions violations. The company said its vehicles are compliant.

Less than a week after clearing Opel of wrongdoing in diesel emissions testing, French prosecutors are investigating Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over similar allegations, according to Reuters.

“I can confirm that a judicial investigation has been opened into aggravated cheating,” the source told Reuters.

Global Auto News!

Recently, four automakers were referred to authorities for further investigation – and possible prosecution – after testing by French authorities revealed higher than allowable diesel emission elvels. The four were Volkswagen, Renault, FCA and PSA Group. (more…)