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Fiat Chrysler Moves Excite Speculation

Automaker attracting interest from Chinese companies.

by on Aug.18, 2017

Sergio Marchionne's continuing search for a partner for Fiat Chrysler has attracted interest from potential buyers and investors.

(CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect an error regarding the financial status of Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors. The country’s largest producer of SUVs and light trucks has not undergone a reorganization or a Chapter 11-style filing, as we originally reported. We apologize for that error.)

Even when he fails to consummate a transaction, as he did two years ago, Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne still enjoys a reputation as an astute deal maker.

So it’s not exactly a surprise that shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. climbed to a record high following reports that FCA was dickering with Chinese companies about a possible deal. Fiat Chrysler’s U.S.-listed shares surged 8.5% to $12.60, the highest close since trading began in October 2014. The stock has risen 38% this year.

Global News!

In an e-mail, FCA declined to comment on the rampant speculation of a potential alliance or sale of the company. (more…)

Big Bird Gets a New Chrysler Pacifica Minivan

Chrysler is newest sponsor for Sesame Street.

by on Jul.17, 2017

Chrysler is now an official sponsor of Sesame Street on PBS. In four ads, the characters talk about how to be safe in a car and the features of the Pacifica.

For decades if you asked any of the characters on Sesame Street, especially one fuzzy blue guy, what the letter “C” stood for the first answer would have been “cookie” or “COOOOOKKIIIEEEE!!!”

However, things have changed on what is perhaps the best known street in America: now “C” stands for “Chrysler.”

News You Can Trust!

Chrysler announced it is now a “Sesame Street” sponsor, which includes a commitment to supporting the show on PBS, original content on Chrysler’s digital platforms and if there are automotive gods, a story line that involves Oscar the Grouch and the new Dodge Demon. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Recalling 1.33m Vehicles for Fire, Airbag Risks

Two separate problems announced Friday.

by on Jul.14, 2017

A 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of the models recalled for a fire risk.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced two separate recalls on Friday that will cover 1.33 million vehicles worldwide.

The two issues involve potential fire risks in a variety of Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep models, as well as faulty airbags that have been fitted into Dodge and Fiat models. Most of the recalls involve vehicles sold in the U.S. market.

Beyond the Headlines!

The announcement by FCA comes at a time when the auto industry has been running record numbers of recalls, including one earlier in the week involving 2.7 million defective Takata airbags. The FCA airbag issue does not involve Takata devices, however.

(more…)

The End Approaches For Dodge Viper

But demand for “Ultimate Viper ACR” will keep plant busy to the end.

by on Jul.12, 2017

Members of Team Viper ready an engine for installation into a new Dodge Viper. The plant is being shut down and Viper production ended for good.

Barely five years after bringing the Dodge Viper back to life, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will end production and permanently shut down the special Detroit assembly line tasked with building the two-seat sports car.

A total of just 87 workers will be impacted by the closure of the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant on Detroit’s east side, but FCA plans to offer all of them work at some of its other facilities.

Product News!

First introduced in roadster trim in 1992, what fans preferred to call the “Snake” was one of the fastest products the automakers has ever built, but the $85,000 price tag was simply too much for most Dodge buyers, said Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge and other North American passenger car operations. Ironically he told TheDetroitBureau.com, that sales of the Viper ACR model has actually been picking up as production of the Viper gets ready to shut down. (more…)

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.

News You Can Trust!

“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…)

Alfa Romeo Unleashes the Mechanics of Emotion with New Stelvio

Portfolio of SUVs topped with Quadrifoglio performance model.

by on Apr.10, 2017

Alfa Romeo debuted its first-ever sport-utility vehicle, the Stelvio, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The hypercompetitive sport-utility market in the U.S. is getting another entry, or entries, depending upon how much money a buyer is willing to spend as the long-awaited Alfa Romeo Stelvio line-up debuts in New York.

The first-ever SUV from the Italian-based maker debuted last fall, but it was only a brief appearance. The entire portfolio for the U.S. is now being revealed at the New York Auto Show and between the styling and the performance options, it should a player.

Product News!

“The 2018 Stelvio lineup marks Alfa Romeo’s venture into the second fastest-growing premium segment and an important next chapter of the brand’s rich 105-year heritage as we continue to grow in North America,” said Reid Bigland, head of Alfa Romeo. (more…)

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…)

FCA, VW, Patching up Differences, Could See Joint Opportunities

Volkswagen CEO opens door to “conversation.”

by on Mar.15, 2017

VW CEO Matthias Mueller has been struggling to dig the maker out of its diesel scandal.

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller, apparently picking up on recent comments by his counterpart at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, opened the door to “a conversation” on Tuesday, something some observers suggest could lead to merger talks between the two companies.

Mueller’s comment, which was made during a news conference called to discuss VW earnings, came barely a week after CEO Sergio Marchionne said a merger between FCA and some other manufacturer “will happen” in the coming years.

Your Insider!

Talk of mergers, acquisitions and alliances in the global auto industry has escalated in the wake of General Motors’ decision to sell its long-troubled German-based Opel/Vauxhall unit to France’s PSA, the parent of the Peugeot and Citroen brands.

(more…)

Mopar Marks 80th Anniversary with Debut of Limited Edition Challenger

Mopar '17 Dodge Challenger is eighth in ongoing series.

by on Feb.10, 2017

Mopar chief Pietro Gorlier shows off the two versions of the Mopar '17 Dodge Challenger.

Mopar is celebrating its 80th anniversary in style, rolling out a customized version of the Dodge Challenger at this year’s Chicago Auto Show.

The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger is the latest in a series of limited-edition muscle cars from the parts division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Only 160 of them will be offered, split evenly between two distinctive color schemes.

Product News!

“Since its birth in 1937, Mopar has evolved from the name of an antifreeze product to a global customer-care brand,” said Pietro Gorlier, the head of the parts brand. “The Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger, our latest limited-edition vehicle, is a testament to this philosophy, showcasing how Mopar assists owners in personalizing all FCA U.S. vehicles.” (more…)

FCA 3Q Earnings Jump to Black

Automaker revises full-year guidance upward.

by on Oct.26, 2016

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne revised the company's full-year guidance on the strength of the third-quarter results.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. raised its guidance after the company reversed the loss it sustained during the same period a year ago even though revenues and unit sales were essentially flat during the July-September period.

Fiat’s group adjusted earnings before earnings before interest and taxes increased in the third quarter of 2016, jumped 29% to $1.62 billion while the group’s margins increased to 5.9%. Net income also increased to $653 million compared with a loss of $387 million in the third quarter of 2015.

Financial News!

For the full year, the FCA raised its guidance for adjusted EBIT to $5.94 billion and adjusted net profit raised to $2.5 billion from $2.3 billion. (more…)