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Posts Tagged ‘Sergio Marchionne’

Marchionne Forms New Safety Compliance Office

Chrysler Group renews focus on regulatory issues.

by on Aug.13, 2014

Scott Kunselman will head up Chrysler's new Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance office.

Just a few months after Sergio Marchionne hired an outside firm to examine Chrysler’s recall efforts, processes and procedures, Chrysler Group created a stand-alone group to handle safety issues and it reports directly to Marchionne.

The Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance office will be led by Senior Vice President Scott Kunselman and it “will help intensify the company’s continuing commitment to vehicle safety and regulatory compliance,” the company said.

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Prior to this, the company’s safety function was part of its global engineering group, and Chrysler’s top safety engineer previously reported to the senior vice president for engineering. While officials claim the new organization is just the result of periodic self-review, there have been plenty of reasons for the automaker to put such a group in place. (more…)

Marchionne Downplays Threat to Fiat-Chrysler Merger

CEO willing to wait out opponent shareholders,

by on Aug.06, 2014

CEO Sergio Marchionne is confident any shareholder backlash will only be a temporary roadblock.

Disgruntled Fiat shareholders could –  temporarily – thwart the completion of the Fiat-Chrysler merger, Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of both the Italian and American automakers, conceded.

During a conference call today with analysts and journalists, Marchionne emphasized that an adverse vote would not have a long-term impact on the meshing of the two companies.

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“We have to see how this game plays out,” Marchionne said during the call. “I am absolutely unfazed by this.”

With Italy teetering on the brink of recession and Fiat stock losing value, speculation is mounting that some Fiat shareholders may opt to cash out rather than accept stock in the new company.

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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.

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“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, VW Deny Merger Talks

But VW has hinted it’s still hungry for acquisitions.

by on Jul.17, 2014

VW's Winterkorn and Fiat's Marchionne shown emerging from a meeting in Geneva last year.

Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech has a voracious appetite – for acquisitions, that is, the recent additions of Porsche and truckmaker Scania AB to the VWAG family bringing to thirteen its global brand count. And he has openly expressed interest in adding more, his second-in-command, VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn even naming Alfa Romeo as a possibility.

So, why not go one step further and buy Alfa’s parent, the newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles? Or so goes a story in Germany’s Manager Magazin that set the rumor mill ablaze today. It claimed that Volkswagen, the largest maker in Europe and the world’s second-largest, based on 2013 sales, had approached Fiat about selling it some or all of the Euro-American company.

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However, both companies are firmly denying the report, Fiat declaring in a statement that has, “not held discussions with Volkswagen regarding a potential merger.” For its part, a VW statement flatly said that, “There are currently no M&A projects on the agenda,” adding that, “We are now focusing on boosting efficiency within the Group.”

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Fiat Chrysler Stock to List on NYSE in August

Critical completion to merger.

by on Jul.05, 2014

Fiat and Chrysler expect to formally complete their marriage with an Aug. 1 shareholder vote.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has disclosed in a filing with Securities and Exchange Commission that it is prepared to list 750.5 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange once its shareholders finalize the takeover of the Chrysler Group.

Despite completing the acquisition of Chrysler stock earlier this year, FCA will not exist legally until shareholders vote to approve the merger August 1 during a special meeting. The prospectus filed by FCA said it intends to begin trading its stock on the first day following the merger.

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The FCA common shares will be listed on the NYSE and also are expected to be listed on the principal Italian stock exchange in Milan, the Mercato Telematico Azionario, or MTA, pending the approval of authorities in Italy and the Netherlands where the new company will be chartered. FCA has already set up its headquarters in London and will use Chrysler’s home in Auburn Hills and Fiat’s base in Turin as its operational headquarters.

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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…)

Ambitious Alfa Romeo Launches U.S. Comeback

Big plans hinge on the success of one small car.

by on Jun.13, 2014

Alfa Romeo's got big plans for a comeback in the U.S. starting with the new 4C two-seater.

It may be a small car but there’s a lot riding on the upcoming launch of the new Alfa Romeo 4C. Marking the brand’s return to the U.S. market after a two-decade absence, the success – or failure – of the two-seat sports car could determine whether the Alfa brand can pull off its ambitious global comeback strategy.

The once-grand marque has become an insignificant player in recent years, but parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has approved a 5 billion Euro product development plan that will yield a broad assortment of new models during the next half decade. But as the first offering to reach Alfa’s new U.S. dealer network, it will serve as the foundation for that planned revival, which is expected to see Alfa selling 100,000 cars a year in the U.S. annually before the end of the decade.

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“It’s crucial,” Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester told TheDetroitBureau.com during a media driving event in San Francisco. “This is the reincarnation of what Alfa stood for in the past,” and what one industry observer described as the “glowing neon sign” that signals what the brand hopes to be in the years ahead. (more…)

Unexpected Canadian Election Results Could be Good News for Automakers

Liberals route Ontario Conservatives – and are likely to restore aid package to Chrysler.

by on Jun.13, 2014

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne had weighed in with criticism of ruling Conservative leader.

With growing concerns about the economic viability of producing cars and car parts in Canada, an unexpected upset in provincial elections may wind up keeping makers like General Motors, Ford and Toyota — as well as numerous parts makers — from fleeing the country.

There’s been a sharp divide over aid for the auto industry, but as the dust settles after the vote in Ontario, Chrysler could turn out to be the most immediate winner. A proposed $2 billion package for the maker had been put on hold, and possibly scuttled as a result of a political controversy leading up to the election.

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How that will play out for the rest of the auto industry operating North of the Border remains to be seen, but observers warn that with the Canadian currency running close to par with the American dollar in recent years, it is becoming increasingly difficult for automakers to justify continuing operations that may suffer from serious cost penalties.

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Fiat Loses $14K on Each 500e Sold

Marchionne encourages potential buyers to rethink purchase.

by on May.22, 2014

Each Fiat 500e sold costs Fiat Chrysler $14,000, making the little EV possibly CEO Sergio Marchionne's least favorite vehicle.

One of the gaps in the FCA product line-up is a shortage of hybrid or electric vehicles. However, the company does have one available – the new Fiat 500e – whether CEO Sergio Marchionne likes it or not.

The charismatic leader of the newly merged companies has never been a big fan of hybrids or EVs in large measure because, well, they’re not profitable. In fact, the new 500e is going to cost FCA more than $10k each time one rolls out of the showroom.

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Viscerally opposed to losing money, Marchionne actually appeared to be campaigning against his own product recently. He may not be alone. There are several manufacturers that are less than enthusiastic about their entries into the small, but growing market for electrified vehicles. (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.

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“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…)