Archive for the ‘FCA’ Category

Automakers Still Looking for Top Price on Full-Size Pickups

Trucks continue growing bottom line for automakers.

by on May.21, 2019

The Sierra HD 3500 makes an audacious debut pulling 225,000 pounds of yacht and trailer. It also gets an audacious price tag.

Truck sales are booming, which is good news for automakers since they result in big profits. Only adding to their bottom-line delight is that the fastest growing area are the highly profitable “luxury” trucks with price tags zipping past $60,000.

New full-size trucks in 2018 were 16% more expensive than those in 2015, and midsize trucks were 3% more expensive, according to CarGurus.com. In fact, the top end of the market has trucks passed the $80,000 mark, and the good news is that there is probably room for even more expensive pickups, according to one truck executive.

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“I think there’s still an opportunity (in vehicles) for traditional luxury items, like more materials, audio systems, things like that,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC, recently during a meeting with journalists. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Tabs Infiniti’s Meunier to Head Jeep

Manley reaches outside company for top brand's new leader.

by on May.08, 2019

Former Infiniti Chief Christian Meunier is taking charge of Fiat Chrysler's top brand: Jeep.

In a surprise move, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. has gone outside the company to recruit a new chief to head up its most important brand: Jeep.

FCA announced it has tapped Christian Meunier to serve as Global President of the Jeep brand.

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Meunier joins FCA with broad background in the global automotive experience. In his most recent post before joining FCA, he was Chairman and Global President for Infiniti Motor Co. Ltd. at Nissan. (more…)

Product Launches Hammer FCA’s Q1 Earnings

But Ram pickup sales provide a cushion.

by on May.03, 2019

CEO Mike Manley needs to prove he can maintain the pace set by his former boss, Sergio Marchionne.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported profits dropped 41% in the first quarter as a slump in sales in key markets cut the company’s revenues by 5 percent.

The automaker attributed the decline to the normal production challenges related to an array of new product launches in North America, as well as pricing pressure in China and South America.

Financial News!

FCA CEO Mike Manley, however, reaffirmed the company’s guidance for the full year. “We expect earnings to grow in the following quarters,” he said as FCA completes the launch of the new Jeep Gladiator and the Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck.

(more…)

FCA Partnering With Google, Samsung on Connected Car Tech

System will include over-the-air updates and support future autonomous vehicle efforts.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Fiat Chrysler is partnering with Google and Samsung to upgrade its in-car infotainment, including Uconnect.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will team up with Google and Samsung in a push to put connected car technology in all of its vehicles by 2022, the automaker announced on Tuesday.

The new system being developed by the three partners will use and update FCA’s current Uconnect system and rely on the Google Android operating system. It will allow the automaker to offer a common system worldwide, rather than an infotainment system that is currently tailored to individual markets.

Business News!

“The modern, in-vehicle experience must be designed for seamless connectivity and digital content, and provide an integrated, but familiar experience for the on-the-go consumer,” said Patrick Brady, vice president of Engineering at Google. (more…)

Mitsubishi Could Be Next to Reenter U.S. Pickup Market

As sales surge, more manufacturers look for an opening.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Mitsubishi could be back in the U.S. pickup market with an Americanized version of the Triton.

Mitsubishi could be one of the next manufacturers to target the booming U.S. pickup market, according to the company’s North American chief operating officer.

With truck sales, in general, booming, and pickups, in particular, generating a disproportionate share of industry earnings in the region, an assortment of manufacturers have either gotten back into the game or are looking for ways to join established brands like Chevrolet, Ford, Ram and Toyota.

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The Japanese automaker would “have to have one that’s the right fit for Mitsubishi, for our demographic, and something that’s really competitive in the market,” Mitsubishi North America COO Mark Chaffin told trade publication Ward’s.

(more…)

Feds Launch Criminal Probe over Ford Mileage, Emissions

Ford the latest among growing list of automakers accused of misconduct.

by on Apr.26, 2019

A number of different Ford vehicles, like this Ranger, could have mpg and emissions restated.

Ford Motor Co. is facing a criminal investigation as the U.S. Department of Justice probes whether it improperly certified the mileage and emissions ratings on some of its vehicles.

The announcement by the second-largest domestic automaker comes just a day after it released unexpectedly strong earnings that sent its stock soaring past $10 a share for the first time since August 2018. Ford told investors in a statement that it “cannot provide assurance that (the results of the investigation) will not have a material adverse effect on us.”

The Last Word!

Ford becomes the latest automaker to come under scrutiny for reporting inaccurate emissions and fuel economy numbers. Among other manufacturers who have been caught up in similar circumstances are Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai and sibling brand Kia and Volkswagen. The latter company has so far paid out about $30 billion in the U.S. alone through fines and settlements, with two of its former executives being prosecuted for their role in the scandal involving the German maker’s diesel-powered vehicles.

(more…)

NHTSA Analyzing 12.3M Non-Takata Airbags Due to Possible Defect

ZF-TRW produced airbags for six automakers.

by on Apr.24, 2019

The 2011–13 Kia Optima has already been recalled once for an airbag problem.

As U.S. auto safety regulators are attempting to wind down the ongoing Takata airbag debacle, they are now investigating nearly 12.3 million vehicles with airbags that may not inflate during a collision.

The vehicles are equipped with airbags produced by ZF-TRW, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and could be responsible for as many as eight fatalities. The airbags do not inflate due to faulty control units.

News You Can Trust!

The investigation involves 2010-2019 model year vehicles produced by Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi and Toyota. (more…)

Waymo to Re-Use Old Detroit Plant to Build New Autonomous Vehicles

Google spin-off to partner with supplier American Axle.

by on Apr.23, 2019

Waymo plans to use a facility on the north side of Detroit to convert Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids and other vehicles for its Waymo One fleet.

A major Silicon Valley tech firm is setting up a base in Detroit, Google spinoff Waymo taking over a plant in the Motor City where it plans to convert vehicles to operate as part of its autonomous ride-sharing service.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik first announced in a blog post Tuesday that the company will lease an unused factory owned by American Axle & Manufacturing on Detroit’s north side. It will be used to convert such vehicles as the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan that will be a mainstay of the expanding Waymo One ride-sharing service.

Business News!

“There has been a real risk that the shift of the automotive industry could move from Detroit to Silicon Valley, and we’ve been fighting that every step of the way,” Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan said after learning about Waymo’s plans. “I think a major statement was made today in the battle of Detroit and Silicon Valley that a major Silicon Valley company has said the future of vehicles in the city of Detroit.” (more…)

Big Three Group Supports Trump Report on USMCA Benefits

Support comes despite conflicting study from IMF.

by on Apr.19, 2019

A new report from the U.S. Trade Representative says the new USMCA will bring substantial benefits; however, an IMF study suggests otherwise.

Detroit’s automakers are rushing to defend a report from the Trump administration that touts the benefits of the new North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Trump administration report, produced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), was released Thursday in advance of less than an underwhelming independent government estimate of the economic impact of proposed U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

Trade News!

Trump has portrayed the new agreement he negotiated as a replacement for NAFTA as likely to lead to a rush of new investment and jobs in the U.S. and an end to the outsourcing he and others have blamed for a hollowing out of American manufacturing. (more…)

New Dodge Challenger Gets “Angry” in the Quarter Mile

"Angry Bee" gets NHRA approval to race.

by on Apr.16, 2019

The new 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 has been approved by the NHRA to race.

So often sports car owners are looking for a vehicle that can go from the street to the track with a minimum of effort. However, that’s usually for road-style track vehicles, not a drag racer — until now.

The 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is now National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) approved so burning rubber at the stop sign can help warm up the tires for a first pass in the quarter mile at the track.

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The Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320, which is named for distance of the quarter mile, can be modified for competition in NHRA Stock and Super Stock Sportsman class competition for the 2019 season. (more…)

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