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Archive for the ‘FCA’ Category

More UAW, FCA Officials Sentenced in Bribery Scandal

Borman declared no leniency for defendants.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.07, 2018

The UAW long tried to maintain a squeaky clean reputation, but the scandal has sorely tarnished its image.

Two former Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. officials and one former leader of the United Auto Workers have been sentenced to prison terms, ranging from 12 months to 15 months, for their part in a conspiracy to violate federal labor law.

The sentences imposed on FCA’s Michael Brown and Jerome Durden as well as the UAW’s Keith Mickens come more than two years after the federal government announced indictments triggered by a scheme in which FCA officials used subterfuge to bribe union officials in a bid to secure labor peace.

Breaking News!

Former FCA Vice President Alphons Iacobelli, a central figure in the case, was sentenced to five and a half years in a federal prison, while Monica Morgan, the widow of former UAW VP General Holiefield, one of the central figures in the scheme, was sentenced to 18 months prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to federal tax charges.

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Midsize Truck War May Heat Up Fast

Once seemingly dead, market is going to get crowded fast.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.07, 2018

The new Ford Ranger is likely to be just the first of a wave of new midsize trucks.

Once written off for dead – or at least dying – the midsize pickup market is coming back with a bang, but not only are sales on the rise, but also is the number of players entering, or returning, to the segment.

The question facing the industry is whether the list of brands might be growing too fast and too large, something that could make it hard for anyone to turn a profit.

Product News Now!

Among the latest to target the U.S. midsize market are Ford and Jeep, both returning after lengthy absences. But Volkswagen could be eyeing its opportunities, as well as Mahindra & Mahindra, the Indian automaker that recently begun building off-road vehicles at a small plant in the Detroit suburbs. And Hyundai is moving forward with the development of a car-based compact pickup based on the Santa Cruz concept of a few years back. (more…)

Is Toyota Next to Pare Back its Passenger Car Line?

US CEO “taking a hard look” at model mix in the era of the SUV.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.06, 2018

No longer #1; the Camry is just one of the Toyota passenger car models losing momentum.

With the exception of the Mustang, Ford is winding down production of passenger cars. Fiat Chrysler has eliminated almost all of its sedans and coupes, as well. In an era when SUVs have come to rule the roads, could Toyota be far behind?

While we’re not likely to see the Camry or Corolla nameplates vanish anytime soon, the Japanese giant is also rethinking its model mix and could toss some of its sedans, coupes and hatchbacks as it puts more of an emphasis on sport and crossover-utility vehicles, according to the head of its North American operations.

Beyond the Headlines!

“We are taking a hard look at all the segments we compete in, to make sure we are competing in profitable segments and that products that we sell have strategic value to the brand,” Jim Lentz told the Wall Street Journal.

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Automakers Deliver Some Neat Tricks and Plenty of Treats for SEMA Show

Here's our round-up of the coolest, hottest and wackiest concepts to roll into the Las Vegas Convention Center.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.31, 2018

The Honda Rugged Open Air concept.

Trick or Treat? Make that trick and treat, as the annual SEMA Show gets underway in Las Vegas.

Perfectly timed for Halloween, the annual aftermarket event regularly sees the debut of some intriguing concept vehicles from U.S., Asian and European automakers, and this year is no exception.

News You Can Trust!

In fact, there’s a Demon-chaser from Mopar which reveals a 1,000-horsepower crate motor that takes last year’s version of the Hellcat line to new levels. (more…)

Mopar Caps SEMA Surprises with 1,000 HP Hellephant

Mopar puts a distinctive spin on a pair of FCA icons.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.30, 2018

Looking to blow away a Dodge Demon? Good news! Mopar has you covered with the Hellephant-powered Super Charger.

You can never be too rich, nor have too much horsepower. And for those who thought the Dodge Demon was pushing the limits, Fiat Chrysler’s Mopar division will deliver a high-performance surprise at this year’s SEMA Show.

Taking things into four digits for the first time, Mopar gave a handful of journalists a sneak peek at three customized models it will bring to the annual accessories show in Las Vegas next week – as well as the most powerful, factory-supplied “crate” engine ever to be offered to serious performance fans.

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And you can be sure that anything using the 1,000 horsepower V-8 will be hitting 60 by the time you pronounce its full name, the Fiat Chrysler 426 Crate Mopar Hellephant. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler’s Q3 Profits Dinged Due to Diesel Emission Charges

Record earnings before diesel issue may mean dividend payment.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.30, 2018

Fiat Chrysler's third quarter earnings were hurt by charges tied to possible diesel emissions violations.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles net income dropped 38% during the third quarter despite record adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of 2 billion euros, or $2.27 billion, opening the door for the company to pay its first dividend since it was re-organized in 2014.

However, net profit decline 38% to 600 million euros, or $681.16 million, including a 700 million charge related to U.S. diesel emissions matters. FCA is now under investigation by U.S. Department of Justice for the company’s failure to disclose software on about 104,000 diesel-powered pickups and SUVs that regulators said could be similar to the “defeat devices” Volkswagen AG used to cheat emissions-testing on millions of its diesel-powered vehicles.

Business News!

FCA’s worldwide shipments increased by 3% and net revenue grew by 9% to 28.8 billion euros during the quarter. Despite cost of the diesel penalties, FCA’s adjusted EBIT in the North America region grew by 51% with margin at 10.2%, according to the financial information released by the company. (more…)

FCA May Reassess Plan to Move Ram Pickup out of Mexico

Company may need to continue production South of the Border to meet strong demand.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.29, 2018

Fiat Chrysler outsold rival Ford Motor Co. in September, led by strong sales of its Ram pickup truck.

While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Monday it is moving ahead with plans to shift production of its Ram pickup from Mexico to Michigan, a statement appeared to open up the opportunity that it will continue to build the newly redesigned truck at its Saltillo, Mexico plant.

Such a decision would be a critical one by new FCA CEO Michael Manley and likely reflect the fact that demand for the 2019 Ram truck is so strong the company’s current U.S. operations simply can’t keep up, resulting in potential customers having to shift to products like the Ford F-Series and the two newly redesigned trucks launched this year by General Motors.

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“Moving the Ram Heavy Duty to Warren from Mexico is our plan of record. Of course, we always assess latest market and economic conditions when making significant industrial moves,” FCA said in a statement on Monday. (more…)

Easter Comes Early for the Ford Ranger

Automaker's marketing team hides Easter eggs in promo pictures.

by Michael Strong on Oct.29, 2018

Some Ford's picture promoting the new Ranger pickup feature Easter eggs hidden in the background.

Ford Motor Co. is hyping the Ranger, its new entry in the fast-growing midsize truck segment, with a mix of media focusing on its capability, technology and economy. However, it’s throwing in a few Easter eggs for good measure.

No, not actual dyed eggs, but hidden images within the promotional pictures of the new truck slated to hit dealer showrooms in early 2019.

Dig Deeper!

The pictures have an array of things lurking in the background ranging from the imaginary jackalope to the Loch Ness monster and more. The first two were in the images released during the North American International Auto Show in January and now there are eight total. (more…)

FCA, Mopar Offer Sneak Peek at SEMA Offerings

Ram trucks get massive makeovers.

by Michael Strong on Oct.26, 2018

Mopar's Low Down Ram gets lower and meaner for SEMA. It's one of two Rams heading to the show in Las Vegas.

With SEMA right around the corner, Fiat Chrysler officials are providing an early look at two entries it’s bringing to the Las Vegas show: The Low Down Ram and Ram Rebel.

The pickup trucks, customized with a combination of Mopar production and prototype parts and accessories, are two of 14 personalized rides, as well as hundreds of Mopar products, that will be on display in the brand’s 15,345-square-foot exhibit in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Last Word!

“The SEMA Show is truly the greatest stage for our brand to demonstrate what owners and enthusiasts can create with a little imagination and a selection of Mopar parts and accessories,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Parts & Service (Mopar) and Passenger Car Brands, FCA – North America.  (more…)

New Vehicle Sales Expected to Cool in October

Despite slide, market is historically strong.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.26, 2018

Jeep is expected to help Fiat Chrysler to another sales increase in October.

Sales of new vehicles are expected to cool slightly in October with an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.1 million units.

The forecast reflects a 6.7% decrease in sales from September 2018 and a 2.1% decrease from October 2017 as Edmunds predicts that 1.322 million cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S.

Business News!

The anticipated decline in sales comes on the heels of a volatile month in the stock market, which has been one of the major backstops for car sales for months now, according to the carmakers themselves. (more…)