Category: Future Vehicles

By on February 1, 2016

car-brands

FCA’s sweater-in-chief Sergio Marchionne has a plan to turn around the debt-laden and ailing automaker: stop building cars that lose money. That sounds like common sense, so long as oil prices stay low and the demand for trucks, SUVs and crossovers remains high.

But that plan introduces a new set of problems, chief among them the fact that ditching the car market leaves FCA exceptionally exposed to future volatility in oil prices. Crude prices affect prices at the pump, which affects the demand for certain types of vehicles. Sergio is betting oil prices will stay low by focusing on vehicles with ever-increasing price tags and ever-growing gas tanks.

Still, there will always be some demand for small cars. It was true in 1950 and it is true today. So what will Mr. Sweater do to meet that demand? Simple: he’ll buy those vehicles from another automaker and badge engineer them the old-fashioned way.

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By on January 27, 2016

FCA_Location_1_Torino_Lingotto_high

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne on Wednesday said the automaker would rely more heavily on profitable Jeeps and Rams in North America and Europe to help its business remain profitable in other sagging areas and regions.

“We are not of the view that this industry is facing an impending demise,” Marchionne said before announcing FCA’s adjusted earnings of $1.78 billion in the fourth quarter.

Marchionne and CFO Richard Palmer said Jeep’s success in North America and Europe led the company last year and would be the “bedrock” for the automaker’s future. The automaker laid out specific plans to bring forward a Jeep pickup and Wagoneer, and let wither less-profitable models such as the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart. Read More >

By on January 26, 2016

Jeep-Renegade-19

On Wednesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne will update investors on his long-term plans and fourth-quarter profits — namely, how many Jeeps it sold — during his scheduled earnings conference call.

It’s widely expected that Sergio will address the near-certainty that Jeep will build a pickup based on the Wrangler, as well as the future for the Jeep Compass that’ll likely survive from the Patriot/Compass twin billing, and Jeep’s potential to keep afloat fledgling FCA brands such as Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

Analysts say FCA’s ambitious target of $5 billion profit by 2018 would be almost unattainable at this point.

“‘Ambitious’ is not really an adequate word to describe it, ‘fantasyland’ might be more appropriate,” Bernstein’s Max Warburton told Automotive News.

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By on January 24, 2016

Dieter Zetsche. Picture courtesy n-tv.deDaimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said a recent trip to Silicon Valley revealed that tech companies such as Google and Apple were making significant progress on autonomous cars, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported (via Reuters).

“Our impression was that these companies can do more and know more than we had previously assumed. At the same time they have more respect for our achievements than we thought,” Zetsche said, according to the report.

Zetsche said he and other managers from the automaker met with tech companies in Silicon Valley, but didn’t disclose what those companies were.  Read More >

By on January 20, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

FCA has to clean up its act in a hurry, or pay a lot more to sell cars in the future.

That, Europe wants Volkswagen to treat its owners the same as American owners, General Motors’ lawyers get down and dirty and Porsche’s plug-in 911 … after the break!

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By on January 19, 2016

Buick Avista NAIAS

Last week, Opel teased its upcoming GT Concept by saying: “You will see Opel with a fresh pair of eyes.”

That’s just lovely.

But let’s take a step back, look at General Motors’ Alpha platform with a fresh pair of eyes and wonder aloud together: Is it all Alpha from here on out?

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By on January 18, 2016

2017-Mid-Engined-Chevrolet-Corvette-1011-876x535

It is no secret that GM has flirted with mid-engine Corvettes for decades. Until now, the company has lacked the motivation, consensus, and/or resources to move to a mid-engine layout.

However, this is the new GM.

The feds are no longer calling the shots and the General has been upstaged by Ford for too long. GM now possesses the financial wherewithal, control, and competitive spirit to harness its resources and once again compete for the title of America’s finest sports car.

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By on January 17, 2016

porsche-ceo-matthias-muller

Porsche-Piech family is standing behind their man — which totally isn’t the kiss of death, right?

That, Toyota’s completely nuts and it’s awesome and Mazda’s CX-4 breaks cover … after the break!

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By on January 16, 2016

Recalled GM ignition switch

The man in the middle of GM’s faulty ignition switch has finally spoken, and the word “mistake” came up at least twice.

That, does anyone have the number for Google, GM and Honda may join forces, and take a cab … after the break!

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By on January 15, 2016

2012 Lexus RX450h Autonomous Car By Google. Photo courtesy Wired Magazine.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Thursday said his department would seek nearly $4 billion over the next 10 years to standardize rules for self-driving cars and make it easier for carmakers to offer more autonomous vehicles.

The plan was mentioned Tuesday by President Barack Obama during his final State of the Union address and detailed by Foxx at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The plan would create a uniform autonomous vehicle policy for states to adopt and would allow more exemptions from current safety regulations for self-driving technology.

Only a few states currently allow autonomous vehicles on their roads, including California, Nevada and Michigan.

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