By on October 24, 2016

2016 Fiat 500L, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Consumer Reports released its new car reliability ratings today, and one company should take a long hard look at itself in the Italian-American mirror.

The annual report covers brand reliability and includes a list of the 10 best, and worst, vehicles in terms of reliability. While there are some predicable favorites, Buick managed to hit an unexpected home run and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla surprised everyone with reports of mechanical issues stemming from — get this — the electronics.  (Read More…)

By on October 20, 2016

2017 Fiat 500X TrekkingIt just keeps getting uglier.

In ten consecutive months, U.S. sales at the Fiat brand have declined on a year-over-year basis. The run of declines began six months after Fiat launched an all-new model, the 500X, in America’s burgeoning subcompact crossover segment. The downward trend continued in the third quarter of 2016, through the launch of the Mazda-based 124 Spider. The losses accrued in Fiat’s U.S. showrooms were certainly worsened by 21 consecutive months of decreased volume reported by the aging Fiat 500.

But it’s the 500X that ought to shoulder much of the blame. Wasn’t the answer to the brand’s lack of mainstream appeal surely to be found in a segment that doubled in size in 2015?

Perhaps not.
(Read More…)

By on October 15, 2016

2016 Jeep Wrangler

After posting sales gains that most automakers would sell their souls for, Jeep’s skyrocketing climb hit the upper limits of the atmosphere in September, with sales dropping by 3 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

Maybe the Jeep brand isn’t bigger than Jesus. With the new vehicle market cooling off and two of its oldest — but still strong-selling — models being pared down to one, Jeep needs to branch out to keep the momentum going.

It has products up its sleeve — a Wrangler pickup and $140,000 luxo-ute to name a couple — and has factories planned for developing nations everywhere, but Jeep could reap a sales reward if it stopped screwing up in one obvious but overlooked market. (Read More…)

By on October 13, 2016

Dodge Challenger crash test

Once again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has handed the Dodge Challenger a five-star safety rating in its annual crash tests.

Shelf space at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles headquarters must be at a premium thanks to all those awards, but does the NHTSA safety rating tell the whole story?

In short — no, it doesn’t. (Read More…)

By on October 12, 2016

2017 Dodge Viper Snakeskin Edition GTC was inspired by the origi

The Dodge Viper’s plug is damn near pulled.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles steadfastly claims that 2017 is the final year for the Viper, and recently halted orders for the V10-powered road beast, The Detroit News reports.

However, this doesn’t mean the model has reached the end of the line. At least, not just yet. (Read More…)

By on October 11, 2016

FCA - Auburn Hills

A weekend meeting with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne led to a final-hour tentative agreement between the automaker and the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, Unifor president Jerry Dias claims.

The deal, announced five minutes before Monday’s 11:59 p.m. strike deadline, means 3,500 Brampton assembly plant workers face a less uncertain future than before. (Read More…)

By on October 10, 2016

FCA Sterling Heights

There’s more than just Ram 1500 production coming to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Sterling Heights assembly plant.

According to planning documents, the Michigan facility will gain a test track as part of its $1.48 billion overhaul, The Detroit News reports. (Read More…)

By on October 10, 2016


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles must make some pricey commitments to head off a midnight strike by its Canadian autoworkers.

Bargaining teams from FCA and Unifor, which represents Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, worked throughout the weekend to nail down a contract deal patterned on the recent General Motors agreement.

Without product commitment for its Brampton assembly plant and Etobicoke casting plant, among other sticking points, workers could walk off the job tonight. (Read More…)

By on October 10, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited Billet Silver

Transitioning from one model to the next isn’t always a straightforward task for automakers. Forecasting and assembling the outgoing model before retooling for the incoming model is not an exact science.

For the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler’s replacement for the Town & Country minivan, the task was not made any easier by the presence of a value-oriented competing model inside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ own fold. Through the first three-quarters of 2016, the Dodge Grand Caravan has set a pace that may end with the best calendar year of sales since 2012, if not 2007.

The Grand Caravan’s position atop the minivan leaderboard and the large number of Chrysler Town & Countrys that needed to be cleared out created uninspiring Pacifica sales numbers for the first few months of its life-cycle.

But Pacifica sales last month were 23-percent higher than in August, and the Chrysler Pacifica very nearly became America’s best-selling minivan in September 2016.

Only a matter of time? (Read More…)

By on October 8, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

Having your vehicles prominently featured in a big-ticket Hollywood film is any automaker’s dream, but Ram’s starring role in the upcoming movie Monster Trucks has turned into a nightmare.

Apparently, the film is so awful that Paramount Pictures has delayed its release three times and taken the odd step of booking a $115 million impairment charge, Automotive News reports. A write-down, in other words.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles wants the promotion, but could it end up gaining notoriety by starring in a mega-dud? (Read More…)

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