By on September 22, 2016

2015 Chrysler 300S

After securing hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from General Motors and a new lease on life for the Oshawa assembly plant, Canadian Detroit Three autoworkers union Unifor is sharpening its bargaining pens to tackle Fiat Chrysler.

Today, the union identified the automaker as the company next in line to hammer out a contract deal with. After the GM deal, FCA will need to promise something big, and that could mean a commitment to an aging plant filed with aging models. (Read More…)

By on September 22, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-004

With so many class action lawsuits leveled against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over their troublesome Monostable shift lever, coordinating all of them has become a problem.

According to The National Law Journal, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi­district Litigation will meet on September 29 to figure out how to juggle all of the lawsuits. Just in the past week, FCA has been hit with two more suits from people claiming they were injured while trying to stop their vehicles from rolling away. (Read More…)

By on September 19, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

The next-generation Ram 1500, due to appear as a 2019 model, can’t afford any delays or Dodge Dart-like launch failures if it wants to challenge perennial front-runner Ford in the full-size pickup battle.

To ensure it doesn’t spend too much time in the womb, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has taken the unlikely step of allowing some of its engineers to make their own decisions, Automotive News reports.

Clearly, when the success of one of its biggest revenue generators is at stake, the automaker is willing to kick tradition to the curb. (Read More…)

By on September 16, 2016

2012 Jeep Patriot Latitude, Exterior, front 3/4, Photography by Alex L. Dykes

This time, it’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ turn to recall a million-plus vehicles for airbags that might not deploy during a crash.

Yesterday, the automaker announced the recall of 1.9 million vehicles worldwide to fix a defect linked to three deaths and five injuries. (Read More…)

By on September 16, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Toyota, and Honda produce nine out of every ten minivans sold in the United States. In a category little more than half the size now than it was a decade ago and with an ever-shrinking number of competitors, the dawn of a truly new people-carrying, grocery-getting, pickup-truck-aping van has the potential to upset the apple cart.

Two years ago, the Kia Sedona shook things up. Although the Sedona remains a relatively small player, Kia’s share of the minivan market is nearly seven times stronger now than it was two years ago.

Next year will be the turn of the Honda Odyssey, as the van with which we’re so familiar follows its Pilot and Ridgeline platform partners to market. Better than one in five minivans sold in America are Odysseys.

This year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dramatically altered its minivan strategy by confirming the top-selling Dodge Grand Caravan’s departure and by launching the supremely stylish, Town & Country-replacing Chrysler Pacifica.

The new Pacifica, a successor to the alleged minivan originator, is by most measurements the best minivan you can drive today. But a few glaring faults leave a large window open for Chrysler’s two key competitors, both of which suffer from advanced age. (Read More…)

By on September 14, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

In keeping with my current life stage, a bunch of my friends own minivans. Three of my four siblings have each owned multiple minivans. I own a minivan.

And this week, the test vehicle at GCBC Towers is this FCA Canada-supplied 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Limited, with a not-at-all limited array of options. As-tested, U.S. market pricing for this Pacifica climbs just beyond the $50K marker to $50,270.

Honda Odysseys top out below $46,000; Toyota Siennas below $49,000. FCA, however, wants the new Pacifica — which adopts the name of a failed crossover that died eight years ago — to be perceived as the automaker’s premium player. Buyers who want a value-oriented FCA van continue to have the Dodge Grand Caravan as an option, at least for the time being.

But we wonder if it’s a tenable position in the long-term; if, when FCA’s Windsor, Ontario assembly plant finishes its Grand Caravan run, the Chrysler brand can maintain the automaker’s longstanding dominance in the minivan sector. (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-015

Jeep’s upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs promise to make the high-flying brand plenty of moolah, but where exactly the top-shelf models will be built remains hazy.

Automotive News reports that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne might backtrack on a tentative plan to build the models at the Warren Truck plant — a move that could impact the production of other models. (Read More…)

By on September 8, 2016

Alfa Romeo Giulia QV at LAAS2015 with Reid Bigland

Reid Bigland gained plenty of accolades during his rise up the corporate ladder at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but the company’s U.S. sales head now finds himself in a different type of spotlight — the center of the automaker’s sales tampering scandal.

Sources close to the issue claim that federal investigators have turned their focus to Bigland, whose signature is found on many questionable documents, Bloomberg reports. (Read More…)

By on September 6, 2016

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT 392

The Dodge Challenger is well known for fouling empty parking lots with smoke-belching burnouts, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles clearly feels its muscle coupe needs four-wheel traction.

Horsepower lovers in northern climes are likely celebrating the news (reported by Automotive News) that the Challenger will gain an all-wheel-drive variant. (Read More…)

By on September 3, 2016

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit, Image: FCA

Federal investigators probing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for alleged sales tampering have uncovered a strange phrase that they believe is a code word.

According to the Wall Street Journal, company executives would sometimes call up regional managers and dealers and utter a specific phrase. Investigators believe this was a signal for dealers to go ahead and boost end-of-month sales in any way necessary. (Read More…)

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