The Truth About Cars » Fiat. Chrysler http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:00:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Fiat. Chrysler http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Sergio Marchionne Gives Keynote Speech At Canadian International Auto Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/sergio-marchionne-gives-keynote-speech-at-canadian-international-auto-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/sergio-marchionne-gives-keynote-speech-at-canadian-international-auto-show/#comments Sun, 16 Feb 2014 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=742777 sergio-marchionne

While the Canadian International Auto Show is little more than a blip on the radar of the global auto community, this year’s keynote speaker was none other than FCA head Sergio Marchionne gave the keynote address. Marchionne, who immigrated from Italy to Toronto at the age of 14, joked about returning to his “hometown”. Autos.ca managed to film the speech in its entirety, and you can see both parts here.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/sergio-marchionne-gives-keynote-speech-at-canadian-international-auto-show/feed/ 95
2014 Maserati Ghibli – Sergio’s Super Bowl Surprise http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/2014-maserati-ghibli-sergios-super-bowl-surprise/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/2014-maserati-ghibli-sergios-super-bowl-surprise/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 10:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=731306 img_0457

Sergio Marchionne and crew surprised everybody by using the Super Bowl to premiere a long form ad (below) for the new Maserati Ghibli. One might question the wisdom of using the “big game” to promote a niche brand, but Sergio says he wants to sell 50,000 Maseratis a year and the Ghibli, which starts at ~$65,000, is a big part of that plan, so putting the entry level Maser in front of the biggest tv audience of the year makes some sense. The thing is that the ad is one of those that’s heavy on the stirring dramatic and philosophical voiceover and not quite so product intensive. You don’t get to see the actual car until more than a minute into the 90 second spot and then it flashes on screen for less than 10 seconds. The Ghibli site and configurator apparently crashed earlier under Super Bowl levels of traffic, but as of the middle of the third quarter of the game, it’s up and running. In case it crashes again, and you’d like to see what the Ghibli looks like, you’re in luck.

img_0462

At the recent Detroit auto show, after the rich folks left, the show organizers allowed the media to come in and photograph the ultra-luxe cars on display at The Gallery, a event held at a local casino for 400 well heeled invitees. There was a Ghibli on display next to a Granturismo and a Quattroporte. I think it looks rather ordinary for an Italian [quasi] exotic. The front end seems pinched to me and the rear end looks like it could be on a Toyota or Hyundai. Franz von Holzenhaus’ Tesla Model S makes a much more attractive Maserati. The Ghibli will probably sell well though. It’s reasonably stylish from most angles and it has the name. After all, the Maserati name helped Lee Iacocca move some K car variants. I’m not sure what sales will be like in 2015 and 2016, though, after Ghibli owners discover what many Quattroporte buyers have learned: Maserati may be trying to compete with similarly priced German luxury sedans, but their cars may not be up to the rigors of daily driving the way those German cars are.

Stereo pics here.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

img_0467 img_0453 img_0454 img_0455 img_0456 img_0457 img_0458 img_0459 img_0460 img_0461 img_0462 img_0463 img_0464 img_0465 img_0466 ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/2014-maserati-ghibli-sergios-super-bowl-surprise/feed/ 53
Fiat Says No Chrysler IPO Before 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/fiat-says-no-chrysler-ipo-before-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/fiat-says-no-chrysler-ipo-before-2014/#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2013 11:30:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=663890 fiat-and-chrysler-logos_100193029_m

Though Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne had previously said that an initial public offering of Chrysler stock could take place by the end of 2013, the Italian automaker announced that stock sale will not take place before the new year. ”The Board of Directors of Chrysler Group … has determined that it will not be practicable for Chrysler Group to launch and complete an initial public offering prior to the end of 2013,” Fiat said in a statement.

 

The sale could help resolve the dispute between Fiat and the UAW’s health benefits trust, which owns 41.% of Chrysler, over the valuation of that stake, but a delay in the IPO could also delay Fiat’s full acquisition of the Auburn Hills based automaker. Marchionne would like to merge Fiat and Chrysler to create the world’s 7th largest auto firm and give Fiat access to Chrysler’s profits. Chrysler had initially filed paperwork for an IPO in late September.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chrysler would raise between 1.5 and 2 billion dollars with the IPO. That would give the company a market valuation of 9 to 12 billion dollars. Fiat declined to comment on the report.

Marchionne wants to merge the Fiat and Chrysler to create the world’s seventh-largest carmaker. Fiat has been hurt by the weak European market. The company’s plan to reduce losses in Europe depends on sharing technology, cash and dealer networks with Chrysler. The merger would also give Marchionne access to Chrysler’s profits and allow him to use that cash to shore up Fiat and expand its product offerings. The companies, while managed by the same people, must currently keep their finances separate.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/fiat-says-no-chrysler-ipo-before-2014/feed/ 11
Crude Oil And Lazy Workers: Details About Chavez’s Threat To Oust Toyota http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/crude-oil-and-lazy-workers-details-about-chavez%e2%80%99s-threat-to-oust-toyota/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/crude-oil-and-lazy-workers-details-about-chavez%e2%80%99s-threat-to-oust-toyota/#comments Fri, 25 Dec 2009 11:52:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=340223

]]>
The Christmas season would be a reason to be merry, would it not be for Hugo Chavez. More details about his expropriation threats emerge. Turns out, Chavez did not just threaten to kick out Toyota for being lackadaisical in the production of “rustic” vehicles.

“President Hugo Chavez told foreign automakers Wednesday to share their technology with local businesses or they will be told to leave the country,” writes the Boston Globe. Chavez gave the ultimatum in wholesale fashion to Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Fiat. Implied, the ultimatum is also meant for Fiat-controlled Chrysler, for Mitsubishi, Mack and Fiat-owned Iveco. All of the above have production facilities in Venezuela. All are at risk of instant deportation.

Their options are either to “share their technology with local businesses” (a half-expropriation) or get out (a full expropriation.) Chavez usually doesn’t do nationalizations in piecemeal fashion. He tends to nationalize whole industry sectors. The metals, cement, oil, coffee and electricity sectors are all being owned by the people of Venezuela, or Hugo Chavez, depending how one looks at it.

The auto sector appears to be next in line. Chavez is no fool, and he knows that building cars is not as simple as pumping crude, or baking limestone to make cement. Without foreign technologic know-how, Venezuelan’s roads will soon resemble Cuba’s highways. Hence the offer “share, or go.” If the foreigners go, other foreigners could be invited in: Automakers from Russia, Belorussia, or especially China.

Today’s Nikkei [sub] sees even more sinister dealings afoot: Oil and China. Says the Nikkei: “The takeover threat and possibility of turning control over to the Chinese comes on the heels of two days of bilateral talks with China that ended Tuesday. The Chavez administration said in a statement after the talks that it now considers China its ‘main strategic alliance.’”

Venezuela currently sells 1 million barrels a day of Venezuelan crude to the U.S. Chavez wants to reduce this co-dependency, and focus on China instead. Venezuela currently ships 400,000 barrels a day to China. Chavez wants to raise that to a million per day, damn the distance from Puerto La Cruz to Qingdao.

Chinese cars could be a nice icing on that trade cake. According to the Nikkei, Great Wall Motors begun selling cars in Venezuela in 2006. Chery had plans to open an assembly plant in Venezuela, but nothing came of it – yet.

US and Japanese makers dominate the market in Venezuela. GM leads the market with 45,523 vehicles sold so far in 2009, Ford is second and Toyota is third. Sales are down 49 percent this year, but not because of a lack of buyers. Demand far outstrips the low supply of cars in Venezuela. A gallon of gasoline costs about $0.07 in Venezuela. The land of the “21st Century Socialism” would be a driver’s paradise, if only the roads would be paved and if only cars would be there to be bought.

Indigenous production is hampered by strict currency controls that prevent automakers from getting the dollars to import auto parts they need to meet production goals. Auto makers also have to contend with a “high level of absenteeism, disobedience, aggression and lawlessness of some of the workers,” says the Nikkei. Mitsubishi had to shut down its plant for 30 days in August, because the workers didn’t show up. In May, a Toyota union leader was shot dead. He had led a month-long strike last year that paralyzed the Toyota plant in the eastern city of Cumana. In September, murder charges were brought against a man, but the motive remains a mystery.

Says the Nikkei: “It appears many auto workers hope their company is nationalized so they can become de facto government workers and enjoy the extra job security that comes with it.”

Should it really come to the Chinese taking over Venezuela’s auto plants, then the workers may be in for a rude surprise. Chinese factory managers are not necessarily known for their subtle style when it comes to labor relations. GM, Ford, and Toyota should send their union leaders on an all expense paid study tour to the suburbs of Shanghai, or to frigid Changchun, and they’ll quickly change their minds.

The matters are being complicated by the US and Japan being major trading partners of China, and by GM and Toyota having major joint ventures in China and buying lots of parts from Chinese manufacturers. China will gladly buy Venezuela’s oil and build them some ports to go with it. But they won’t put their booming auto business at risk for some 100,000 “rustic” cars built in Venezuela.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/12/crude-oil-and-lazy-workers-details-about-chavez%e2%80%99s-threat-to-oust-toyota/feed/ 47