The Jeep brand is Fiat-Chrysler’s biggest money maker, so it’s no wonder that CEO Sergio Marchionne is scattering factories around the world like a sailor’s offspring.
The company’s head honcho outlined his business plan for the brand in an interview published by Automotive News, and it involves no longer having to make a “Sophie’s Choice” decision with Jeep output. (Read More…)
As reported here on TTAC, Daimler has decided to start selling smaller, more fuel-efficient cars in the United States. For our international friends, the announcement is meaningless. Outside of The Land of the Free, Mercedes is about as exclusive as the YMCA. (In Germany, Mercedes taxis are a ubiquitous reminder that some Daimler-Benz products are more equal than others.) But for American pistonheads brainwashed by pre-90’s Mercedes products and marketing (“Engineered like no other car in the world”), the arrival of a B-segment Merc is the final nail in the coffin of brand idolatry. Which leaves what?
GM CEO Fritz Henderson’s promises of independence for Opel made the right noises, but they carefully avoided any discussion of the actual role GM envisions for its German division within its global strategy. The latest updates seem to indicate that GM will keep Opel for its engineering expertise, but that the brand will be subordinate to Chevy’s global ambitions. Henderson delivers the slapdown [via Reuters]:
Opel is a regional brand and I don’t see that changing. That doesn’t mean I’m closed to ideas about how it can be used elsewhere; but the measure of the Opel brand’s success will be Europe, because if you don’t win here all the discussion of exports will be irrelevant