Just like children who pledged allegiance to the flag before they started their school day, a number of grown adults are brand faithfuls who pledged their hard-earned dollars to a cause they believed is theirs to fight. For whatever reason, they are still steadfast in their belief that their brand is the best, their truck is better than all others and their car is the most reliable piece of transportation since God invented feet.
Yet, if there’s one thing that the last week, last month, last year, or even the last decade has taught us it’s that companies, specifically automakers, do not care about us. Not one bit.
Allow me to explain.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said strong North American sales and brisk worldwide Jeep sales propelled the company to a $364 million profit in the second quarter of 2015, despite record fines from the federal government.
Overall, the company earned a pre-tax profit of $1.4 billion, which is double the $650 million it made in the same quarter last year, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The earnings beat expectations for the company, whose profit margins are still below the other domestic automakers. FCA reports its margin was 7.7 percent in the second quarter, up from 4.9 percent last year, but well behind the double-digit margins of Ford and General Motors.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may have only one new model built in North America over the next 18 months after executives pushed back development of others due to brisk sales of current models, Reuters is reporting.
The redesigned Chrysler Town and Country minivan may be the only new car built stateside that FCA plans to launch in the next 18 months, sources told Reuters. The company is planning to bring to the United States three Italian cars — the Fiat Spider, Maserati’s crossover and the Alfa Romeo Giulia — in the same timeframe.
This is the part where we would like to mention that a new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler are seriously overdue.
In an order detailing the largest civil penalty for an automaker so far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could have to buy back 500,000 defective trucks and accept trade-in above market value for 1 million defective Jeeps .
The automaker’s record $105 million fine includes a $70 million penalty, $20 million set aside for meeting safety standards dictated by the federal bureau and an additional $15 million in penalties if an independent monitor discovers further safety violations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will fine Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $105 million for botching the recall of more than 11 million cars, including 1.6 million Jeeps with a fuel tank issue, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The automaker faced fines of up to $700 million.
As part of the settlement, FCA will agree to an independent monitor to audit its recalls. On Friday, FCA announced it was recalling 1.4 million cars and trucks for software that could be hacked and controlled remotely.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it would voluntary recall 1.4 million vehicles to patch a security exploit that could allow hackers to infiltrate a car’s vital systems.
The recall would apply to cars fitted with the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen. A story released by Wired magazine this week detailed two hackers’ system that could take over a Jeep Cherokee and control the car’s systems, including throttle, braking and steering.
Jeep released the update last week, saying the patch was for “nothing in particular” and that they “continuously test vehicles systems to identify vulnerabilities and develop solutions.”
The release required owners to download the update onto a USB drive and install it themselves, or go to a dealership. FCA will mail affected owners a USB drive with the update now.
According to FCA, the company is unaware of any injuries related to the hack.
Hyundai is looking to jump into the subcompact crossover fold in the States with the Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax and everyone else, but it won’t be with the Creta, Edmunds is reporting.
The Creta recently went on sale in India, but executives in America told Edmunds that it wasn’t the right fit for U.S. buyers.
“We have decided to wait a little bit longer to get the right vehicle,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America.
If you’re like me, you may have found yourself asking “Why would Fiat Chrysler Automobiles release a patch for Uconnect if nothing is wrong?” last week.
The answer, provided by Wired today, is “They wouldn’t,” and that hackers could remotely kill a Jeep through a zero-day exploit in the system’s software. Additionally, hackers could take control of many other functions including steering, climate controls, brakes, throttle — the whole nine yards. (Read More…)
The new mini crossover from Mazda will start at $19,960 (not including $880 destination) when it goes on sale after next month, the automaker reported Thursday.
That puts the CX-3 in leagues with the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade as sub-$20,000 crossovers in an increasingly crowded and competitive segment.
Like the rest of its competition, it’s not hard to hike the CX-3’s final price up in a hurry.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ top executive says he’s still not sure if Jeep’s Toledo plant will build the next-generation Wrangler, The Detroit Bureau is reporting.
In a move that may or may not be union-negotiations related, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said he expects to make a decision on where to build the new Wrangler by the end of the summer — or about the time negotiations wrap up.