Jeep Pickup, Jeep Compass and Jeep Renegade: All The Things We'll Probably Hear Tomorrow From Sergio

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

On Wednesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne will update investors on his long-term plans and fourth-quarter profits — namely, how many Jeeps it sold — during his scheduled earnings conference call.

It’s widely expected that Sergio will address the near-certainty that Jeep will build a pickup based on the Wrangler, as well as the future for the Jeep Compass that’ll likely survive from the Patriot/Compass twin billing, and Jeep’s potential to keep afloat fledgling FCA brands such as Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

Analysts say FCA’s ambitious target of $5 billion profit by 2018 would be almost unattainable at this point.

“‘Ambitious’ is not really an adequate word to describe it, ‘fantasyland’ might be more appropriate,” Bernstein’s Max Warburton told Automotive News.

Automotive News correctly points out FCA’s missteps in BRIC territories that could haunt them. (Although not having a manufacturing presence in Russia could have saved them enormous cash for the time being.)

Profits in Latin American countries are way, way down, according to the Wall Street Journal, and FCA’s belated big bet on Brazil with Jeep and luxury cars could compound their headache to catch up to Ford and General Motors in the region. FCA’s operating profit in Brazil fell by 83 percent over the last two years, according to WSJ.

More than 95 percent of FCA’s sales in Brazil were from its Fiat brand, including compact and subcompact models that comprise nearly 60 percent of new car sales in Brazil. The Jeep Renegade was built specifically with emerging markets in mind — including Brazil-only powertrains — and has been slow to catch on.

“Selling the Renegade in Brazil presumes the middle class will grow and will ask for different cars than the small ones that dominate now,” Monica Bosio, an analyst with Intesa Sanpaolo, told WSJ. “It’s not a given that will happen.”

Only last year Jeep returned to China to build cars, starting with the Cherokee.

Those fledgling attempts in growing markets could increase pressure on FCA to maximize profits Stateside, which has been fairly limited to Jeep so far.

Although Marchionne ruled out a possible merger with General Motors — or any other similarly sized automaker — last year, analysts still say that FCA would need to court an alliance with another manufacturer to remain viable or sustain any type of global economic downturn.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jan 27, 2016

    Jeep has increased sales in the global market. But, how far can FCA reach with Jeep? Jeep is not a revered product outside of the main Allies of WWII. Jeep is only a huge name in the US. It is known outside of the US, but I think FCA will pushing sh!t up hill to have Jeep become a huge success. Brazil highlights this with it's Jeep sales. The best bet for Jeep is to produce an even longer wheelbase version of the 4 door Wrangler with the VM 2.8 and sell it as a single an dual cab pickup/cab chassis out side of NA. I do believe even here in Australia Jeep would sell a significant number of live axled extra long wheelbase Wrangler utes. Other than the 70 Series Landcruisers, live axle off road vehicles are becoming quite rare. Jeep must also undercut it's opposition in pricing to move the Jeep pickups. In Australia even the Grand Cherokee is a "cheap" SUV offering compared to it's competition. Jeep also needs to work on it's hit and miss quality/reliability.

  • Omnifan Omnifan on Jan 27, 2016

    Poor quality/reliability is the first thing folks forget when the vehicle is in a hot market segment and gas is $1.26/gallon. Now, can someone explain where all the old Hummers were hiding when gas was $4. they seem to crawling out of the woodwork now.

  • JK I grew up with Dodge trucks in the US, and now live in Turin, Italy, the home of Fiat. I don't think Italians view this as an Italian company either. There are constant news articles and protests about how stalantis is moving operations out of Italy. Jeep is strangely popular here though. I think last time I looked at stelantis's numbers, Jeep was the only thing saving them from big big problems.
  • Bd2 Oh yeah, funny how Trumpers (much less the Orange Con, himself) are perfectly willing to throw away the Constitution...
  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.