By on June 18, 2016

maserati-alfieri-concept-01

Shortly after publicly dissing Tesla for the umpteenth time and speculating that electric cars aren’t the future, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne now says he wants to make an electric car.

Well, maybe. If he has to. But it’s probably gonna happen. This EV thing could be big, you know.

The indecisive company head told Bloomberg that he’s considering adding a selection of EVs to FCA’s portfolio, with a Tesla-fighting electric Maserati being the most likely offering.

Marchionne said that using the Maserati Alfieri as an experimental platform for a new EV is an idea he finds interesting, telling Bloomberg Television, “I’ve always thought the economic model that supports Tesla is something that Fiat Chrysler could replicate as we have the brand and the vehicles to do it.”

The sleek Alfieri, a grand tourer that was expected to start production this year, recently saw its arrival date pushed back to 2018. Constantly changing timelines are the norm at FCA, so the delay could give Marchionne time to work on his Tesla-fighting dreams before its launch. He admitted, though, that such a vehicle wouldn’t happen until after her retires in 2019.

Another half-formed plan festering in Marchionne’s brain is the creation of an electric city car for the European market.

FCA sells no EVs in Europe, which is rapidly ditching diesel as its fuel du jour. As major cities pass laws banning the use of fossil-fueled vehicles in city centers (or at certain times or days of the week), a small EV would help the company tap into a potential growth market. It would also boost the SUV-heavy company’s green credentials, given that the electric Fiat 500e (a money-losing model that Marchionne hates) is only sold in North America.

The CEO claimed he’s still not convinced that EVs are “the solution for all of man’s ills,” but figures he may as well experiment if everyone else is doing it. Peer pressure is a hell of a drug.

[Image: Maserati]

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117 Comments on “Sergio Marchionne: Maybe EVs are the Future, Who Knows, What the Hell…...”


  • avatar

    They absolutely are because: THE N.W.O SAID SO!!!

    Don’t think of it as CAPS lock.

    Think of it as FACTS LOCK.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      You sir have won the internet for the day. FACTS Lock…lolz.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Steph Willems
      ” FCA sells no EVs in Europe, which is rapidly ditching diesel as its fuel du jour. As major cities pass laws banning ”
      No,they are not abandoning Diesels( Are they abandoning American Football for Soccer?)
      Paris has banned BOTH Gas and Diesels in Paris on certain days, as the City suffers from extended periods of no wind.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s just more wild stupidity, banning all cars equally.

        If you haven’t figured it out, Paris hasn’t made the best decisions so far, sold out the health of its citizens, and has smog rivaling Shanghai.

        Not banning diesels *only*, or first, meaning pre emissions diesels, but including TDIs and other diesel “cheats”, is more Paris/France corruption, stupidity, you name it.

        Yes Europe, Australia and other markets that at one time favoured diesels, will be abandoning them for the most part.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DenverMike,
          Have you ever been to Paris, or left the village you live in, let alone Winnepeg or wherever you live in Canuckistan?

          The old part of Paris is roughly round in shape with a diameter of around 8-10 miles. The roads within this part of the city are mostly what we call laneways, single lane and streets with one lane each way. There are but a couple multi-lane divided limited access roads as well. The old city is encompassed by a ring road (tollway) called the Periph in France.

          There is nearly four million people in this area, there are few parks, playgrounds, etc. It appears most all building are 7-8 stories high, with stores, restaurants, etc at street level, under the tiny flats people live in.

          The traffic is that bad that one day at 10:00 am I needed to get from Gare du Nord to Gare du Montparnasse to catch the TGV to Bordeaux a distance of around 5-6 miles took over an hour in a taxi. I wanted to take the Metro, which is far quicker than a cab at times. But my elderly mother could not physically do this.

          I do know Paris and it’s environs quite well and the Ile de France region, I have several cousins that live there and I visit frequently. I have one cousin who lives in the older part of Paris and she owns a couple of cars, Renaults. Another cousin relys on the Metro and one cousin who live at Beaumont sur Oise which is an outer suburb of Paris. He’s a Renault person.

          Once you leave the older city the traffic is much better and more people own cars.

          The older part of Paris can’t support large numbers of vehicles that we are accustomed to in our cities as the infrastructure does not allow for it.

          The downside to how the building are laid out in Paris is the lack of airflow combined with huge numbers of vehicles basically trundling along forced the government to come up with the current plan. I can’t see a tax like London as on entering the old city.

          Maybe one step further is to have odds and evens along with the new vehicle law for vehicle entering the city. I’d also say commercial vehicles would be exempt.

          As for trucks in the city, take a bus ride when you visit.

          The laws are necessary. Paris IS not like an Australian, US or Kiwi city.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Since they caused it, France/Paris officials are conveniently silent on the healthcare disaster aspect of this horrid mess. Yeah right, it’s only about smog/visibility.

            No, they had to ban gas and diesel cars equally, or basically admit they fukked up. 1997+ gas engine cars, all have catalytic converters, while most ’97+ diesels are pre emissions, going completely unfiltered. Yikes!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Can you imagine the fallout from newer diesel owners, if Paris banned all pre 2015 diesels, or pre “Adblue” diesels, as they really need to?

            France and Paris would get slammed with lawsuits from all directions, including those suing for their fukked up health, pre mature babies and early death of family.

            It could get real ugly, real fast.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            DenverMike,

            You are confusing short-term smog-day measures and long-term plans to rid the city of older polluting cars.

            Also, it’s not accurate to say that officials are silent on the issue. Officials and the public are very vocal, but France, like the US, is a democracy. That means any measure gets attacked from both sides by partisans.

            Right now the mayor of Paris and the prime minister are both politically on the left (although the prime minister has pursued a right-wing style austerity agenda). That means anti-pollution measures are “affronts to personal freedom” and “job killers,” according to the opposition. The same measures will surely be called “elitist and regressive” after the next election cycle.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What about the “personal freedom” to not get asthma and lung cancer? This is the bigger issue, even if they don’t admit it. By now they know the dirty truth about breathing unfiltered diesel emissions. It’s a crime to ignore it at this point, and it’s a long list health problems associated including known harm to unborn babies.

            Anything else is just a smoke screen.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Pollution levels are so high in the US, that 3/4 of the population has bad “air”
            Very much the reason they are pushing EV’s heavily in the US.
            Killer Smog, create all sorts of problems

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yeah, keep sidestepping the deadly health issues associated. Yes US “Killer Smog” ruins the clear view of the distant mountains. Paris, Shanghai, etc, smog, blocks out the sun, and cancels air travel.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Will be interested in the Jaguar Diesels very impressive. Of course Jeep has a diesel lined up in the US. Very interesting times

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Well you cannot get that right. ” manufacturers marketing leg” ? They do not determine the structural rigidity of the vehicle. You are one crazy loon

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Funny, the internet consequences of adult foster care combining with cheap network connections.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Well explain what’s the OZ “equivalent” of SAE or DOT and do they oversee payload ratings for the OZ market?

            I’ll save you the trouble, there are none. It’s all left up to the Manufacturer’s sense of humour!

            It’s like the Wild West for pickups in OZ. Haven’t you heard of “road trains”? Only in OZ, mate.

  • avatar
    pragmatic

    Actually a Tesla fighting Maserati is a good idea only its at least 2 years too late.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      You are a real Crazy. From Denvermike= Kenmore. Try sticking to one Alias in a thread

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Denvermike,
      Either you are totally crazy or have swallowed too many drugs, there is no “SAE Payload”
      Or should I call you Kenmore?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Just stop already. You know exactly what SAE J2807 covers. Both payload and towing.

        news.pickuptrucks.com/2015/10/a-weighty-issue-calculating-real-world-payload-towing-capacities.html

        Heck, you even added your ignorance down in the comments section!

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          No, it does not, the manufacturer calculates payload, not the Standards Assoc
          Kenmore, try getting off the drugs,that would be better
          Kenmore, the article was about towing, not determing payload capacity.
          “That seemed odd to us, because it doesn’t follow the Society of Automotive Engineers’ J2807 standard requirement of 10 percent of towing capacity for the recommended tongue weight. Following that formula, the Rebel’s 10,000 pounds of towing capacity would have put us 100 pounds over our 900-poun”

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Manufacturers calculate, label and report both payload and towing, in accordance with SAE standards. Towing and payload go hand-in-hand.

            Point is OZ, SE Asia and Africa payload “standards”, which some would call “wishful thinking”, are not compatible with US sold pickups, which underrate for safety, and go far beyond leaf spring or coil spring “capacity”, static load.

            OZ Ute pickup payload capacity can and does start to get dangerous at about 70% loaded for some pickups. Refer back to the Caradvice article if there’s still any doubt in your mind.

  • avatar
    James2

    Sergio should hang up the sweater and call it a career.

    FCA needs someone who:
    A) doesn’t trash his own products;
    B) doesn’t act like a street hooker trying to find a customer;
    C) actually invests money into his products (other than Alfa);
    D) decides on a path to the future rather than vacillate
    E) doesn’t ruin Ferrari

    • 0 avatar
      LS1Fan

      A) The Chrysler 200 is junk. Saying otherwise is like claiming the Earth is flat .

      B) I don’t blame him. Chrysler products , with rare exceptions, are inferior to the competition. Sergio knows he can’t sell his way to profitability when the existing cars suck only slightly less then their lemon- law predecessors (see 2.7L debacle).
      Making better ones requires capital he doesn’t have.
      That leaves selling firm assets as the only viable short term revenue vehicle.

      C) Can’t invest in better products whe the current ones are unsellable.

      E) Ferrari isn’t ruined. BMW on the other hand…….

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “A) The Chrysler 200 is junk. Saying otherwise is like claiming the Earth is flat ”

        No it isn’t. The only people saying that are people (like you) who think they know what they’re talking about because they can parrot what they read in Jalopnik comments.

        The 200’s problem is that it’s *competent,* and competent isn’t enough in a market segment where everyone else’s product is at least competent too.

    • 0 avatar

      Obviously FCA needs ME.

      I have absolutely 0 experience but I like fast cars and just want them to be faster.

      I also know how to make a lot of money quickly – legally.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Needs to build reliable vehicles, a major problem for FCA, especially Fiat and Jeep

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        RR, latest thing from Fiatsler is a letter printed on hot pink paper from the Chrysler Div to all owners of 2011 and later Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles offering to buy back their vehicle, plus a faux check for $10K to be used toward the purchase of ANY 2016 Chrysler, Dodge, RAM or Jeep vehicle.

        We received two letters today, one for the 2012 Overland Summit and another for the 2012 SRT8. My best friend received one for his 2012 Laredo, and a lady friend of the family received one for her 2012 Limited 5.7L.

        The offer is to repurchase the vehicle and is based on an agreement in some court case brought against Fiatsler.

        I no longer own the vehicles in the letters and my grand daughter is happy to drive both those vehicles until the wheels fall off.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @HDC
          No exaggeration, I have seen more European exotica( Porsche, Lamboghinis , Aston Martin’s and Ferrari’s) than Jeeps. Indication of how much they have fallen off the cliff here. When they first came out, people were impressed by their very good dynamic abilities, that appreciation did not last long

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            RR, yes, I have heard that before, mostly from my mom’s brother who had the Porsche and VW dealerships in the San Diego/La Jolla area years ago.

            My own observation has been that cars that were previously imported went to hell in a handbasket when they started making them in the US. Among them I counted Honda and Toyota.

            And that’s probably because the transplants started using the same suppliers that drove the quality of the domestic brands off the cliff for decades.

            It’s tough to buy a decent, long lasting car these days. Once the factory warranty expires, better get rid of them, or buy an expensive extended warranty.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Those “faux check” offers come from dealers, not Chrysler.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    “the economic model that supports Tesla is something that Fiat Chrysler could replicate”

    Losing money on every model? Yeah, that’s probably doable; they’ve gotten good practice with the Dart and 200, no?

    Might have a struggle with the evangelism needed to keep ’em lining up at the tent.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Kenmore,
      Sergio wants to be America’s biggest recipient of welfare, like Elon.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “Sergio wants to be America’s biggest recipient of welfare, like Elon.”

        No way can either beat GM and the UAW for the title of “America’s biggest recipient of welfare.”

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          United Launch Alliance was pretty good at sucking up public money and even worse, depositing big chunks of it into Putin’s pockets. Then along came Musk and SpaceX. As far as I’m concerned, the money SpaceX saves us and keeps out of Putin’s hands cancels out any public cash that Tesla receives. He’s also made the US the top dog in space technology again. That’s worth something to me too.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yours is a very insightful comment. Both Putin and SpaceX gave us (we, the people) something in return for our money.

            And SpaceX really is Israel’s ballistic missile weapon systems program disguised as a cargo delivery system – a fact not lost on Iran. Hey, if SpaceX can deliver a Dragon capsule to a moving ISS, it can deliver an atomic war head to a stationary target like Tehran.

            But the bailout of GM and the UAW gave us……………nothing.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I know there is a tie up with Musk and the Jewish Startups in Israel. Many were spinoff show from Military developments

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            RR, the genius was getting the US gov’t (aka we, the people) to finance the whole gig under the guise of a space cargo delivery system when the Space Shuttles were retired.

            There is reason behind the madness.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            HDC,

            Any sources? The history of SpaceX is well-documented. This theory seems a bit odd.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            HH, not that I care to discuss in an open forum.

            To please the great unwashed masses, let it remain an odd theory.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            HDC and Heavy Handle
            More than speculation http://www.spaceil.com/mission/
            Will use the SpaceX 9 Rocket

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            HDC,

            It seems a very convoluted way to solve a problem (medium-range ballistic missiles) that’s been solved for over 60 years.
            Usually this type of conspiracy theory makes sense at some level, but why risk billions on something you already have? Why use the least publicity-shy middleman to develop your top-secret project?
            Why build it somewhere else when you can do so at home? Consider that any leak of this conspiracy would mean the immediate loss of your whole investment…

            Plus, it fails the initial conspiracy sniff test in that the number of people supposedly on the take is much too large to keep a secret for any amount of time.

            So, in other words, a high-risk, low probability project to build something that already exists, in a hyper-publicized environment…

            Not saying there’s no possible way it could happen, but if it did, it would be the outcome of a series of bad decisions. Certainly not the way that any nation-state would do this (low risk, low profile). Why go through the trouble if the end-goal is something they can already do, and that’s already paid-for, tested, and operational?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            heavy handle, no conspiracy. More like an open and transparent secret. Like hiding in plain view.

            Other covert operations in the past were also extremely well documented, and designed for more than one end result, like the Glomar Explorer, et al.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Even Marccione has to consider something outside of ICEVs; eleven states in the US now REQUIRE 10% of all sales of vehicles must be Zero Emissions Vehicles which mean either BEVs, PHEVs (with a relatively high battery-only range) or something along the lines of a fuel cell vehicle. At the moment, the ONLY BEV FCA offers is the Fiat 500e which offers, I believe, somewhere around 50-75 miles of range per charge and is only good from inner-city driving because of it. (I drive a 500 pop that’s an amazing little driver, but gets a bit tight on the comfort level if you push over about 150 miles or so.) Where I live, one of those eleven states mentioned, the 500e doesn’t have enough range to meet my needs as I actually live between cities and frequently make 50-mile or longer trips one-way into two of them.

    Now, I’ll admit I like the idea of a BEV Maserati. But that’s a relatively high-end car that isn’t doing all that well in the States. But not all that poorly either as I see a surprising number of them where my wife works. What we NEED to see is BEVs starting below $25K still with reasonable range or plug-ins with a sufficient ‘range extender’ engine to meet the electric motor’s maximum output on a long grade such as the Continental Divide (I-70 through Colorado, for instance) or shorter, steeper grades (like Monteagle Mountain on I-24 in Tennessee.) Some form of AWD would be useful too, as the so-called Rust Belt would make putting all that torque down on just two wheels makes getting around problematical during winter.

    So yes, even Marccione has to find some way to meet not only Federal regulations but also individual states that exceed those Federal rules. I personally believe the BEV is the best choice but a range-extended version would be a good compromise as we wait for battery technologies to improve.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      From the 500e web site: 121 MPGe City/103 MPGe Highway Ratings, 9.1-Second 0-60 Time,Driving Range of 84 Miles.

      For some reason its only available in CA and Oregon. I would not mind one here in NY.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Doctor

        The 500e exists because California and Oregon require any company who wants to sell cars in the state also has to offer an EV or other zero emissions vehicle.

        Most of these “compliance cars” (Fiat 500e, Honda Fit EV, Mercedes-Benz B-Class EV) are offered as lease only with insanely low payments (like $75-$100). They’re only offered in those states at those prices because it’s a “cost of doing business” in those markets.

        • 0 avatar
          longschlng22

          The only compliance car that is lease only is the Honda fit EV. They plan to crush those when they get them back. The rest can be bought and many people do transport them to other states.

          The incentives depend on where you live though. Colorado offers 6k on any EV that was not titled there. Meaning Coloradians? can buy a used 500e for 10k from CA, transport it, then claim 6k on taxes afterwards.

          The electric 500 version also drives much better than the gas version due to low center of gravity and instant torque. Only the abarth has a better exhaust note if that’s your thing. All versions are still unreliable though.

  • avatar
    redliner

    By the time FCA has desirable competitive EVs, so we will everyone else. Sergio is just hoping he can be fashionably late to the EV game and save money by skipping the current awkward adolescent years of the EV movement.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      “By the time FCA has desirable competitive EVs, so we will everyone else.”

      That’s what everybody keeps saying, but I’m not convinced anymore.
      If it’s so easy, how come none of the traditional brands has made one? They’ve all had epic money losers, most of them have released some kind of electric, but not one of them has made anything that combines range, performance, and comfort.

      Every big brand electric so far has been a slightly more advanced version of home-brew electrics that people used to build in their garages. They say they can do it, but it never gets done.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Some sort of Joke. I now notice that manufacturers are now abandoning V6 engines in Europe and going back to inline six engines( as BMW has always done). As one Automobile executive has commented ” they were a mistake”. Taken a while for the penny to drop there

        “The facelifted S-Class will be the first model to carry the new inline six petrol engine which will come with 48V mild hybrid tech next year.

        The new powertrain will come with an electric motor attached to the crankshaft, acting as both an alternator and a starter.

        Codenamed M256, the new engine is the second member of Mercedes’ new family of engines and is closely related to the OM654 four-cylinder diesel that debuted in the E-Class. Mercedes IS KEEN to REPLACE ALL EXISTING PETROL V6’s in their range with the M256, according to C&D’s report.”

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          RobertRyan,
          The V8 and V6 were more or less a US lead trend.

          The V8 was the best way to increase cubic inches in vehicles that used run in line 6s.

          The V6 growth was lead by wanting large, low tech engines in FWD vehicles. Again US lead.

          Even in the UK inline 6s were the engine, up trough the sixties and into the seventies.

          I remember as a kid my parents had an Austin Kimberley. It had an inline 6 FWD with triple SUs!

          Most Euro/UK and Japanese FWD cars had inline 4s that were generally OHC, much higher tech and output per litre than the US V6 and V8 engines of the era.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Big Al from Oz,
            Roughly 21% of Jeep production is sold outside NA. You poor soul an Austin Kimberley the “Land Crab”, what had they done to deserve it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            RobertRyan,
            Had little money. It was a pig on fuel as well.

            I believe FCA is in a similar position to the British auto industry in the 60s and 70s. Producing vehicles of a lesser quality overall then their competition.

            FCA need to do something before it’s too late.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I’m convinced you two are the same person.

  • avatar
    Joss

    A Tesla-fighting electric Maserati is gonna be a lots R & D on a niche product.

    Unless Serge plans some MX-style co-op…

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      Maseratis have enough issues with electrics as it is so a full EV Maserati would be something that you can truly rely on (to get you stranded).

      I think FCA is doing what every car company is doing… dithering and umming and ahhing on something that is eventually going to take over.

      Norway’s 2025 decision is a portent of things to come. Will is be 2030 for others?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @JimZ
      You sound like quite a few people on this site. So people who live in Glass Houses should not throw stones.
      Big Al From Oz and myself have many clones in Australia

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    By the sounds of it Sergio doesn’t see volume vehicles as profitable for EVs. This is going by his previous remarks and this article.

    I do believe FCA is in trouble in the medium term and Sergio must pull a rabbit out of his hat.

    So, how autocratic is FCA? You only really hear from Sergio and no one else.

    This is not a good way to operate a business. Maybe Sergio should allow a more liberal management and decision making structure on how to tackle FCAs woes.

    By limiting input and most likely good ideas will not see FCA through. Sergio is better off selling the more lucrative parts of FCA while they hold some value.

    Sell Ram and Jeep to the Nissan Renault Alliance. Sell Chrysler to China and let Fiat go to Tata.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree Big Al, Sergio needs to sell off the pieces before they have no value, but why would other manufacturers buy now when they can wait for the next bankruptcy and buy cheap. Sergio is in real trouble and he is starting to run out of rabbits. Sergio is no Iacocca.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      I think FCA may hold-off on the bankruptcy sale for a while, given that they are currently very profitable.
      Unlike GM, they are profitable in all regions, not just in their US pickup truck division.
      For all the talk of how terrible FCA’s product planing has been, they’ve led the industry in growth, and they are strongest in the segments that are popular with buyers, not the the segments that people wish were popular. They can afford to take their time with an electric car, or with an all-new V8 sedan, or with an entry-level mid-size, or with a Viper replacement. That’s not where the money is right now.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        heavy handle,
        FCA is only doing well in NA, really, and Jeep and Ram are leading that charge.

        I don’t see Jeep and especially Ram being products that will save FCA globally.

        All bar the Ram 1500/2500/3500 pickups the rest of the Ram range are Fiats and they aren’t doing well enough on their own to keep Ram afloat. How many full size Ram pickups are viable outside of NA/USA? There is a very small niche market for them, but not enough to warrant production of RHD global variants. The same can be said for all US full size pickups and SUVS. The competition outside of the US is very competitive and FCA just doesn’t have the product to woe enough customers.

        Believe it or not Jeep is not as widely considered globally as it is in the US, Ram is mostly an unknown product. Globally there are plenty of CUVs, SUVs and 4x4s that are better and competitive with Jeep products. Jeep will find it tough to compete against the Japanese and even Euro CUVs and SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Big Al,

          Exactly. Ram doesn’t sell in Europe, South America, Asia, India, and yet FCA is profitable in these regions. Not as much as in the US and Canada, but nevertheless in the black.

          We both know the story of how they got swindled by a shady operator in Australia, back when they had much more pressing matters to attend to. I’m sure they will take a different tack in the future. There’s probably some opportunity in the SUV field, not so much in the car market (are the i30 (Elantra), Corolla, Cruze and Mazda3 still top 4?).

          I really doubt that Ram would make a RHD full-size pickup, simply because it would be too large for other RHD countries, with the exception of South Africa.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @heavy handle,
            Too many failures here to now make an impact.,They FCA as a whole needs to dramatically lift the reliability game.

            I like Big Al from Oz, cannot see them making much of an impact. Fiat is popular in South America also Europe. FCA much of a presence in Asia

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          One more thing. If anybody’s going to have a go at RHD full-size American pickups, I think it will be Nissan.

          They are more established in RHD countries, and they desperately need the volume to keep their factory busy.

          The Detroit 3 already sell just about as many as they can build, and Toyota views full-size pickups as a hobby.

          What do you think?

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @ heavy handle
            Full size Pickup the Titan does not exist outside NA. Navara chassis is going to be used by Renault, MB and Peugot for there Pickup ” toe tipping”

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            RobertRyan,
            Here’s why the Titan will not sell in global markets. A better off road, working “full” size pickup is available to us.

            There is no need for a fully blinged dual cab Titan here.

            I would love to see them, but so few would sell it would be a waste of time.

            The Patrol needs the V6 Renault diesel in it. But the diesel that’s in it now is a “truck” engine.

            http://www.nissan.com.au/Cars-Vehicles/Patrol-Cab-Chassis/Overview

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “why the Titan will not sell in global markets.”

            The Titan was brought to market in America as an alternative half-ton pickup truck for those buyers who did not want a Ford, GM, RAM or Tundra.

            Nissan is losing money on every Titan they sell, and Toyota is losing money on every Tundra they sell.

            The other divisions within Nissan and Toyota are carrying their respective full-size half-ton pickup truck divisions.

            Nissan and Toyota are not in the full-size half-ton pickup truck game for the money. They’re in it as an alternative to the domestic brands.

            It’s called “presence.”

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Big Al, Robert,

            Exactly. Nissan knows that Australians aren’t interested in US-style pickups. They want something much cheaper, smaller and less sophisticated. No wonder Chinese pickups are the fastest-growing segment in your country.

            FCA realizes this as well, and that’s why you don’t see factory Ram pickups in Australia.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Why would it be different overseas? The Titan joke in the US, and overseas buyers would simply demand and wait for GM, Ford or Ram fullsize pickups to arrive. The Titan is the only US fullsize pickup not “grey market” imported into Australia. That market has spoke too.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            If F150’s struggle in Australia, I cannot see how the Titan would be anymore successful than a SSanyong Acyton

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Nissan knows that Australians aren’t interested in US-style pickups.”

            There is a segment of the Aussie auto market that pays absurdly high prices for American bro-dozers.

            The prices are absurdly high because of the cost of converting them to right-hand drive, which is a legal mandate for new vehicles sold in Australia. (The Aussies accept FMVSS and EPA emissions standards, so those aren’t issues.) The conversion is essentially done by hand, and that isn’t cheap.

            There are two reasons why you won’t find much effort to sell large US-market trucks there:

            (a) There’s no point in engineering RHD models just for them
            (b) Australia isn’t large enough to matter much. (They buy in a year what Americans buy in a month.)

            If the Aussies drove on the right, I would bet that they would get them. But they don’t, so they don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Historically, the demand has always been low, even when they were built here. They are a very niche item, HD Pickups have a very limited market as ” Caravan Towers ” , and they only want the Diesels here

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            PCH,

            That reminds me of former-TTAC contributor Matt Gasnier’s observation that there isn’t a Chinese or Russian town so remote that it doesn’t have at least one F-150 Raptor.

            From a commercial POV, I’m sure there’s always someone willing to pay Range Rover money to have the first Raptor in their village, but not to have the second, third, or fifth one.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Except that unlike some remote village in Nowhereistan, Australia has a first-world economy and production rules that effectively create a quota for those large trucks.

            Aussie car imports tend to be Euro-spec because it isn’t difficult to give them RHD models that were primarily intended for the UK and Ireland. (The luxury car tax and tariffs can make them expensive, but emissions and crash testing aren’t issues.) The Aussies help to amortize the costs.

            In contrast, there is no way to deliver large full-size pickups in a cost-effective manner to the Aussies due to the location of the steering wheel. With lower prices, they would be able to sell more of them, but there is no way to reduce the prices due to the high cost of conversion. FCA is going to make an effort, but even that will involve converting LHD trucks, so it won’t be that cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Pch101,
            You are mostly correct with your assumption regarding the Aussie vehicle market.

            I would love to see US pickups on offer here that are more realistically priced.

            Around the corner from where I live there is a place selling Rams for just over $70 000 AUD.

            I had a look at them, but for the price they are asking way too much for them. I even rented one for a while during my last visit to the States a couple of months ago to see how they went. They are nice, but not worth what they are asking for here.

            I’d rather spend that kind of money on a HSV Maloo with a 6.2 in it.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            Well 70,000 AUD is $51,700 US so depending how its equipped that not too bad for a back channel import. Is it RHD?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            pragmatic,
            It worked out to mid to high 50s in USD.

            It is a 2WD as well. For that kind of money you’d want a mid spec 4×4, even here.

            Countering many comments that come across on TTAC regarding Aussie vehicle prices they are not that bad, even cheaper in some case in comparison to the US.

            We can get into a Ford/GM, Japanese midsize pickup from between $35-$45k, a mid spec, 4×4, dual cab, diesel with some stuff like bullbars, tow packages, etc at times. This is what we term drive away, no more to pay, ie, all on roads, insurance, rego, delivery, etc paid.

            We can get into a high end diesel dual cab 4×4 midsize from between $45-$55k. Depending on manufacturer. Mitsubishi are around $10k cheaper than Ford/Toyota.

            It makes it quite hard to justify spending over $70k on a mid spec 2WD pickup. For the average person our pickups tow 7 800lbs, carry up to and over 3 000lbs, are diesel, fuel efficient, etc. Not that far removed from the average US full size 1/2 ton in towing and they carry more.

            For that kind of money I can get into a 76 Series dual cab, V8 diesel, 4×4, with front and rear locking diffs, bull bar, snorkel, etc.

            And it’s not a FCA product, in other words more likely to not break down.

            What would you spend your money on? Only an enthusiast would buy one.

            Anyway that’s enough on this topic.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            They’ve never been build in OZ. Not US pickups.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Repositioned reply to append under Big Al’s comment.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      ” They’ve never been build in OZ. Not US pickups.”
      Better go to Wikipedia and check. Like all your assumptions and facts there wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Do you just randomly hit “REPLY” buttons?

        Give a link if you know something Wiki doesn’t, and no info from a general search. I’d like to see one of these US 1/2 ton pickups *built in OZ*. Otherwise, you’re just full of sh!t as usual.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “Well, maybe. If he has to. But it’s probably gonna happen. This EV thing could be big, you know.”

    This is a guy whose “five year plans” last one year at the most.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @heavy handle,
    There are NO Chinese Pickups sold here. They have tried in the past, but got nowhere.
    Nissan Navara is pretty sophisticated, but it like all the ” 1 Tonne” Pickups differ from US 1/2 tons in their considerable Off Road ability( One of the major attributes of the Hilux) and their fairly substantial load ability , hint in the name ” 1 Tonne” 2,200lb.

    US 1/2 tons are more Urban based. Towing is their main claim. Off Road and Payload No.
    Titan has a pretty small profile in the US anyway
    This is a photo of a Korean produced, but Chinese owned SSanyong Acyton, I took in Sydney. They only sold TWO last year
    http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a186/RobRyan7/image_zpsijyciitz.jpeg

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Payload is overly rated in OZ. Journos testing loaded Ute pickups were a bit frightened by the dynamics.

      “It felt as though the rear was steering the front..”, “…feeling overwhelmed with 650Kg.”

      Australia payload ratings are insane, and not to be used for comparison. And 650kg is just around 70 to 80% of their rated payload capacities!!

      caradvice.com.au/388419/ute-comparison-ford-ranger-v-holden-colorado-v-isuzu-d-max-v-mazda-bt-50-v-mitsubishi-triton-v-nissan-navara-v-toyota-hilux-v-volkswagen-amarok-2/

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Robert,

      I guess “light commercial” trucks are where the Chinese are making strong progress.

      DenverMike,

      You are correct. Australian payload ratings seem to be more about “how much weight can it physically move on long flat straights” rather than “how much weight can it brake going over the Rockies in a snow storm.”
      The same thing happens with European cars that lose tons of towing capacity when they are shipped here.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @heavy handle
        No, they are a payload rating, that is not ” Australian ” it is the payload it has no matter where it is sold, that includes Europe and parts of Asia, with high mountain ranges.If you have a lower payload, then it is a different spec vehicle. Tow ratings vary. US Pickups, lose several thousands in many cases when registered here. US tow ratings are more PR, and arbitrary.as it is a big selling point in the US.
        Example Mercedes Sprinters are rated to tow 7,000lb in the US. Everywhere else on the planet they are rated as 2 Tonne or 4,400lb.
        Chinese Commercial Trucks are not sold anywhere else. Exception being some parts of Asian Russia, a few in Africa

        US pickups were actually built in Australia till 1980. They had another go from 2003-2006 with Brazilian built F250-F350’s but they failed dismally
        Now you have converters asking ridiculous money for HD Pickups. Price and lack of use are killing the demand. They sold 20 all told HD Pickups last month. Roughly 300-400 for the year
        Remember people buy Pickups here for Off Road ability and Payload

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It hardly changes the fact *where* they’re rated, nor how many countries go along with it, mostly in Africa and SE Asia. Comparing your payload ratings directly to SAE payload safety guidelines is plain silly. Apples to oranges as usual.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Payload ratings are standardised everywhere. If you have the same vehicle, it is the same. It does not suddenly gain and lose payload, because it is sold somewhere else.
            SAE TOWratings , not Payload are not accepted here

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            SAE payload ratings are not accepted there because they’re lower, more conservative and safer?? OK I get it now..

            Holden Colorado and Chevy Colorado. Same trucks, differing payload ratings. Go figure.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            As you know they are NOT the same vehicle, they even look different.
            SAE Payload? Never knew such a thing existed.It is the manufacturers rating.
            Come you can do better than that, even when your ” ramblings” are posted on Aussie sites
            “Euro 7 will kill the deal for diesels, if Euro 6 doesn’t. Plus with diesel subsidies going away, diesels for less than heavy commercial, will be a thing of the past.”
            1

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Regardless, SAE international standards exist, even if you’re totally unaware. You’re unaware of a lot of things. You get pickups rated by the manufacturer’s marketing leg, and they go unchecked for safety, as the Caradvice review of Ute pickups clearly shows.

            Holden or Chevy, the Colorado chassis remains the same. Same brakes, suspension, bearings, bushings, U-joints, ball joints, steering, axles, cooling, etc, which matter the most when rating payload, not specific engine, trans or sheet metal contours/lines.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      RobertRyan,
      Those Foton Tunlands are still being sold. They do look better than other Chinese vehicles. But, they are also the most expensive of the Chinese vehicles.

      The Chinese are finding out to produce a vehicle of the standards we expect costs money.

      I here many are worried about Chinese vehicles, but in Thailand the average worker earns less, they are less developed as a nation , but yet no one bats and eye in buying vehicles manufactured there.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        First come the motorcycles (Triumph, Honda, and BMW all sell Thailand produced bikes in the US) then come the cars.

        Worked for Japan (some how Korea went straight to cars).

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Big Al from Oz
        They the importer have had problems and had to stop, now they want to import the Haval ” Wingle” and call it ” Steed”
        Foton have tried Vans as well.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Big Al from Oz,
        You are right as I saw an advertisement in the local paper. I know they are pulling the LDV Vans. Heard that the Foton( sounds like Futon) were being pulled as well. Have never seen one on the road.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I saw my first 2016 Titan crew cab 2 days ago. They will be a rare sight. I have seen more aluminum F-150s and a number of new Colorados.

    As for FCA there best bet is having a joint venture with a manufacturer like Nissan to make compact and midsize crossovers and cars. Nissan could possible provide some platforms and funding to FCA. An FCA vehicle based on a Nissan platform would be more marketable than one based on a Fiat or Alfa Romeo platform.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      I see 2016 Titans almost every day. They are parked in front of the local Nissan dealership. Haven’t seen one on the street yet. Maybe the dealership will use one as a parts runner.

      FCA’s problem, if any (they are, after all, profitable in all regions), isn’t platforms. They have the platforms people want: crossovers and pickups.
      They want to platform-share their next mid-size sedan, but that’s because it’s a dying segment, and one they haven’t been strong in since the K-car. Why spend billions developing their own version of the Accord/Camry/Malibu/Fusion/Altima/Sonata/Passat when they can spend on something that will make them more?
      Sergio may be a gambler, but he knows a sucker bet when he sees one.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @heavy handle,
        I cannot work out how Nissan’s new Titan, is going to work. A lot of effort for little return

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Which is why they should try exporting it to Australia and SA. They have much stronger reps there, the truck has a big diesel V8, and they need to keep the production lines moving if they expect to break even.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @heavy handle
            They can get rid of the Pickup and put the.Cummins in a Van, much more suitable.
            Remember this is not NA and remember if it does not go Off Road, or have a suitable payload it is a dead duck

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            They can put it in the NV2500 which is built on the same line.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @heavy handle
            That Van has a limited payload and is not very appealing. Better if I it was put in a Renault Van

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            The Cummins in the Titan is too large for export markets. A van would need something half that size in most markets.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @pragmatic,
      No, Renault used to have a 6.5 ton GVWR Van. IVECO has a 7 tonne, or 23,000lb GVWR Van. 5 litre van would go very well
      Here is an IVECO used as a Cab Chassis, 5litre Cummins would not go astray
      http://www.planet-trucks.com/iveco-daily-65c17-heavy-equipment-transport-tractor-trailer/euro-3-rheinland-pfalz/ts-vi1054139/used.html

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    I think what it is Sergio Sweater-Man sees, is that the future, at least his future, lies in GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES. He sees Elon Musk, with Musk’s long-running crony-corporatist scam, and just drools.

    He wants some of that money. And the reality is, the way for a business to make money today is not-so-much offer a superior product; it’s to get a superior government SUBSIDY.

    So…here we go. The house of cards that is Fiat (not unlike the paperboard construction of individual Fiats) depends, now, on Sergio and his sweater, selling promises to be the better Tesla. If only he can get the better government-aid package.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Actually, it is a smooth move on Sergio’s part, if he can get away with it again. He managed to get that $1.3B bribe from the US gov’t and all those concessions in return for taking Chrysler’s carcass off our hands in 2009, and that has worked out well for him and Fiatsler.

      “Always speculate with other people’s money” is a sage and prudent strategy if you can find a fool to finance your operations.

      So I think it is a sound strategy on Sergio’s part. I wish him well. But I won’t be buying any Fiatsler products.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree, Sergio is looking for Government subsidies. If Sergio can promise another Tesla in order to get a Government subsidy then he will especially since he cannot find someone to merge with.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @No, they do not. Wishful thinking on your part payload s are not advertising PR
    Ifyou have any idea what you’re trying to talk about then we can have a reasonable discussion

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Just loading an OZ market midsize pickup to 70% “rated” payload can mean “stunt driving”, let alone, full rated capacity. Beside the obvious, check the caradvice article again. Do you need the link again?

      US sold pickups don’t have weird driving dynamics, even at full rated payload capacity, or even a little “overloaded”. Don’t ask my why I know..

      There’s “margin” for loading error, (or unbalanced), built in, but we don’t dare cross it too often, too far or too fast, as we also have something called “lawyers”.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    I had an 8yr old find it. His brain is not as addled as yours, though.You now playing dumb,hard to imagine an IT employee can not use the internet
    What Alias are you pretending to be this time.? I think Big Al From Oz drove one. F150-F350

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…I think BAFO drove one. F150-F350…”

      Really? Is that all the facts or links you could come up with??

      Again, *Hecho en Australia…* Where is it???

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Kenmore,
    Playing dumb?

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Why haven’t the shareholders burned Sergio at the stake?


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