Marchionne: 2019 Ram Production Is a Headache, Levante Launch 'Sucked'

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
marchionne 2019 ram production is a headache levante launch 8216 sucked

Candid as always, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne let off some steam during a first-quarter earnings call this week. The chief executive, due to retire early next year, revealed the launch of the next-generation 2019 Ram 1500 was not the smoothest process in the world, with the company taking on additional costs to get the pickup out the door.

Despite these troubles, the Ram 1500’s launch is nothing compared to the debut of the Maserati Levante SUV in 2017, which hit the market with a whimper. That launch straight up “sucked,” Marchionne said.

The content of the earnings call, reported by Motor Trend, is classic Marchionne, who channelled his inner Roger Murtaugh when discussing the goings-on at the retooled Sterling Heights plant. The higher-capacity plant, repurposed for 2019 Ram production, required an extra $300 million to get the truck ready on time. Still,

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  • El scotto El scotto on Apr 29, 2018

    Chrysler used to be known for its engineering prowess. Then there was the "merger" with Daimler. Then Cerebus' less than benign ownership. Then Chrysler was given to FIAT. Ole Sergio backs up a dumptruck to the money machine that is Jeep, perpetual Bronze Winner RAM, and large V-8 RWD sedans that continue to sell. No real updates needed on any of Chrysler's products; just more dumptruck loads of cash to corporate. Enough cash to make Jeep/RAM/Dodge/Chrysler look good to a Chinese company.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Apr 29, 2018

      With Sergio retiring early next year, no one really knows what is in store for Fiatsler. They've got some hits on their hands, like the JGC and RAM, sell every one of the specialty supercars/supertrucks they make, but the future still looks cloudy, with a chance of meatballs. Now, selling to a Chinese or India company always remains a viable option because that's where the money is. America can always import them, like we do with JLR, Volvo and Buick. Wish the same would happen for GM, sell to a Chinese or India company that is. Ford is the ONLY American car maker left and they need to sell what buyers want.

  • Dantes_inferno Dantes_inferno on Apr 30, 2018

    >Marchionne: 2019 Ram Production Is a Headache, Levante Launch ‘Sucked’ FCA's motto: Dodge testing - RAM it into production.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?
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