FCA's Manley to Helm European Automobile Manufacturers' Association

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The Board of Directors of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has elected Michael “Mike” Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, as its new leader. Tapped to replace PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares as chairman on January 1st, Manley is currently engaging in some mobility related foreplay to get us hot and bothered.

“As an industry we want to take the lead in transforming mobility in a way that puts the consumer first, but also enables us to remain globally competitive and resilient,” Manley said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, the ACEA’s stated priorities for the coming year revolve around “developing a pathway for the transition to carbon-neutral road transport, while ensuring the economic sustainability of the European auto sector.” Presumably, those are goals shared by the English businessman who’ll be taking the reins in 2020 — but he’ll have to manage environmental progress with market realities while doing so.

It’s an interesting situation, what with FCA and PSA expected to sign a binding merger agreement any day now — and with both Manley and Tavares being major players in the negotiation.

The Brussels-based ACEA currently lobbies for 15 separate vehicle manufacturers operating inside of Europe. While that’s not likely to change in 2020, there may be stronger pushback against governments seeking to increase emission standards. Despite automakers going to great lengths to pursue battery technologies and promote the greenest aspects of their businesses, most continue to be supported by lobby groups hoping to tamp down environmental regulations. The Guardian published an October article pointing the finger at several manufacturers while claiming auto lobbyist groups (often led by industry executives) have collectively stepped up their game.

Of course, the flip side of that argument is that carmakers are desperately struggling to meet aggressive emission mandates. Over the summer, it was estimated that automotive firms would be required to pay over 34 billion eros (about $39 billion USD) in fines for failing to meet the rolling European standards. Meanwhile, there’s a real fear that placing too much focus on expensive green tech will negatively impact the industry and cost it quite a few jobs. We just wrote about it, if you’re interested.

Whatever Manley decides to do at the ACEA, we wish him luck. The current social, economic, and industrial situation leaves much to be desired, and you can expect to see Manley navigating minefields on the regular.

[Image: FCA]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

More by Matt Posky

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Thejohnnycanuck Thejohnnycanuck on Dec 12, 2019

    Good luck Mr. Manley. I just hope you understand that you're stepping into what can only be described as an automotive outhouse. Be careful not to fall in the hole.

  • Thelaine Thelaine on Dec 13, 2019

    Bless you for what you did for Jeep and FCA, MM.

  • ToolGuy First picture: I realize that opinions vary on the height of modern trucks, but that entry door on the building is 80 inches tall and hits just below the headlights. Does anyone really believe this is reasonable?Second picture: I do not believe that is a good parking spot to be able to access the bed storage. More specifically, how do you plan to unload topsoil with the truck parked like that? Maybe you kids are taller than me.
  • ToolGuy The other day I attempted to check the engine oil in one of my old embarrassing vehicles and I guess the red shop towel I used wasn't genuine Snap-on (lots of counterfeits floating around) plus my driveway isn't completely level and long story short, the engine seized 3 minutes later.No more used cars for me, and nothing but dealer service from here on in (the journalists were right).
  • Doughboy Wow, Merc knocks it out of the park with their naming convention… again. /s
  • Doughboy I’ve seen car bras before, but never car beards. ZZ Top would be proud.
  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.
Next