FCA's Manley to Helm European Automobile Manufacturers' Association

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
fcas manley to helm european automobile manufacturers association

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]

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.

  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.
  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"