By on November 24, 2021

FCA/Stellantis

There’s no shortage of historical acrimony between Detroit’s automakers, some of which spills over from the showroom to the courtroom. Fresh out of the latter are allegations of corporate espionage against General Motors.

By the way, that awkward headline (‘Jeep maker’) was deployed thanks to the length of time this legal wrangling has consumed; in other words, it would be technically incorrect to specify ‘Stellantis’ when the flap predates their ownership of the Jeep brand.

That’s why most outlets are simply referring to that side of the puzzle as FCA. For this article, we’ll simply do the same. With that nonsense out of the way, know that the argument between that entity and General Motors stems from the latter tossing accusations of offshore bank accounts being used to hide monetary bribes, ones which were allegedly funneled to the UAW in an effort to skew bargaining efforts and harm GM. Wayne County Circuit Court dismissed GM’s civil suit in the matter last month.

Now, FCA is alleging that GM chose to employ underhanded tactics during requests to the county court that it reconsider the matter. Specifically, they say the second complaint apparently involved the so-called spoofing (or impersonating) of email addresses, in which people from the GM side may have tried to pass themselves off as FCA employees during online communication. FCA’s lawyer, Thomas Cranmer, said in a written statement this type of activity violates the Rules of Professional Conduct in the state of Michigan while using the term ‘corporate espionage’ to describe the alleged activity. If true, it could certainly land them in very hot water. At the bare minimum, it’s a bad look.

This is hardly the first time we’ve reported on this corporate saga and, given the parties involved, it probably won’t be the last. Last summer, details emerged about GM trying to reopen a racketeering lawsuit against FCA, alleging the latter obtained unfair labor advantages thanks to UAW bribes. It was here the notion of these shadowy offshore bank accounts was mentioned, along with murmurs of a former UAW veep and ex-GM board member being a covert mole. FCA, for its part, said its rival’s story was a “third-rate spy movie, full of preposterous allegations.”

There’s also been no shortage of drama inside the UAW, with a report late last year citing that the DoJ reached a proposed civil settlement with the union in the corruption case that entangled two former presidents and a yaffle of union officers.

[Image: FCA/Stellantis]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

22 Comments on “I Spy: Jeep Maker Tosses Accusations of ‘Corporate Espionage’ at General Motors...”


  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    Ah yes, just more evidence that that UAW needs to be given the Old Yeller treatment.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Kinda bad when GM needs to spy on FCA/Stellantis to figure out how to build reliable vehicles.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The sharing between them in a less nefarious manner once occurred. From 66-71 Jeep did use the Buick 90 degree V6 as well as the Buick 350 V8 in the CJ, Commando, J series pickup and Wagoneer.

    https://www.novak-adapt.com/knowledge/engines/about/buick/buick-90-v6

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Cherokee too.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        The early XJ Cherokee used the Chevrolet 2.8 V6 which was also used in the S-10.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          Re: XJ Cherokee

          This individual (current CEO of Amazon) has a net worth of something like $400 million and drives a 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport:

          https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/11/andy-jassy-amazons-new-ceo-enters-the-ring

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Well, with the money he’s saved by driving the jeep, maybe in the holiday spirit, he could spring for some nice holiday-themed pee bottles for the delivery drivers? It would be the right thing to do.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            @mcs,

            Do you think he got the promotion because he drove the “right” vehicle?

            If ‘Yes’ – what does this imply for the price of 1998 XJ’s in the near term?

            If ‘No’ – how many billions of dollars could Americans save if they stopped trying to impress the boss with their vehicle choices?

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @toolguy: No, it wasn’t his vehicle. In my world, I’ve never seen people buying cars to impress their boss. In the technology world, you can make more than your boss. I’ve usually had much better cars than management but usually kept those on the down-low. I had one Fortune 500 CEO that daily drove a 62 Falcon. It was cool.

            I do remember having an employee that seemed obsessed with what kind of car he drove and was spending an inordinate amount of money on cars. I thought he was insecure. I can understand car enthusiasts and get that, but this guy seemed obsessed with putting up a facade.

            My son only once commented on one of his employee’s vehicles. It was a bicycle and my son remarked how impressed he was with the distances the guy was commuting on it.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      Wasn’t the 2.8 in a Wrangler as well? Could swear a tech at my Volvo dealer owned one.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Maybe that is one of the things wrong with GM when they are spying on FCA copying their quality.

  • avatar

    At the end of the day they are both lousy carmakers. The lawsuit means nothing.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    They both need to pull their heads out. What’s so secret and who cares? There’s plenty of segments one is successful and the other ignores. Ford too, all 3 are interchangeable, replaceable and forgettable.

    Then you have Toyota and Nissan picking up their slack. It’s Monkey See, Monkey Do. Or did they forget? Honda and others constantly eat their lunch too.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    When you play Risk and manage things correctly, toward the end of the game the weaker players start attacking each other and leave you alone. It’s pretty sweet.

    (Oops sorry, this might have been unrelated to this article.)

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • 28-Cars-Later: Define “progress”.
  • SCE to AUX: “Market listing via SPAC route has become popular among EV makers that have a vision but no...
  • FreedMike: The problem isn’t unions – it’s the ability of unions to buy off politicians. Meanwhile,...
  • FreedMike: I agree with Mitch. If the company’s dirty, then we need to know about it.
  • FreedMike: ” Do you know which company’s technology was behind the engine and drivetrain of a Fisker? Do you...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber